The Department of Cardiopulmonary Sciences (DCS) started the 2015 academic year with nine first-professional students, eight of whom graduated in August 2017. Born out of the desire to remain connected to alumni and promote advanced education in the field of respiratory therapy, a continuing education unit (CEU) event was organized.
On March 9, 2018, the DCS held its inaugural CEU event at the Palm Beach Campus. The event was in celebration of the Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences’ 25th anniversary, with special invitations sent out to the Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy (B.S.R.T.) alumni. Although the DCS is new and does not have an extensive list of alumni, several attended.
The morning began with registration of the attendees, which was conducted by our current B.S.R.T. students, followed by a light breakfast that allowed for a casual meet and greet. The chair of the DCS began the event by welcoming everyone to the Palm Beach Campus and introducing the faculty and staff members.
Six speakers from Broward Health North, Draeger, General Electric, Hamilton Medical, Macquet, and Percussionaire presented innovative topics in the respiratory care field. The educational event focused on sharpening respiratory therapists’ critical-care skills and discussing new modalities in mechanical ventilation.
Justin Tse, B.S., a clinical specialist from Hamilton Medical, provided informative insights on the use of the ventilator interface and how to properly evaluate patients’ tolerance of their current ventilator settings. Jennifer Wooley, M.S., a clinical nutrition specialist from General Electric, discussed the importance of indirect calorimetry in feeding critically ill patients and the impact on proper nutrition in weaning ventilator patients.
Patients who are underfed or overfed can have difficulties coming off the ventilator, which can lead to increased risk of developing pneumonia, as well as additional medical costs. It cannot be assumed that each patient’s caloric needs are the same, so this tool can provide valuable data.
Darren Hoffberger, D.O., FCCP, the NSU DCS medical director, spoke on the topic “Post Anesthesia Pulmonary Complications.” This topic directly affects respiratory therapists since they are often called to the recovery room when patients are unable to tolerate the removal of an endotracheal tube or are simply having difficulty breathing after surgery. Recognizing and managing such incidents is essential for ICU therapists. This lecture further stressed the importance of the respiratory therapist’s role in working collaboratively with physicians in critical-care settings.
Event attendees came from Broward Health Coral Springs, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Jupiter Medical Center, Kindred of Palm Beaches, and Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center. Several individuals commented that the event exceeded their expectations and expressed how impressed they were with the B.S.R.T. program’s state-of-the-art facility. The event’s success laid the groundwork for it becoming a recurring annual event.