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Here's two women in the business of helping others breathe easy

This week’s Mid-week Mugging features two healthcare professionals looking out for airways.
Jo-Lee Jordan, RT, and Kerri Watson, RN, are the staff behind Collingwood's Complete CPAP Care store. Erika Engel/CollingwoodToday

The staff at Complete Respiratory Care know the value of a good night’s sleep.

After all, that’s what their patients are trying to get when they visit Complete CPAP Care at 275 First Street in Collingwood.

Kerri Watson, RN and Jo-Lee Jordan, RT, make up the Collingwood respiratory care team. Together, they equip patients with home oxygen equipment and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machines (CPAP) for sleep apnea.

Watson is a registered nurse with a background in hospital acute care. She moved to Collingwood two years ago with her family and was hired at the Collingwood Complete CPAP Care location in April.

“I was never able to build relationships as an acute-care nurse,” said Watson. “That’s what I’m building now.”

Watson’s clients are individuals who have undergone sleep studies and have been diagnosed with various levels of sleep apnea requiring a CPAP machine.

“Every patient is individually assessed and we work around their needs,” said Watson.

She offers the patient a trial CPAP machine to figure out what machine and mask works best for them. She uses the built-in modems in each of the CPAP machines she sells to monitor the patients and stays in contact with their doctors for updates or to report worsening or non-responsive conditions.

Her job includes a lot of education for clients so they can better understand their condition and the equipment they require. There are times when she has to encourage her clients who come in frustrated about needing to sleep with a mask and machine.

“It’s fascinating to watch people come in sluggish, tired and angry and come back [after using a CPAP machine] happy and thrilled with the therapy,” said Watson.

Sleep apnea occurs in one of two ways: the airway collapses while you are sleeping (obstructive apnea) or your brain forgets to tell your respiratory system to breathe (central apnea). A CPAP machine forces air into your airway (at different levels as prescribed by a doctor) to keep your airway open.

On the oxygen side of the business, Respiratory Therapist Jo-Lee Jordan does a lot of home visits.

Jordan moved to Barrie from Stratford and has been working for Complete Respiratory Care for two years. She splits her time between the Collingwood and Alliston store. Her role is to set up a patient with oxygen equipment, which varies based on patients needs.

“I do in-home set up, education, disease management and puffer teaching,” said Jordan. “Each person is different and requires different equipment.”

Her goal is to allow her patients to continue living life and being active, while managing with a respiratory disease or diagnosis.

She said technology has come a long way, and in many cases, instead of oxygen tanks, patients can be equipped with oxygen generators, which can be more compact because they generate oxygen instead of storing it.

“Our approach is always patient-based,” said Jordan. “We provide everyone that comes in here with the best care.”  

“The best individualized care,” adds Watson.

Complete CPAP Care is accredited by Accreditation Canada, which is an independent, not-for-profit Canadian organization offering arms-length accountability for heath-care organizations.

Complete CPAP Care is part of Complete Respiratory Care, which is owned by Beverlee Switzer and Lino Dinardo. This month marks the Collingwood locations second anniversary. 

There are 12 Ontario locations and five Quebec locations offering CPAP, Oxygen and tracheotomy care.

The Collingwood location is open Monday to Friday from 9-5 or by appointment. Staff are on call 24/7 for oxygen emergencies.


Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter, photographer and community editor.
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