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MMH Respiratory Therapists: Real Life Heroes

October 27, 2016

Respiratory Care Spotlight where respiratory therapists celebrate their fast-growing profession while raising awareness of lung health. This year’s theme is “Respiratory Therapists: Real Life Heroes” and at Massena Memorial Hospital the Respiratory Therapy team  are  “real life heroes” that provide essential services for patients to improve their quality of life.

“We treat every kind of patient,  from a newborn delivery to a geriatric patient seeing their last breathes,” said MMH Respiratory Therapy and Pulmonary Clinic Supervisor Brittany Rowe, CRT, CRTT. “We are in the Emergency Room for patients ranging from a motor vehicle accident to a stroke. We do basic rounds therapy on patient units and assist doctors and nurses in diagnosing patients with respiratory issues. We really do see all aspects of medicine on a daily basis for the most part.”

Robin Debien, RTT; Zach Loveless RRT; Sandy Brault RTT; Cheryl Ruest, RRT; Mona Langer, RRT; and Rowe make up the Respiratory Therapy team at Massena Memorial.

“I choose this career field because of the difference,” said Rowe. “One minute you could be in a delivery room assisting with a newborn then you do something completely different in the emergency room. You are never in just one spot; you are all over the place helping people.”

According to the Occupation Outlook Handbook, Growth in the middle-aged and elderly population will lead to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia. These respiratory disorders can permanently damage the lungs or restrict lung function.

“Breathing is an essential part of life,” said Rowe. “We work really well with the doctors and nurses here to help get patients on the right track, whether it’s someone with a chronic disorder who needs to learn how to deal with it on a daily basis or a critical situation in the emergency room or intensive care unit.”

Responding to urgent calls, education patients about lung disease and consulting with physicians to change or modify therapy are the main duties of a respiratory therapist. Dealing with these critical situations and working with physicians to help improve the quality of life of a patient is the main reason why Rowe chose this career field

“I’m an adrenaline junkie, I like the critical situations,” said Rowe. “I really enjoy when we as respiratory therapists need to be needed and in situations when people depend on us.”

To schedule an appointment or learn more about MMH’s respiratory care department, please call 315-769-4264.