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We all have asked ourselves...

The development of staffing criteria of the hyperbaric service requires the consideration of several factors to ensure that each treatment is given safely.  Frequently this process begins with the question of staff to patient ratio. That is, how many staff members do we need to operate three monoplace chambers?  While staffing ratios are important they should not be the first consideration. Consider these following questions:

  • Who is our Medical Director?
  • What level of involvement will or does the Medical Director have on daily operations and hyperbaric safety?
  • Have you designated a Safety Director?
  • What level of collaboration is expected between the Safety Director and the Medical Director? 
  • What are your requirements and qualifications for hyperbaric team members? 
  • What is your requirement for certification of qualified team members, CHRN or CHT within 1 year of qualification?
  • How many of the wound care staff have attended or will be attending a UHMS approved introductory hyperbaric medicine course?
  • What are your hours of operation? Will you be treating emergent cases? 

Hyperbaric Program Staffing Guidelines and Resources

Staffing of the hyperbaric medicine department is the responsibility of the Nurse Manager and/ or Program Manager, Medical Director with collaboration from the Safety Director to ensure compliance with the Safety Program Guidelines. The hyperbaric medicine team is a multidisciplinary group of healthcare professionals, institutionally credentialed with training and qualification(s) in the safe provision of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. It is necessary to identify the roles and responsibilities of the physician(s), nurses and allied health professionals that staff the program. See topics " HBO Medical Staff Credentialing Guidelines" and "Hyperbaric Medicine - Job Descriptions & Training Guidelines" (Free topics that list premium topics on these subjects)

These are a just fraction of the questions and considerations as you begin the process in the development of your staffing guidelines. Further detail is discussed in the topic "Hyperbaric Program Staffing Guidelines" and in WoundReference HBO Knowledge Base under Hyperbaric Oxygen Operations (Premium content). Specific questions can be submitted to our advisory panel through Curbside Consult (Premium tool). For more information on premium plans, see "Plans".

About the Authors

With over four decades of healthcare experience, Jeff currently holds the position of Principal Partner at Midwest Hyperbaric LLC and the Co-founder and Chief Clinical Officer of Wound Reference. Jeff has excelled in critical care throughout his career, devoting almost a decade as a Flight Respiratory Therapist/Paramedic for the Spirit of Kansas City Life Flight. In 1993, Jeff transitioned into the field of Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Care, where he committed 21 years of his career to serving as the Program Director for a 24/7 Level 1 UHMS Accredited facility with Distinction. In this role, he continued to provide patient care while overseeing all administrative, clinical, and daily operations within the Wound Care and Hyperbaric Facility. Jeff is a Registered Respiratory Therapist and a Certified Hyperbaric Technologist (CHT). He has also undergone training as a UHMS Safety Director and a UHMS Facility Accreditation Surveyor. Jeff currently serves as a member of the UHMS Accreditation Council, the UHMS Accreditation Forum Expert Panel, and the UHMS Safety Committee. Additionally, he is an esteemed member of the NFPA 99 Hyperbaric and Hypobaric Facilities Technical Standards Committee. Jeff's dedication to the field has earned him numerous prestigious awards. In 2010, he received the Gurnee Award, which honored his outstanding contributions to undersea and hyperbaric medicine. Three years later, in 2013, he was awarded the Paul C. Baker Award for his commitment to Hyperbaric Oxygen Safety Excellence. Most recently, in 2020, Jeff was honored with "The Associates Distinguished Service Award (UHMSADS)," a recognition reserved for exceptional Associate members of the Society who have demonstrated exceptional professionalism and contributions deserving of the highest accolades.
An Advanced Certified Hyperbaric Registered Nurse and Certified Wound Specialist with expertise in billing, coding and reimbursement specific to hyperbaric medicine and wound care services. UHMS Accreditation Surveyor and Safety Director. Principal partner of Midwest Hyperbaric LLC, a hyperbaric and wound consultative service. Tiffany received her primary and advanced hyperbaric training through National Baromedical Services in Columbia South Carolina. In 2021, Tiffany received the UHMS Associate Distinguished Service Award. "This award is presented to individual Associate member of the Society whose professional activities and standing are deemed to be exceptional and deserving of the highest recognition we can bestow upon them . . . who have demonstrated devotion and significant time and effort to the administrative, clinical, mechanical, physiological, safety, technical practice, and/or advancement of the hyperbaric community while achieving the highest level of expertise in their respective field. . . demonstrating the professionalism and ethical standards embodied in this recognition and in the UHMS mission.”
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