In recognition of Respiratory Care Week, October 21 – 27, 2018, and the vital role that respiratory therapists (RT) play in positive patient outcomes, Dräger has donated 33 Babylog VN500 Ventilators to RT schools throughout the U.S. This marks the fourth year of Dräger’s RT school donation program, which began in 2014.
Healthcare organizations have a growing need for qualified respiratory therapists (RT) to care for patients suffering from conditions and diseases that impact cardiopulmonary function. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 23 percent through 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Respiratory therapy (RT) schools are challenged with educating this next generation of professionals on the latest techniques and technologies so they are prepared to meet the demands of today’s healthcare environment.
“We want our RT program graduates to be fully prepared for the challenges they will face in patient care settings, and for healthcare organizations to recognize our school for its commitment to exceptional education,” said Monica Schibig, MA, RRT-NPS, CPFT, respiratory therapy program director, University of Missouri at Columbia. “In order to meet these goals, we must provide students the opportunity to train on advanced technologies. We are thankful to Dräger for its ventilator donation and the company’s ongoing commitment to the RT profession.”
One specific area of care where RTs have a significant impact is the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) caring for newborns suffering from respiratory issues. However, a recent survey of ventilation practices in the NICU found RTs in the U.S. need greater education and experience with volume-targeted ventilation (VTV), which can reduce the risk for lung injury in preterm babies. In a recent survey of U.S. neonatologists, only 39 percent of respondents used VTV as a primary mode of ventilation, with 62 percent citing lack of understanding or lack of training/experience as their main barriers to using this new standard of care.
“We have long been committed to the RT profession and recognize that in order to enhance respiratory care delivery at the bedside, we need to support education and training of new RTs well before they receive their diplomas,” said Edwin Coombs, MA, RRT-NPS, ACCS, FAARC, director of marketing, Intensive Care, Dräger. “We hope that this latest donation of Babylog VN500 Ventilators will help RT students gain valuable knowledge and experience on advanced ventilation techniques to support positive outcomes in the NICU.”
 A. Gupta and M. Keszler, Survey of Ventilation Practices in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units of the United States and Canada: Use of Volume-Targeted Ventilation and Barriers to Its Use, American Journal of Perinatology, September 2018.