For 25 years Edita Almonte worked as a Respiratory Therapist and managed different areas within respiratory care, emergency and critical care including the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Today, she is part of Getinge’s product management team, who participates in the development of ventilators. Just like the ones she used to work with to save the lives of critically ill and premature newborn babies.
Edita Almonte sometimes asks herself if she is dreaming. That’s how privileged she feels about her work-life journey so far.
“I am a trained and well experienced Respiratory Therapist. During my 25 years in the NICU, I have managed and worked alongside other health care professionals to help diagnose different lung and breathing disorders and recommend appropriate treatment methods and therapies. I also managed ventilators and artificial airway devices for patients who cannot breathe normally on their own,” Edita explains.
She has always had a passion for helping others, especially those who are critically ill. And despite of the challenges in the health care system, such as high workload and shortage of staff, she considers it one of the greatest professions there is.
“The amount and nature of work can be intense and exhausting, but in return it’s very rewarding to see the patients survive or improve. The joy of saving lives is immeasurable. I´m also passionate about using the latest and most advanced technologies not only to help save lives, but also to improve long term outcomes.”
Edita describes the NICU as a highly specialized area where a team of skilled neonatologists, nurses, Respiratory Therapists and other health care professionals work tightly together to take care of all sick babies; from very small and vulnerable premature babies to sick term babies.
“The Respiratory Therapists in the NICU manage artificial airways, ventilate and perform resuscitation of neonates who are near to death. It’s challenging, busy and stressful as neonates can be the most difficult patients to ventilate. They are very tiny, fragile and their condition can change rapidly, so they require careful assessment, continuous monitoring and expert management to avoid the risk of harming their eyes, lungs, brain and other vital organs that may lead to long term damage.”
Edita has many memories from working in the NICU that she will never forget.
“One that lies especially close to my heart is when I resuscitated my niece. She was born premature weighing only 800 grams and she survived.”
Five years ago Edita brought all her knowledge and expertise to the drawing table when she joined Getinge as a Global Clinical Applications Manager. She is now part of the team that brought Servo ventilators and the groundbreaking Neurally Adjusted Ventilatory Assist (NAVA) technology to the market.
“It feels highly motivating to be able to bring my experience and expertise as a user into the actual product development. Our goal is to deliver the best, safest and most gentle ventilation for the NICU in every phase of their disease process and focus on both short and long term outcome.”
“The most amazing part is to actually see the products we have developed save patients and ease the work of the fantastic staff in NICUs at hospitals around the world.”
About Edita Almonte:
Edita Almonte holds a Master of Science in Health Care Administration, is a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) and a Neonatal & Pediatric Specialist (NPS). She is an active member and an International Fellow of the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) and has been a board member of the Canadian Journal for Respiratory Care.