Respiratory Care Week
Last year my department team members absolutely loved Respiratory Care Week. They said we knocked it out of the park and they had never had a Respiratory Care Week like that before. Here is what we did and you can too.
1) Create a committee
Creating a committee early on (by August if you can) will allow for changes of ideas and committee members. Solicit volunteers from staff members. Initially we started off by choosing team members to be on the planning committee but we found that getting volunteers worked better.
2) Choose a theme for your Respiratory Care Week event
Most people think well the theme is respiratory care, it is but by fine tuning from that initial theme you can tailor your events, food, decorations and swag around it.
3) Contact vendors
Contact vendors for your event as early as possible and get them on board with your theme. The vendors who attended our event last year had a blast and said they had never seen such a well planned out event.
4) Co-ordinate prizes, decorations and food very early
Have one person who is the POC on each shift for food deliveries and supplies related to the food (eating utensils, plates, etc). This will assure food is on time and supplies are available to serve them on. For our decorations we came in and decorated our department the Saturday eve of the start of Respiratory Care Week. This allowed us to get the festivities started bright and early the next morning as well as hyping up staff for the coming week.
5) Photos as your #RespiratoryCareWeek unfolds
Designate at least one to two people on each shift to take photos out side of what staff will take themselves. If you can, get one of those electronic photo frames that loop through the photos on the memory card that you can pop inside of it. All of this helps to boost the mood of the staff.
Within the committee we had a team member from our day shift and one from night shift, a team member from management and other volunteers. They gave us input and feedback and suggestions on things to help make our week successful. For example many mentioned that events in the past made the night shift team fill left out. Our representative from the night shift helped us to make sure events and food were evenly distributed between the two shifts. Team members also expressed making sure our Respiratory Care Week event was about respiratory, keeping our week about our team and not about the hospital/then us. We wanted it to be our week.
Ideas from our committee included:
Our slogan, RT scavenger hunt, Triva quizzes, prizes, food ideas and banner to display out in front of the hospital for Respiratory Care Week.
Respiratory themed swag for the staff:
You could do raffle prizes for a gift basket or smaller respiratory therapy themed swag (mugs, cups, hats, t-shirts). For example have multiple respiratory themed games (trivia, scavenger hunt, team building) with a raffle ticket as the prize. Staff drop their winning tickets in a bowl or box at the end of their shift and xyz number of winners are drawn for that days prizes.
Be sure to include items that are available to everyone to commemorate your #RespiratoryCareWeek. One item we did was chip bag favors that included our theme on them.
Respiratory Care Week Theme ideas:
Last year our slogan was “Respiratory Therapy, the team you need when you can’t breathe”. We used our slogan as our theme and had t-shirts done, decorations, foods with those colors and swag for the staff to take home.
This year’s theme is “Respiratory Therapy, changing lives one breath at a time”. Our committee has created a #photopropframe for staff to grab and take pictures during the day between their rounds, we have jackets this year instead of t-shirts, our food items co-ordinate with the color of our logo as well as our decorations.
Create a hashtag for your theme so that staff members can share it on their social media and make it searchable by other staff members online.
Other theme ideas are:
Every Breath You Take (colorful or unique lung pic for your theme), Ventilator Nerds if you’d like to go with a silly theme, and lastly We Know Peep.
Host a charity event:
Last year we held a school supply drive for a local elementary school and donated the items we collected during #RespiratoryCareWeek and delivered them the following week.
Respiratory Trivia questions
Have several respiratory related quick trivia questions posted around the department and in your RT ICU areas. One of the ones we used was a fill in the blank for different vent modes.
Group Photo Ops
Grab staff members through out the shift and get them to take group photos. Upload photos to your electronic photo frame if you have one or place photos in a department photo album for staff to look at.
Do short recordings of your staff enjoying Respiratory Care Week, then show the recordings at a staff meeting.
If you really want to pump up your group have a photo frame prop done with your theme and allow the staff to take selfies with photo props.
Raffle For #RTswag
Sometimes its not possible to give bigger prizes to every staff member. Having a raffle for prizes is a fun and creative way to give out the #RTswag you do have. See my suggestion up above under (Respiratory themed swag for the staff) on ways to give out tickets.
I hope I have given you some fun ideas to create your own event.
Lastly don’t forget to enjoy #RespiratoryCareWeek yourself!