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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

Jeff Mize, RRT, CHT, UHMSADS
Jeff is a Principal Partner with Midwest Hyperbaric LLC and is the Co-founder and Chief Clinical Officer for Wound Reference. Jeff is a Registered Respiratory Therapist, a Certified Hyperbaric Technologist (CHT) by the National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology, a Certified Wound Care Associate (CWCA) by the American Academy of Wound Management. After receiving primary hyperbaric training from National Baromedical Services he trained as a UHMS Safety Director and is a UHMS Facility Accreditation Surveyor. He is the 2010 recipient of the Gurnee Award and the 2013 recipient of the Paul C. Baker Award for Hyperbaric Oxygen Safety Excellence. He has also served on the UHMS Board of Directors (2010-2015) In 2020, Jeff received "The Associates Distinguished Service award (UHMSADS). "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.”
Tiffany Hamm, BSN, RN, CWS, ACHRN, UHMSADS
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
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