We Celebrate You, the Life-Saving RT

Pictured left to right: Jessica Dietz, MS, RRT-ACCS; Justina Gerard, BSRC, MBA, RRT; Kimber Catullo, M.Ed., RRT, CHSE

Respiratory Care Week is October 25-31 and is a time dedicated to celebrating the Respiratory Therapy profession. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to patients; you have continued to show how vital you are to the healthcare team.

We at IngMar Medical are proud to celebrate RC Week and we stand by the Respiratory Therapy profession every single day. In fact, we have three Respiratory Therapists on-staff at IngMar Medical! Our RTs are dedicated to being the voice of our clients; they share client feedback to help continuously develop and improve our products as well as provide product training and customized consultation.


To celebrate RC Week 2020, our RTs thoughtfully contributed to a discussion around their experiences and hopes for the future.

How were you taught ventilation training in school?

Jessica:  “We had traditional lecture, lab time, competencies throughout the class and simulation involving a manikin and test lung. We were also given the use of ventilators outside of class to practice during free hours with a booklet of patient cases and fill-in-the-blank ventilator changes. After going through these portions, we’d have real patient interaction, under the supervision of a preceptor at a multitude of hospitals in different units.”

Justina:  “We learned about ventilator management from a book/ lecture. Then, we would do lab time with a ventilator and a test lung. Lastly, we’d do clinical with a real patient and hope to see “good” cases.”

Kimber:  “We had traditional lecture and extensive lab time over two semesters. The lab time used simulated ventilators on the computer and hands-on cases studies/ competencies with real ventilators and test lungs. The majority of the time we used real ventilators to learn and observe the mechanics of ventilation. Then, we had three semesters of in-hospital clinical rotations in which we took care of ventilated patients under the supervision of another Respiratory Therapist.”


What is your opinion on the necessity and importance of simulation for ventilation training?

Jessica:  “Simulation is a vital component for teaching students. We can see in this time of a pandemic how necessary it is to teach using simulation. Students will still need to see real patients and have that interaction, but simulation gives them confidence and the critical thinking skills that are needed in a high pressure situation, without the consequences of making a critical mistake. Simulation also allows for rare cases that might never be seen in the short period of time that students have during clinical rotation.”

Justina:  “Educators can’t always show the cases that they want to teach about in clinical rotations. Simulation gives educators the ability to show these cases anytime they need to. Sometimes during clinical, you would have no ventilators or very basic ventilated patients – this doesn’t always prepare you to deal with any type of patient in the hospital setting.”

Kimber:  “Simulation is vitally important to mechanical ventilation education. It is nearly impossible to understand ventilation without seeing it in-person. Learning on a simulated patient is ideal, because one can make mistakes and learn from them without ever harming a patient. This allows the learner to focus on the concepts instead of the fear of doing harm to a living being.”


A current topic of discussion is the balance between enabling and empowering RTs while also encouraging other disciplines to raise their mechanical ventilation competency level.  What is your opinion on this?

Jessica:  “I believe that the advanced interaction and training with mechanical ventilators should be a focus for Respiratory Therapists and Physicians who handle critical care patients. There is so much to learn about ventilation, oxygenation, different ventilator nuances, and ongoing lifelong learning; it really becomes a full-time job in itself. Other clinicians, such as nursing, should understand the basic of mechanical ventilation and how they relate to the physiology of the patient such as ventilator alarms and troubleshooting the cause.”

Justina:  “Before recently traveling to New York City, the epicenter of the COVID crisis, I agreed that ventilator training should be reserved for RTs and MDs. However, after speaking with the frontline clinicians, who were not able to care for each of their 200 ventilated patients, I realized why it is so important to be able to train other medical professionals on the basics of mechanical ventilation. This ability to provide quick training to clinicians (that may have never seen a ventilator) could make a major difference in the care that we provide to our patients. This basic knowledge would allow for a wide range of clinicians to be able to help RTs and MDs out if this great need would ever arise again. The intricacies of advanced mechanical ventilation training should still be reserved for the clinicians with the proper respiratory background, but working as a team in patient care will only lead to better outcomes for our patients.”

Kimber:  “I feel that critical clinicians should be trained in basic mechanical ventilation. This does not mean that critical care clinicians should be able make ventilator changes, but having a basic knowledge improves patient care all around. Ventilator management should be left to the experts who are licensed to do so such as RTs, MDs, PAs, and NPs. These medical professionals should have extensive training that surpass a ‘basic understanding’.”


Visit https://www.aarc.org/resources/programs-projects/respiratory-care-week/ for more stories and information.

Part of our mission is to decrease suffering and improve patient outcomes for those who rely on respiratory devices and treatments.  We aim to fulfill this mission by providing educators with the tools necessary to provide hands-on mechanical ventilation training. Please continue to reach out to IngMar Medical for your respiratory simulation needs.

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