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COVID-19 Behind the Scenes: Respiratory Therapy at Cape Coral Hospital (CCH)

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Author name: Lee Health
Cape Hospital respiratory therapy picBen Newman, Respiratory Therapist, Cape Coral Hospital, puts on a gown before entering a patient’s room in the ICU. Ensuring proper personal protection equipment (PPE) is critical for the health and safety of both the patient and staff.

“Our job is to pick up the patients when they fall,” says Ben Newman, respiratory therapist at Cape Coral Hospital. 

RTs have always been there for the frailest cardiac, stroke and surgical patients to help improve lung function and quality of life. We’d like to celebrate and honor these amazing teams for #RespiratoryCareWeek, which took place Oct. 24-30. 

Ben started his respiratory therapist career two years ago, at the tip of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I remember attending orientation for Lee Health and, next thing I know, there is a pandemic hitting our country,” says Ben. “Panic surrounded us, as so much was unknown.”

Even though uncertainty flooded the world, our respiratory therapists fought vigilantly on the frontlines alongside other healthcare personnel, helping our patients breathe. 

“It is hard to leave behind what you see at work, but, thankfully, I have a great team here and a supportive family at home,” says Ben. “The community has also been amazing with countless donations, and we always love when the firemen come through our parking lot, shining their lights and bringing banners to support us.”

During the pandemic, there have been new employees at Lee Health ready to join the fight. Christian Vallejo joined CCH two months ago as a respiratory therapist, knowing what he was getting himself into. 

“I did not know much about this position until my wife, who is a nurse at Gulf Coast Medical Center, introduced me to some of her respiratory therapist friends,” says Christian. “While I was studying, the pandemic motivated me even more to finish school because I knew we were desperately needed.” 

We want to thank the respiratory therapists who play a vital role in ensuring optimal care for their patients’ lung health and quality of life. This has been a difficult time, and we applaud you for your unwavering dedication and passion to provide essential care to patients of all ages. 

We are #LeeHealthStrong and #RTStrong #RCWeek21