The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Travis Collins, Patricia Miles; Respiratory Care, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Ft. Thomas, KY

Background: Community hospitals often lack the available resources compared to larger tertiary medical centers. Two hospitals in Northern Kentucky already absent of residents, fellows, and now a reduction in anesthesia coverage were in need of additional staff that could support the on-call house physician in artificial airway intubation. A decision was made by administration in 2009 and with the support of anesthesia, all 20 licensed Respiratory Therapists were trained to intubate at both Hospitals. Method: The therapists were required to complete the initial intubation program and maintain annual competency in an on-going basis as a condition of employment. The initial training included policy/procedure review, required completion of a 20 question written exam, manikin practice, and a 3 day OR rotation. After the initial training all staffs are required to complete a minimum of 5 intubations annually, which may be a combination of manikin and/or patient. Tracking sheets are distributed at the beginning of each year and turned in prior to their annual performance appraisal is completed. Failure of completion requires follow-up training in the OR. Each therapist is expected to increase the number of patient intubations incrementally each year. Results: In the first 2 years of the program the therapist have intubated 135 patients (94 during the initial training in 2010 & 41 during the 2011 skills retention year. No complications due to intubation by Respiratory have been reported for 2 years. Rate for successful intubation on initial attempt by RT is 85%. Conclusion: All 4 Pulmonologist were surveyed after 2 years of the program’s inception and all answered “yes” that having Respiratory trained to intubate improves safety and is a valuable program to maintain. Sponsored Research - None