The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2005 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

IMPLEMENTATION OF A STAFFING FOCUS GROUP TO ALLOW STAFF THERAPISTS A GREATER ROLE IN DEPARTMENTAL OPERATIONS

Suzanne Iniguez, RRT-NPS, Lee Evey, BS, RRT, Kim Davis, BS, RRT Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, Texas

BACKGROUND: Texas Children's Hospital, Houston is the nation's largest free-standing pediatric hospital with 750 licensed beds. The Respiratory Care Department is staffed with 127 FTE's who cover the ICU's, acute care floors, CV recovery, PACU, L and D, asthma education, assisting with bronchoscopies, conscious sedation and Neo/Pedi ground and fixed wing transports. With the large scope of practice and the number of therapists it was decided to create a medium to effectively meet their needs and concerns.

METHOD: The genesis for the group came from the Director of the Respiratory Care Department who put out a request for volunteers to create a Staffing Focus Group. Initially the group was comprised of 8 staff therapists, a chair person was decided upon and areas of responsibility were delineated. One of the first items on the agenda was to survey the staff to discover areas of concern; a survey tool was devised, responses collated and an action plan developed.

RESULTS: The survey identified many points of concern amongst the staff ranging from equipment placement and availability to staffing coverage, assignments and new products. By having the Director present at the meetings items that can be quickly decided upon are immediately dealt with, those that require greater investigation are presented by the chair person at the bi-weekly leadership meetings.

CONCLUSION: Due to the organizational model of this group there is a continuous feedback loop between the staff and the leadership team. Many of the changes that have been made are small in scope but have reaped large rewards in the area of staff satisfaction. As our department continues to grow and modalities and treatments change we feel that we are poised to adeptly handle change and move forward with staff support and input. The staff feel that they are a vital part of the department structure and their input is recognized.

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