Ed Solecki, CRTT, never wanted to become a Respiratory Therapist (RT) but it was his father’s dream for all eleven (11!) of his children. When Ed was a child, his father retired from the firehouse and pursued a second career as an RT. Ed’s father took great pride in his new career and encouraged every one of his children to join him in the field.
“My dad always said: Whatever you’re doing, do your best,” recalls Ed. His father is no longer alive but Ed continues to live these words every day.
Ed has been working as an RT for the last thirty years. Early in his career, he worked alongside his father at a local hospital. Ed has also worked as an RT in the ER and ICU at many area hospitals – and as a medic at Air Angels and an organ recovery coordinator at Gift of Hope.
Ed is one of seven licensed Respiratory Care Practitioners at Independence Plus’ Home Respiratory Medical Equipment division. Talking about his position as an RT at Independence Plus, he says, “I like reaching out into the world and meeting people – doing what I can to make a difference in someone’s life.”
Our Respiratory Care Practitioners manage every patient’s care start to finish from creating a home care plan to training the family and caregivers on operating the complex respiratory medical equipment. Every month, our Respiratory Care Practitioners visit patients to perform a respiratory assessment, check on the hi-tech equipment, and deliver new supplies.
Saving the Day
Recently, Ed was recognized for his responsive and competent clinical skills. He took a patient call early one morning and discovered one of our ventilator patients was struggling to pass a catheter down their tracheostomy tube. The patient was very anxious – and upset.
Ed quickly decided to go directly to the patient’s home, and cautioned the patient’s caregiver to call 911 if the patient had difficulty breathing. When he arrived at the home, the patient’s ventilator pressures were increasing and the patient and caregiver were alarmed.
Ed tried to pass the catheter – and could not. At that point, he knew he needed to perform an emergency trach change. While removing the trach tube, Ed discovered that the cuff had ruptured over the distal (far) end of the tube, partially obstructing the patient’s airway. Ed inserted the new trach tube, and placed the patient back on the ventilator.
The patient immediately calmed and the ventilating pressures went back to normal.
“Ed’s quick response prevented this patient from a hospital visit,” says Kathy Keating, CRT, RCP, Ed’s direct supervisor and Respiratory Operations Manager at Independence Plus.
Respiratory Care Week 2013
“I was blessed with good decision-making skills in stressful situations,” explains Ed. He continues, “That’s why I became an RT.”
We want to recognize all Respiratory Care Practitioners during National Respiratory Care Week, October 20 to 26. Thank you for the life-saving interventions you perform every day.
Do you have a clinician you’d like to recognize? Tell us here!