Executive Director, Respiratory Care, Central Florida Division
Member Since: 1983
Elections Committee Questions:
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the AARC and what do you recommend to address it?
Stabilizing and advancing the profession of Respiratory Care. Market pressures have created instability within the profession, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. This is evidenced by: 1) a 31% increase in RT job vacancies between 2019 and 2020, 2) 16% net reduction of new graduates into the profession between 2009 and 2019, 3) 36% of the RT workforce over the age of 50 in 2018 and increasing, and 4) through 2019, RT wage increases not keeping pace with other non-physician health professions. Add an outdated two-tiered credentialing scheme, insufficient progress toward baccalaureate entry-level, and challenges communicating the value RTs bring to our patients, communities, and healthcare system, and it is apparent we have much work to do.
Your professional association/affiliates must not only devise and communicate targeted operational and strategic plans to incrementally address each of these issues, but also engage therapists everywhere in a grass-roots effort to make a difference!
What ideas do you have to help todays Respiratory Therapist recover from the pandemic and what do you feel is the main issue Respiratory Care Practitioners are facing, and what key solutions should be addressed to support our profession?
79% of RTs reported professional burnout after the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Leaders in the profession must offer evidence-based interventions to create a more comfortable and rewarding experience for our caring and dedicated therapists. Address staffing & workload issues by not only deploying comprehensive recruiting strategies that includes engaging young people and creating excitement about a profession offering a perfect combination of high-tech/high-touch, but also offer solutions to leaders in the profession to help staff feel better supported and recognized for the critical work they do. We should have well-developed resiliency tools for both bedside practitioners and leaders to address issues with burnout. Finally, we must communicate methods to enhance the value of what we do and make every effort to eliminate waste.
Your role as Director-at Large is to represent the general AARC membership. If given the opportunity to represent, how would you use your skills and experience to advance and advocate for the respiratory care profession?
My love for our profession, enhanced by a philosophy of servant-leadership and many years of experience, will serve to maintain the focus of the AARC leadership on the reason we exist: to optimize care and service to our patients by supporting and caring for those of you who have dedicated your lives caring for them. It is my honor to be a respiratory therapist and I will be honored to represent you on the AARC Board of Directors.