Synopsis

Our Respiratory Care department is a large department consisting of 130 respiratory therapists, all with varying skill sets. Depending on the shift and day of the week, we staff 20-25 therapists plus supervisors.  We care for 40 to 45 ventilated patients, administer about 600 therapeutic treatments and perform 40 arterial blood gases on any given day at Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC).  Along with all of the other duties we perform — including bronchoscopies, a-line insertions, hemodynamic monitoring, intra-aortic balloon pumping and airway management — this can make for an intensely busy day or night for the therapists in our department. In the early morning hours of June 12, 2016, we had one supervisor and 20 therapists with an appropriate mix of skill sets for the areas in which they were assigned. This would have been adequate for a normal weekend night, but as it would turn out, this weekend night would become far from normal.