MANCHESTER (October 24, 2023) – Every year, the last full week in October marks National Respiratory Care Week, a time dedicated to celebrating Respiratory Therapists and Pulmonologists and the importance of respiratory care in various healthcare settings.
While respiratory health is essential for everyone, it holds a special significance in long-term care and skilled nursing facilities. Respiratory Therapists play a vital role in these facilities, where many residents face complex respiratory challenges due to underlying medical conditions or age-related issues. These professionals work tirelessly to ensure that residents receive the best possible care for their respiratory needs. National Respiratory Care Week serves as a reminder to acknowledge and appreciate their invaluable contributions.
In long-term care and skilled nursing facilities, respiratory care often involves managing conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, pneumonia, and sleep apnea. Residents in these settings may require assistance with activities of daily living, making it critical to address respiratory issues promptly and effectively. Respiratory therapists conduct assessments, provide treatments, and offer education to patients and their families, ensuring a holistic approach to care.
Respiratory health issues can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, especially in long-term care. Residents with respiratory conditions may experience shortness of breath, difficulty in speaking or swallowing, and fatigue, which can limit their ability to engage in social and recreational activities. Respiratory therapists help residents manage their symptoms, facilitating improved well-being and overall comfort.
One of the most crucial aspects of National Respiratory Care Week is raising awareness about respiratory health issues. Many respiratory conditions are preventable, manageable, or treatable with early intervention and proper care. Awareness campaigns aim to educate the public about the signs and symptoms of respiratory problems, emphasizing the importance of seeking medical attention when needed.
For long-term care facilities, this awareness is essential, as it empowers both residents and staff to recognize and address respiratory issues promptly. Early detection and intervention can help prevent exacerbation of conditions, reduce hospitalizations, and enhance the overall quality of care provided in these settings.
Touchpoints Rehab’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation program is designed to bring continuity in pulmonary care from the acute hospital setting into the skilled nursing and rehab care setting. A Board certified pulmonologist provides pulmonary care and specialty consultation to the residents and an experienced, Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) rounds within the facility, providing assessment and care to those with respiratory and pulmonary disease processes.
Our Pulmonary Program includes:
- Initial and ongoing assessments from physical, occupational, respiratory and speech therapists up to 7 days per week.
- Rehabilitation with respiratory and physical therapists
- Board-certified pulmonologists
- Spirometry screening pre- and post- bronchodilator
- Six-minute walk - activity testing
- VEST Therapy
- Exercise and endurance training
- Oxygen titration
- Extensive patient and family education
- Case Management and discharge planning services
- Addressing frequent hospitalizations: The program also addresses repeat hospitalizations by applying integrated pulmonary care and sleep medicine consulting to many diagnoses, including COPD and congestive heart failure. For patients will multiple hospitalizations the pulmonology team will address their general state of health and wellness and improve their daily functionality. This will get them back home where they want to be and slow the tide of re-hospitalizations. It is truly forward looking.
In addition to education and awareness, National Respiratory Care Week also highlights the importance of research and innovation in respiratory care. Advancements in technology and treatment options continue to improve the lives of those with respiratory conditions. Respiratory therapists stay up-to-date with these developments to provide the best care possible.
As we celebrate National Respiratory Care Week, it’s a great opportunity to express gratitude to the dedicated respiratory therapists working in long-term care and skilled nursing facilities. Their commitment to ensuring the respiratory well-being of residents is truly commendable. Moreover, it’s a time to reflect on our own respiratory health and to promote awareness of the importance of early detection and intervention in preventing or managing respiratory conditions.