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Spotlight on Respiratory Therapists

We often hear about the role our doctors and nurses play in caring for COVID-19 patients. One group you might not hear as much about, but is just as vital, is our team of more than 1,400 skilled respiratory therapists from across the province.

Our respiratory therapists work in operating rooms as anesthesia assistants; perform pulmonary function testing; and work in home care, acute care, health prevention and promotion, and diagnostic imaging. They are critical parts of the care team, monitoring and caring for patients with breathing problems, which often goes hand-in-hand with a COVID-19 diagnosis.

They help manage airways in patients, maintain life support equipment, such as ventilators, insert and maintain artificial airways, teach patients how to use breathing devices, and so much more.

Joining me to tell us more about their role are:

  • Roberta Dubois, Practice Director, Provincial Respiratory Therapy, Health Professions Strategy & Practice
  • Nancy Van Der Velden, Registered Respiratory Therapist, Peter Lougheed Hospital
  • Karrie Whalen, Interim Professional Practice Lead and Registered Respiratory Therapist at the University of Alberta Hospital and Royal Alexandra Hospital