Overview

Respiratory Care is a health specialty involving the treatment, management, control, diagnostic evaluation, and care of patients with deficiencies and abnormalities of the cardiopulmonary system. These patients may be found in the newborn nursery, the surgical and medical units, the emergency department, the outpatient department, intensive and critical care units. The mission of the Respiratory Care Service at Phelps Hospital is to provide safe, efficient, and high quality care to all our patients.

Respiratory Therapists are responsible for setting up and operating the life-saving machines that help people breathe when breathing disorders and difficulties prevent them from adequately doing so on their own. By using a variety of sophisticated equipment and techniques, they can measure how a patient’s lungs and circulatory system are working in order to evaluate and monitor a patient’s respiratory health.

While intensive respiratory care is essential, day-to-day therapeutic respiratory care is equally as important. Respiratory care personnel, in consultation with physicians, carry out specific therapeutic measures to assist the distressed patient. All of our staff Respiratory Therapists are board certified by the Nation Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) and licensed in New York State, and must be experts in providing specialized and selective therapeutic respiratory care. Therapists must be competent in such areas as:

  • medical gas administration, including oxygen, nitric oxide, and helium/oxygen mixtures
  • humidification
  • aerosolization of medications
  • broncho-pulmonary drainage; pulmonary toilet
  • endotracheal intubation
  • end tidal carbon dioxide monitoring
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • maintenance of natural and artificial airways
  • advanced cardiopulmonary life support
  • mechanical ventilation, including CPAP, BiPap
  • high flow oxygen therapy
  • airway management
  • arterial blood gas analysis, including lactate and co-oximetry
  • physiologic monitoring
  • incentive spirometry
  • breathing exercises