The topic of staff development is presented in chapter nine (Salyer, 2008). It is an effort by the director or manager of the respiratory unit to enhance the effectiveness of staff members. Accordingly, these are the activities that facilitate a staff member's understanding of their duties and responsibilities in addition to developing competencies that are paramount to their professional and personal goals. Salyer (2008) indicates that the ideal therapist in the respiratory care department should be well-trained, motivated, supported, and supervised. The chapter is fundamental to the Respiratory Care Department since it documents the vital elements of staff development. These include communication, credentials, hiring, recruitment, retention, setting salaries, orientation, in-service training and education, and performance appraisals. Herein is an explanation of some of the elements of staff development and their importance to the Respiratory Care Department.
Respiratory care therapists care for patients suffering from cardiopulmonary illnesses or people who suffer from breathing difficulties (Kacmarek, Stoller, Heuer, & Egan, 2013). As such, one needs to communicate effectively with the patient as well as the nurses and pulmonologists with who they are in collaboration. Respiratory therapists need to write reports on a patients progress besides noting down information on their medications. Innately, one needs to document these legibly. Further, the therapist will be in constant oral communication with the patient and doctors. Therefore, it is essential to master excellent verbal communication skills which include clarity and creating an opportunity to ask and answer questions for clarity. According to Salyer (2008), if therapists communicate over the phone, the recipient should record and recite the order or result for clarity. Also, clinical communication requires a standardized list of abbreviations and acronyms to ward off any chances of misinterpretation. Markerboard messages and bulletin boards are examples of the mechanics of interaction that the Respiratory Care Department can incorporate to improve the clarity of information.
The hiring process is essential to any organization as it presents an opportunity to employ people who are eligible for a job. The department leadership should be trained so that they are equipped with hiring skills. Failure to this results in an endless cycle of recruitment and hiring (Salyer, 2008). Those responsible for the hiring process should pay attention to features such as the neatness of ones application form, the grade point average in respiratory therapy school, and the work history. In the case of a one-on-one interview, the interviewer should be keen on ones appearance. The cost of orientation and training for newly hired employees is relatively high. Consequently, the Respiratory Care Department should focus on retaining its employees. It is made possible if the respiratory therapists are well compensated for their services. Furthermore, the healthcare profession, unlike any other, requires individuals to work at night, on holidays, and weekends. As such, it is necessary to develop a reasonably fair scheduling system so that the employees are not subjected to any form of biases (Salyer, 2008). Therapists should work shifts that they are most comfortable with so that they deliver high-quality services instead of spending time grumbling.
All in all, communication, the hiring process, and retention are weighty subjects in staff development. Effective oral and written communication reduces the possibility of miscommunication. The Respiratory Care Department can embrace marker board messages and bulletin boards to eradicate cases of misdiagnosis. The leaders in this department should possess sufficient hiring skills so that they can quickly identify candidates who are eligible for various posts. Upon recruitment, the departments management should go an extra mile to compensate the specialists for their services and creating flexible scheduling systems so that all the specialists work in an enabling environment.
Kacmarek, R. M., Stoller, J. K., Heuer, A. J., & Egan, D. F. (2013). Egan's fundamentals of respiratory care. St. Louis, Mo: Elsevier/Mosby.
Salyer, J. W. (2008). Managing the respiratory care department. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett.
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