Respiratory Therapy

The respiratory therapy department at Hillcrest Hospital Cushing provides inpatient care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The department offers both therapeutic and diagnostic services as well as a variety of educational services. Every Hillcrest respiratory therapist is licensed by both the State of Oklahoma and nationally by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. (NBRC).

Outpatient services offered by the respiratory therapy department include sleep study diagnostics, pulmonary function testing and blood gas analysis.

Sleep Study Diagnostics

Hillcrest Hospital Cushing Sleep Lab Department, in partnership with Oklahoma Heart Institute Sleep Care, offers sleep medicine services. Oklahoma Heart Institute Sleep Care is the only center in northeastern Oklahoma accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

Through this partnership, Hillcrest Hospital Cushing can offer services designed to help identify many sleep disorders as well as several state-of-art treatments and therapies to improve your quality of sleep.

During sleep apnea there is a tendency to stop breathing for periods of time during sleep which results in the patient not getting the needed amount of oxygen and failing to get a restful night sleep. Symptoms of sleep apnea are:

  • Restless Sleep
  • Very loud snoring, sometimes interrupted by silence and then gasps
  • Falling asleep during activities
  • Morning headaches
  • Loss of energy
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Mood changes
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Impotency

If left untreated, sleep apnea and other related sleep disorders can lead to problems such as high blood pressure, stroke or heart disease. Sleep apnea can be successfully treated, but first it must be diagnosed. The definitive way to determine whether someone has sleep apnea is through an all night sleep study. Hillcrest Hospital Cushing performs sleep studies as often as six nights a week.

If you are concerned, you might have sleep apnea or any other sleep related disorder, please consult with your physician.

Pulmonary Function Testing

The Hillcrest Hospital Cushing respiratory therapy department offers outpatient and inpatient pulmonary function tests (sometimes referred to as spirometry). PFT's are useful in helping your doctor to diagnose certain types of lung disease and help determine why you may feel short of breath. They are especially useful in diagnosing and monitoring the status of patients with asthma, bronchitis, COPD and emphysema or to measure whether exposure to certain substances in the workplace or environment are affecting your lungs. These tests are also frequently used to assess the effectiveness of a specific breathing medication for an individual patient.

Pulmonary function tests, simply put, measure how well you can inhale and exhale compared to other people of your own age, height, weight and gender. The patient is given instructions and coached through a process that consists of breathing into a mouthpiece that is connected to a measuring device and a computer. The data is collected and the computer then graphs the information and compares the patient to what is considered a normal range. This information is printed and then given to your physician or a pulmonologist for professional interpretation.

At Hillcrest Hospital Cushing these tests are performed only by properly trained and Oklahoma State licensed respiratory care practitioners to ensure the accuracy of the results. If you often feel short of breath please visit your doctor. Only your physician can determine if pulmonary function tests are appropriate for you.