The respiratory care program at Specialty Hospital of Central Jersey is very unique. At any given time, we have four highly trained respiratory therapists on staff. Each respiratory therapist has approximately eight to ten patients each. During the respiratory therapist’s shift, he or she will aggressively wean ventilator patients with the ultimate goal of getting the patient off of the breathing machine.
Respiratory Therapist Process
The respiratory therapist initially starts with placing the patients on pressure support ventilation. Pressure support ventilation is a mode on the ventilator that gives the patient a certain amount of support to overcome the resistance of the ventilator tubing in order to help produce his/her own breath. Once the patient is able to remain comfortable on pressure support ventilation and the respiratory therapist is certain the patient will remain stable, the patient will then be placed on a trach collar. At that point, the respiratory therapist tries the patient for twelve hours, then sixteen hours, then overnight or what we call “around the clock.”
After the fifth night on trach collar around the clock, the ventilator is then removed from the patient’s room. At this time, the patient has the opportunity to get a Passy-Muir valve. This particular valve is placed on the patient’s tracheotomy site and as a result the patient is able to phonate.
Point of Relief
This is a fantastic accomplishment as most of our patients have been without a voice for weeks…even months! The family is able to hear their loved one’s voice and the patient is capable of expressing pain status or other care needs. The weaning program is not the same for every patient, as each patient is unique and requires different needs.
The Role of Respiratory Therapists
This is definitely where the respiratory therapist comes in. This expertise of this therapist is needed, as he or she is well educated, fully trained, and has a lot of valuable experience with tracheotomies and ventilator weaning.
The respiratory care program is extremely aggressive (in a positive way) to get patients off of the ventilator as fast as possible. Any barriers to weaning are addressed on a daily basis and followed up with the physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner. Our respiratory therapists are highly dedicated individuals who consistently work very hard with an ultimate goal of successful weaning from the ventilator. You will not find weaning program quite like SHCJ’s in the area!
For more information about our respiratory program, call 877-573-LTAC (5822) or click here.