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Respiratory Therapy

Early diagnosis of any respiratory issue can help prevent them from becoming severe! Here at Myrtue Medical Center (MMC), we provide respiratory care close to home and in a comfortable environment.

Respiratory Therapy is a health specialty focused on the treatment, management, and care of the lungs and respiratory system. There are many different types of respiratory therapy, some of which include:

  • Long-term care
  • Neonatal-pediatrics
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation / testing
  • Cardiac rehabilitation / testing
  • Polysomnography
  • Critical care

nurse with tube

The respiratory system includes your airways, lungs, and blood vessels, as well as the muscles that power your lungs. All these different parts work together to move oxygen throughout the body and clean out waste gases like carbon dioxide. Some additional functions of the respiratory system include:

  • Allows you to talk and smell
  • Warms air to match your body temperature and moisturizes it to the humidity level your body needs
  • Delivers oxygen to the cells in your body
  • Removes waste gases, including carbon dioxide, from the body when you exhale
  • Protects your airways from harmful substances and irritants

Respiratory Care Team

Our Respiratory Care team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide patients at Myrtue Medical Center with all aspects of respiratory care. We are lucky to have four Respiratory Therapists:

  • John Petsche, BA, RRT, Director of Respiratory Therapy
  • Mary Vogt, BS, RRT
  • Susan King, CRT
  • Dennis Mumm, RRT
  • Tawnya Holdsworth, Cardiac Technician
  • Susan Erlbacher BS, RRT, PSGT

This health team provides services in all areas of the hospital; Emergency Department, Inpatient, Birthing Center, Outpatient Surgery + Specialty Clinic, and the Rural Health Clinic. These specialists work closely with a patient’s doctor and care team to diagnose and monitor their condition. They are available 24/7 and are ready to help whenever they are called!

Myrtue’s respiratory team provides additional services to patients in the following areas:

  • Cardiac testing
    • Stress tests, cardiac monitoring (holter + events), etc.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Pulmonary testing
  • Sleep Testing

Sleep Lab

Our sleep lab is a diagnostic center that is used to identify sleep disorders such as restless leg syndrome and obstructive and central sleep apnea disorders that prevent you from achieving restful and restorative sleep. It is important to take sleep disorders seriously because they can have a significant impact on your overall health and well-being. If you're experiencing symptoms of daytime sleepiness or other sleep-related issues, talk to your doctor about the possibility of taking the ESS or other screening tests. By identifying and treating sleep disorders early on, you can improve your quality of life and reduce your risk of developing other health problems.

An Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) is a widely used tool for measuring daytime sleepiness. It consists of eight questions that ask individuals to rate their likelihood of falling asleep in various situations, such as sitting and reading or watching TV. The total scores range from 0 to 24, with higher scores indicating greater levels of daytime sleepiness. View a sample of the ESS here.

Dr. Brian Anderson is our sleep lab’s medical director and Susan Erlbacher is our respiratory therapist certified in sleep testing. John Petsche is the Director of Respiratory Therapy and oversees the lab’s function and operation.

Sleep Lab Accreditation with ACHC

In October 2023, MMC's Sleep Lab achieved re-accreditation through the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) for the services of the Respiratory Therapy Sleep Lab. Accreditation by ACHC reflects an organization’s dedication and commitment to meeting standards that facilitate higher levels of performance and patient care.

“The 2023 ACHC accreditation achievement is a reflection and testament to our sleep lab’s high-quality care and service,” stated John Petsche, BA, RRT, Director of Respiratory Therapy. “Myrtue Medical Center’s sleep lab has a 95% customer satisfaction rating and a 98% scoring accuracy by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in providing the highest standard of care to our patients.”

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