RCP II Specialist
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Member Since: 1982
Elections Committee Questions:
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the profession of respiratory care, and what do you recommend the ARC do to address it?
The Covid-19 pandemic changed staffing models, brought the concept of triage to the lay public, and brought the name of our profession to the attention of many who had never heard of our career path. The pandemic got the profession out of the shadows, yet, many medical professionals have a hard time defining what Respiratory Therapists (RTs) bring to the table.
The AARC MUST continue to bring to the forefront the importance of having the unique assessment skills and ability to intervene based upon those assessments that the RT brings to patient care, complementing the skills of the other members of the healthcare team treating the individual patient.
Now that Respiratory Therapists have been brought into the spotlight, we should never be allowed to fall into the shadows again.
Healthcare is changing more rapidly than ever. What ideas do you have to help today’s respiratory therapist meet these changes?
Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) is neither a new idea nor is it universally accepted. For every RT who works in facilities where EBM is used as a rule, others are relegated to work in facilities who explain, “That is how we always do things, and we have never had a problem.”
This lack of an Evidence-Based format was most recently noticed during the “Tripledemic” of Covid-19, RSV, and influenza during the latter part of 2022 and early 2023. Adult hospitals and Emergency Departments were overrun with children suffering from bronchiolitis. The RTs were asked to perform breathing treatments that were futile or underdosed by well-meaning but uninformed providers. The Pediatric Section developed a presentation of Evidence-Based Practice geared to the adult RCPs to help guide the therapy given to a population they rarely serve.
The AARC should use this example as a template to educate RCPs and help guide them in finding champions to bring EBM to hospitals where it is lacking.
If given the opportunity to represent your section, what would you do to increase section membership and promote engagement?
The Surface and Air Transport Section is a specialty section geared toward a niche in our profession, those of us who move critically ill and injured patients between two locations, often bringing tertiary care unavailable at the patient’s point of origin. The last in-person section meeting at the 2022 Congress included several new faces, students interested in joining our niche. Students and newly graduated RCPs are an untapped group, and we welcome them to join us in our small but valued community. While it takes years to hone the skillset necessary to work with the limited resources found on transport, the ability to help precept our next generation of transport therapists is gratifying.