Respiratory Care

The Respiratory Care department of University Hospital and Children's Hospital is an integral part of the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The department encompasses three areas-respiratory therapy, pulmonary diagnostic laboratory, and special function blood gas laboratories. The department provides a full range of services to adult, pediatric, and neonatal customers on an inpatient and outpatient basis. In addition, the department is involved in many community service activities including rural community outreach programs.

Mission

The mission of the Respiratory Care Services department is consistent with that of University Hospital: to provide to the customers of New Mexico, timely, accessible, and innovative health care through a comprehensive range of patient care services, education and research opportunities. This shall be achieved, in tandem, with our department's vision to be the recognized clinical leader in the provision of Respiratory Care Services in the Southwest.

Providing clinical affiliation to various Respiratory Care training programs throughout New Mexico supports the educational component of our mission. In addition, department members are active participants in the Career Advancement Program (CAP), which advances the development and implementation of patient care and educational tools. The research component is supported through executed agreements between the Divisions of Adult and Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine, and between Adult and Pediatric Critical Care Medicine.

Services

The department's principal services include: Level I Trauma support for all types of adult, pediatric, and neonatal populations in mechanical ventilation, aerosolized medication delivery, bronchial hygiene therapy, emergent airway management, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, ventilator transport, and special gas mixture delivery. Laboratory and clinical investigation include bronchoscopy assistance, medication infusion, blood gas drawing and analysis, inhaled nitric oxide administration, metabolic and exercise testing, and pulmonary function testing. The combined departments perform approximately 375,000 procedures annually.

Organization

The Respiratory Care Department employs a centralized methodology from an organizational structure while also supporting area core Respiratory Care Practitioner philosophy in the critical care areas of adult, pediatric and neonatal respiratory care. A Career Advancement Program for educational and departmental advancements at three levels creates a great incentive program for staff to advance their education and skills. In addition, the department's management structure is very streamlined by design with one department director, four shift supervisors, and one Pulmonary Diagnostics Lab supervisor. This approach has promoted continuation of the centralized department organization structure.