National Respiratory Care Week is October 22 – 28, and it’s our time to shine. Every year, hospitals and other health care facilities across the country and around the world use the occasion to draw attention to the wonderful work RTs do every day on the job. For Amanda Richter, MHA, RRT-NPS, RRT-ACCS, RPFT, FACHE, and her department at Metroplex Health System in Killeen, TX, RC Week represents a chance to promote the profession and their RT team, and they take every advantage of it.
“There are many times that you hear complaints that people don’t understand what we do,” Richter said. ”We utilize RC Week as an opportunity to help us showcase our knowledge and expertise. Our compassion is displayed within our hospital and community, and we can show off our top notch respiratory therapists that help bring our mission to life every day.”
For Richter and her team, planning begins a few months out, with volunteers taking the lead in coming up with activities for the week, finding sponsors for goodies such as food or prizes, and working with the hospital marketing team on the communication of events.
“We try to hold events that are presented in a fun manner that gets our team excited and gives them the opportunity to provide much needed community education while giving visitors the ability gain information about their cardiopulmonary health,” Richter said.
Last year the team organized an open house, games, RT challenges, and more. They even designed a special “Super RT” t-shirt that Richter says has since been spotted around the globe. The biggest laughs, though, came when staff got the chance to view an impromptu team video that showcased some special moments in the department.
“Our team is competitive so they are working on making RC Week 2017 bigger and better,” Richter said.
New to the schedule will be a family picnic for staff and families to kick off the week, and the open house will definitely be back, as it has been a big hit for the past couple of years.
“We recently moved into a new department, so we plan to hold this year’s event in our new department with tours and fun activities,” she said.
Since the department has made community engagement a priority in 2017, there is also talk of conducting a health fair out in the community, and a Specialty Credential Challenge that’s been going on for a while now will draw to a close, with prizes and special recognition for all who took part. Another staff video could be in the works as well, since last year’s was so well received.
But the big new event for 2017 is going to be a mini “Escape Room” with a respiratory theme.
“The project is currently under development, but it will incorporate some brain power, including calculations, patient assessment, and procedure completion to ‘save’ a patient and ‘escape’ the challenge,” Richter said. “There is still a lot of work to put into this one, but we will definitely share how it goes!”