Respiratory Care Services
Respiratory Care Services are active in all adult, pediatric and neonatal patient care settings. They provide around-the-clock services to all Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center medical/surgical floors, critical care units and emergency departments. Our Respiratory Therapists are dedicated members on both internal and external critical care transport teams. There are multiple specialties within the Respiratory Care Services group such as: the Respiratory Care Department, Pulmonary Function Lab, Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab, plus Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO).
Respiratory therapists are state licensed professionals (RCP) with nationally recognized credentials (RRT). Utilizing medically approved clinical protocols, they consult and communicate with physicians and other care providers to identify and recommend the best practice course of therapy. Respiratory therapists then deliver that care; monitor its effectiveness by patient assessment, breath sounds, vital signs, arterial blood gases, x-rays, pulmonary function studies and other techniques. As patient conditions change, they recommend adjustments in the care plan using the same or additional medically approved clinical protocols.
Depending on the patient's needs, respiratory therapists will utilize a variety of solutions including aerosolized medications, airway clearance techniques and manage life support technology (e.g. ventilators, ECMO). Respiratory therapists predominately work with patients who have acute or chronic heart and lung diseases or diseases that adversely affect the heart and lungs. They also are called upon during trauma-related conditions such as burns, automobile accidents, over doses and gun and knife injuries. Respiratory therapists are part of the Code Blue Team which respond to all cardiac and respiratory arrests and provide CPR.
Respiratory therapists also assist patients and their families with education and instruction with respiratory home care therapy and associated equipment.
From critical care to patient and family education, the respiratory therapist is an active and vital part of the healthcare team.