Texas Health Southwest Respiratory Therapist Among First to Earn New Specialty Credential

FORT WORTH, Texas — Sheli Clements, a registered respiratory therapist at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth, is one of fewer than 175 therapists in the United States to have earned the Adult Critical Care Specialty credential.

The new credential was implemented in July 2012 and is administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care. Candidates must have already earned the RRT credential and have advanced knowledge in the field of respiratory care, with an emphasis on skills that are unique to adult critical care. In Texas, fewer than 20 therapists have earned the credential.

“Sheli is such a great therapist,” said Dan Perrine, manager of the cardiopulmonary/neurodiagnostics department at Texas Health Southwest. “She has that rare combination of knowledge, skills and compassion that patients can truly appreciate. Having earned this credential is a wonderful accomplishment for her, and a definite asset to the hospital.”

Clements, a native of Fort Worth, has worked for Texas Health Resources for 22 years, starting out as a pharmacy technician. To earn the Adult Critical Care Specialty credential, she passed an exam consisting of 170 questions.

“I studied for six months,” she said. “I carried this big book around with me, and I probably drove everybody crazy. I work the night shift at Texas Health Southwest, and we have a great team, we all help each other. And when I found out I had passed, I was jumping up and down.”

Respiratory therapists work with health care professionals to assist patients who have chronic breathing problems and cardiopulmonary disorders, including asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema, as well as patients who have had heart attacks, lung cancer, or been in an accident.

Practitioners in the Texas Health Southwest cardiopulmonary/neurodiagnostics department perform intensive care, critical care and neonatal procedures in all areas of the hospital. The hospital recently began offering bronchial thermoplasty, a relatively new treatment that has been extremely effective for individuals with specific types of severe asthma.

Texas Health Southwest also is an accredited acute heart failure center and an accredited cycle 3 chest pain center.

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth is a 222-bed acute care, full-service facility that has provided quality and compassionate care to the residents of southwest Tarrant County for more than two decades. The hospital’s services include surgical and imaging services, a 24-hour emergency department, orthopedics and sports therapy, adult critical care, and a Level III neonatal intensive care unit. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Southwest Forth Worth has 992 employees, 120 volunteers, and 578 members on the medical staff. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL (1-877-847-9355), or visit TexasHealth.org/Southwest.