SOMC’s Hyperbaric Therapy Chamber Amazes Both Patients and Staff

When Rosie Brown’s patients first see Southern Ohio Medical Center’s hyperbaric therapy chamber, it can sometimes catch them off guard.

“The patients are amazed when they walk in. It’s not like anything they’ve ever seen before,” Brown said.

She can relate to how her patients feel. Brown is a licensed practical nurse and hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) tech who has worked at SOMC formore than four years, but she said her work with hyperbaric therapy is unlike anything she’s done before.

Hyperbaric therapy uses oxygen to accelerate the healing of wounds and works by exposing patients within the chamber to 100 percent oxygen.

“The more oxygen they have to the wound, the quicker and better the tissue heals,” Brown said. “And antibiotic therapy paired with HBO tends to heal wounds even faster. It’s an amazing process.”

Brown’s typical day begins around 8 a.m. when she prepares the chambers for use. Once the patient enters the chamber, they stay inside for around two and a half hours. During this time, Brown performs two jobs: Shefills out reports and records information in her computer. She also monitors the patients and keeps them calm.

Paul Mowery, one of Brown’s patients, said that the experience of being inside the hyperbaric chamber is comfortable and relaxing.

“The staff here is excellent and the therapy is very relaxing,” Mowery said. “SOMC’s hyperbaric therapy techs do a great job of putting you to ease, so much so that I’ve actually fallen asleep during my therapy.”

Because of how long her patients remain inside the chambers, Brown can only treat six people a day. However, she enjoys the opportunity to help them and the experience of learning about new technologies.

“I really do love my job and I’m blessed to be able to help people in such a unique way,” she said. “It’s a wonderful experience and I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

For more information on hyperbaric oxygen therapy at SOMC, or to learn more about the programs available at the SOMC Wound Healing Center, please call 740-356-8775.