Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a medical treatment that enhances the body’s natural healing process by inhalation of 100 percent oxygen in a total body chamber, where atmospheric pressure is increased and controlled. It is used for a wide variety of treatments usually as a part of an overall medical care plan.
Q: Why did you go into this career?
A: I chose this career because I like to care for people. I love being able to teach and help people learn about the disease process and ways to make them heal.
Q: What services do you provide?
A: Hyperbarics, wound care, pain management procedures, outpatient transfusions.
Q: What makes this area of medicine fulfilling for you?
A: Hyperbarics is thrilling. When you talk about hyperbarics, most people are skeptical. Once we show them cases where people have had hyperbarics and it has healed them, they become believers. Also, when a patient has gone through radiation and is having problems or going for surgery of the radiated area, we use hyperbarics to oxygenate the tissue, before and after the procedure, to ensure healthy healing.
Debbie Ravel, RN is a Certified Hyperbaric Nurse for Health First based in Palm Bay.
Q: When did you realize this was the right medical career path for you?
A: I have always been open to learning new areas of nursing. There are so many to choose from. Once I took over hyperbarics and saw the wonderful results it provided, I knew it was right for me. I, along with our hyperbaric team, worked hard to be accredited with the Undersea Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS). This is a two-day survey every three years. It was great when we passed! Our team consisted of Certified Hyperbaric Registered Nurses and Certified Hyperbaric Technicians, and hyperbaric board-certified physicians.
Q: What’s the latest advancement in your field that will benefit patients?
A: The newer diagnoses that are approved through CMS Medicare for treatment are Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss and Central Retinal Artery Occlusion. Hyperbarics has also healed many patients suffering from Chronic Refractory Osteomyelitis (bone infection), delayed radiation injuries to soft tissue and bones and Diabetic ulcers.
Q: What is your best advice for current and potential patients?
A: Hyperbarics is a commitment. It is Monday through Friday for 30 treatments, usually. Perseverance and compliance equals healing and satisfaction.
Health pro: Improving lives with the gift of sound
Know Your Health Pro
Who: Debbie Ravel, RN; Certified Hyperbaric Nurse (CHRN); Wound Care Certification (WCC)
Where you’re based: Health First Wound Care & Hyperbarics, 5191 Babcock St NE, Palm Bay.
Education: Associate of Science from Eastern Florida State College.
Professional background: Emergency Room, Ambulatory Surgery, Pain Management, Wound Care and Hyperbarics.
By Wayne T. Price, Florida Today
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