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Respiratory Therapy

Cleveland Clinic, legendary for contributions to medical science, innovative therapeutics and medical education, offers an exciting work environment for Respiratory Therapists. Cleveland Clinic’s Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Respiratory Therapists are team oriented with a practice model that embodies boundaryless collaboration between services. In the Heart Center, Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Respiratory Therapists partner with the Anesthesia Institute's critical care physicians, anesthesiologists, surgeons, nurse practitioners, nurses, and other service providers to deliver world-class care and service in The Heart and Vascular Institute.

Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Respiratory Therapists are given a unique opportunity to work in exclusive world-renowned critical care and step-down settings. Our six Cardiovascular Intensive Care Units comprise a total of 76 beds. Our CVICU area is one of the largest of its kind in the country. The Respiratory Therapists in Cleveland Clinic’s Heart Center also serve a 24-bed Coronary Intensive Care Unit, a 10-bed Heart Failure Intensive Care Unit, a 13-bed CARU, and a 15-bed Short Stay Unit. Respiratory Care is also provided in The Heart Center’s 12 Step-Down areas which total 288 beds. The CVICU supports more than 20,000 patient-days per year. Additionally, Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Respiratory Therapists care for well over 100 lung transplant recipients every year. Our intensivist staff are board-certified Critical Care Physicians and Anesthesiologists. They provide daily clinical management in the CVICUs for patients requiring ventilatory support, cardiopulmonary therapeutics and advanced monitoring.

Cleveland Clinic's Heart Center has been ranked #1 in the United States by U.S. News & World Report since 1995. Our Heart & Vascular Institute is recognized as the world leader in cardiovascular care.

Phil Hanna Service Excellence Award

The Department of Cardiothoracic Anesthesia is committed to recognition of its high performers and there is no greater compliment than to be recognized by your peers. The Phil Hanna Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Respiratory Therapy Excellence Award was established in 2004 to recognize CTA Respiratory Therapists who distinguish themselves through exceptional professionalism and service.

Therapists submit nominations based upon specific criteria. A committee reviews the nominees and selects the recipient based upon each nominees individual merits. Each recipient honored will have exceeded the department’s basic expectations, promoted professionalism in respiratory therapy and enhanced the quality of patient care at Cleveland Clinic. One therapist is recognized quarterly and is awarded a monetary award.

The Future

Since 2008, when the Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute opened, the Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Respiratory Therapy Department has been involved in several exciting and engaging career opportunities for motivated professionally minded individuals. Moving forward our Respiratory Therapist will participate in innovative therapies and integral policy and procedure updates such as:

  • Expansion of Lung transplant team with the continuous development of new policies and procedures
  • Expansion into additional Research such as Ex Vivo Lung Reconditioning and Transplantation
  • Life-long learning via educational opportunities offered in the Heart Center
Learn More

CTA Respiratory Therapists work with state-of-the-art equipment, use advanced clinical techniques, participate in research and help develop and utilize patient-driven protocols.

  • Variety of innovative respiratory care modalities
    • Airway clearance
    • Indirect Calorimetry
    • Nitric Oxide therapy
    • Flolan Therapy
    • Mini bronchoalveolar lavage
  • Advanced mechanical ventilation modalities with fast-track weaning
  • Assistance with mechanical ventilation management in the operating room
  • Assistance with product development for ground-breaking equipment
  • Test site for new medical products
  • Utilization of capnography monitoring to promote fast-track weaning
  • Protocols specific to the lung transplant population

Respiratory therapists in the Department of Cardiothoracic Anesthesia pride themselves on teamwork. They work closely with the nurses and physicians to function as a critical care team and provide the best care for their patients. In this constructive work environment, respiratory therapists collaborate with the cardiovascular intensive care unit anesthesiologists on the plan of care for each patient. The therapists function independently, using patient-driven, evidence-based protocols and care plans in the treatment of these critical patients.

The Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Respiratory Therapy Team has established committees to discuss issues that are important within the department. Everyone has a voice and can be actively engaged in decisions that are made within the department. Some committees include:

Equipment Committee

Technology in respiratory care is continuously changing. The purpose and goal of this committee is to evaluate the technology and equipment which will best suit the patient population and the department. The members of this committee strive to meet Cleveland Clinic’s mission of putting “patients first” by trialing new and innovative therapies in respiratory care.

Engagement and Recognition Committee

The engagement and recognition committees provide a great base for our teamwork in the department. They organize social events as well as quarterly meals within the group. They encourage and stimulate cohesiveness between therapists. This teamwork and relationship building carries through onto our patient care areas where our therapists help each other and work toward the common goal of world class care.

Career Development and Education Committees

The career development and educational committees are responsible for seeking out and providing opportunities for education and professional development, both inside and outside the hospital setting. These committees help facilitate talks given by our own respiratory therapists as well as physicians and other support staff. These talks keep the department up to date with current and advanced concepts in the field of respiratory care. It is their mission to bring and keep all of our therapists on the same education and skill level.

Lung Transplant Committee

The vision of the Lung Transplant Respiratory Therapy Team is to provide current best practice models and individualized evidence-based therapeutic options to the lung transplant recipient. The Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Respiratory Therapy Lung Transplant Team maintains compliance with existing patient care protocols. The Team continually coordinates evolving evidence supported care to the lung transplant recipient in a patient-centric, context driven fashion. This team continuously refines and develops new protocols to enhance both patient care and the patient experience. Our Lung Team is committed to the prevention of all forms of Ventilator Associated Lung Injury, the enhancement and protection of graft function as well as the restoration of optimal lung function for our patients.

Research Committee

The research committee participates in studies within the department as well as collaborates with physicians and other departments to produce quality studies to further the advancements in respiratory care. Our department strives to be the leader in evidenced based practice.

Respiratory therapists in the Cleveland Clinic Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Department are encouraged to be active members in their professional organization. Department benefits include up to two paid meeting days per year plus a meeting allowance. American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) memberships are reimbursed for all full-time and regular part-time employees.