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New Hanover Regional Medical Center is a teaching hospital, regional referral center and Level II Trauma Center. Our respiratory therapists treat patients at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, NHRMC Orthopedic Hospital, and Pender Memorial Hospital. We also provide highly specialized care to a wide range of high acuity patients at our Rehabilitation, Behavioral Health and Women's and Children's hospitals. Dedicated respiratory therapists staff a 45-bed Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and a 6-bed Level II Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Betty H. Cameron Women's and Children's Hospital.
The mission of the Respiratory Care Department is to provide the highest quality value-focused care to the patients of New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Our respiratory therapists encourage and promote excellence within the practice of the respiratory care profession and with our patients.
We offer a team-centered environment where respiratory therapists function as a key part of the interdisciplinary patient care team. Our department consists of approximately 70 staff therapists at NHRMC's Main Campus and 10 staff therapists at NHRMC Orthopedic Hospital. The majority of our staff rotate through both critical care and general care, providing the opportunity to work in a variety of practice settings.
Some specialty teams our staff participate include:
- Code Blue Team
- Rapid Response Team
- Neonatal Ground Transport Team
- ECMO Specialist Team in Cardiovascular ICU
Our respiratory therapists primarily treat patients in an inpatient setting, setting up and monitoring ventilators, CPAP and BiPAP management, inhalation therapy, medical gas delivery including iNO, heliox and O2, ABG draws and analysis, intubation and extubations, and general respiratory assessment. Some of our specialty staff is responsible for treating patients in Outpatient Services, including pulmonary function testing and metabolic testing. At NHRMC Orthopedic Hospital, our cardiopulmonary department therapists perform ECG's and holter monitoring in the outpatient areas.
Our primary focus is on providing quality outcomes and patient care. Our department has worked diligently to reduce ventilator length of stay to well below the national average. We are particularly focused on reducing ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), and are proud to have one of the lowest infection rates in the state. We focus on overall patient experience and satisfaction to ensure we exceed patient expectations.
New Hanover Regional Medical Center and NHRMC Orthopedic Hospital have earned Quality Respiratory Care Recognition (QRCR) from the American Association for Respiratory Care two years in a row. Hospitals earning the QRCR designation ensure patient safety by agreeing to adhere to a strict set of criteria governing their respiratory care services, including credentialing of all respiratory therapists by the state and availability of respiratory therapists 24 hours a day. Only 15% of hospitals in the United States have received this award.
NHRMC is dedicated to using technologically advanced equipment to provide the best treatment for our patients. We continually assess new technologies and procedures to remain current and proactive within our practice. To ensure consistency, we use the Maquet SERVO-i exclusively in all critical care areas and the 3100 Series for High Frequency Oscillatory Ventilation (HFOV). Our SERVO-I ventilators are capable of delivering Neurally Adjusted Ventilatory Assist (NAVA) technology.
Our transition to EPIC computerized charting provides us with a highly advanced, integrated charting system. The EPIC system allows for device integration so ventilator data is transferred directly into the charting system, adding another level of patient safety and ensuring the highest level of quality patient care.
We are dedicated to promoting the profession of respiratory care and quality as it relates to our practice. The Clinical Practice Council is comprised of department staff who assess the overall practice of respiratory care, recommend suggestions for improvement, and oversee educational opportunities and policies and protocols.
Our organization offers the opportunity to participate in the Clinical Ladder program, where therapists work on quality improvement projects in the department. Therapists receive a monetary bonus at completion of the project. The Clinical Ladder Committee is responsible for oversight and approval of Clinical Ladder projects.
Our department's Peer Interview Team has received specialized training in behavioral-based interviewing techniques and participate in all interviews for the department. The team then determines which candidates are the best fit for our department and our organization.
Our respiratory and cardiopulmonary departments partner with two local respiratory schools, allowing us to offer a learning environment to students as they go through their clinical rotations. It is the responsibility of all our staff to precept students and foster learning among these students as they become respiratory therapists.
We believe that education is essential to remaining current and knowledgeable about the evolving practice of respiratory care. The department provides educational opportunities through Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to staff throughout the year as a free benefit. Our respiratory department also encourages attendance at respiratory conferences and assists with registration fees.
The orientation process for newly hired respiratory therapists is a 6-8 week process tailored to each therapist's needs based on their experience. Newly hired therapists work directly with our Clinical Educator to review equipment, charting, and department policies and protocols. Next they work in clinical areas with preceptors for the remainder of their orientation period.
Our team of respiratory therapists come from diverse backgrounds and levels of experience. Many of our staff therapists have worked at NHRMC for more than ten years.
If you are a respiratory professional seeking a patient-focused, team-oriented environment where you can work among other friendly and skilled respiratory professionals, we invite you to apply to join the NHRMC Respiratory Care Department.