Respiratory Care Student Shares His Experience at Independence Plus



Rush University Medical Center’s respiratory care students, Thulasi Shamasundar, Christina Patel, and Melissa Flosi posing in our Education Room before an in-service this week.

As a respiratory care student in the Master of Science program at Rush University Medical Center, I had the opportunity to participate in clinical rotations at four different medical sites over the course of eight weeks.

While most respiratory care students don’t get the privilege of participating in a home care rotation, we spent one week at Independence Plus, Inc., a leading provider of skilled hourly (RN/LPN) home nursing, home health visits, and respiratory home medical equipment.

During our clinical rotation at Independence Plus, we worked directly with the respiratory therapists and felt welcomed by the entire staff.

Even as a student, I was encouraged to join and contribute to the company’s daily morning meetings, which included discussions about their respiratory care patients. The morning meetings were a good example of how the company is focused on providing the highest quality of care for its patients.

I was pleased to find that, similar to Rush University Medical Center, Independence Plus always puts the patient first! And their patient focus did not stop at the office.

While working with each of the respiratory therapists, I was very impressed at how they interacted with the patients and families to ensure that the lines of communication were open and that the whole family was involved in the plan of care. This is vital for home care because, more often than not, family members are the primary caregivers in the home. In addition, the high level of interaction with the clinical nurse manager at Independence Plus ensured continuity of care.

On-going education is also a major element of Independence Plus’ success. During the week I was there, I participated in an in-service on a new cough-assist device. This demonstrated their desire to keep everyone informed about the latest equipment and standards of care.

After this experience at Independence Plus, I would definitely consider working in the home care industry in the future.

This guest blog post was written by Troy Ellens, RRT, on February 4, 2013. Troy graduated from Rush University Medical Center’s Masters of Science in Respiratory Care in May 2013. He currently works as a Respiratory Therapist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.


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