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ADVANCE for Respiratory Care & Sleep Medicine welcomes you to Respiratory and Sleep Voices: Blogs, part of our Healthcare POV blog and forum community from ADVANCE. Our online community offers interactive blogs written by respiratory care practitioners, sleep techs, and our editorial staff. The blogs will discuss issues related to the field, breaking news, and candid observations. Voice your opinions and submit feedback to the authors through the comment section. To suggest a blog topic, email vnewitt@advanceweb.com.
LATEST POSTS FROM EACH BLOG
April 14, 2014 9:44 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

Well, here it comes. Are you ready? This winter we heard the term "polar vortex" a lot, but now get ready for the "pollen vortex." Grab the tissues because the worst winter in years may give birth to the worst allergy season in years, too. 

Imagine you are a tree. All winter long, you sat there patiently, waiting to release all that pollen. But snow after snow after snow has come. All that moisture is ...


 

Continuing education is a necessity in the field of medicine. As a respiratory therapist, I want to know current evidence based information to provide my patients quality and cost effective care. This week, I went to a two day seminar provided by the America Lung Association called the Asthma Educator Institute (AEI). Most of the people there were preparing for the certification test to become a certified asthma educator ...


 
April 10, 2014 9:54 AM by Penny Mehaffey of Adventures in Sleep

Spring is trying so hard to manifest here in Augusta. I keep hoping it will happen any day now. The past couple of days have been so pretty, sunny and warmish-cool. My assistant Brittany texted me this morning to say that she thinks we should have a day set aside when we are allowed to call off "because it's just too pretty to work." I second that! 

Here in our area ...


 
April 7, 2014 8:04 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

President Obama's health plan, Affordable Care Act (ACA), also know an "Obamacare," reached an important milestone this week. The reports are that 7.1 million people have signed up, barely reaching the goal of 7 million that needed to be reached by March 31. Still, despite being a law for some time, despite a late-round charge by the Republican Party to repeal it, and despite the Democratic Party hiring possibly ...


 

This week's blog isn't really a neonatal or pediatric topic, but it is an important topic in my eyes. Although I am a pediatric specialist, I know the importance of respiratory therapists in all environments. I feel that respiratory therapists are grossly underutilized in the outpatient arena - which is one of the reasons this past week I took part in the AARC Political Advocacy Contact Team (PACT) meeting in Washington, ...

1 comments  
April 3, 2014 12:04 PM by Amy Reavis of Adventures in Sleep

I am excited to see the elections this year. There are many new people on the ballot and the desire to bring new blood into the AAST and for more people to be involved is very exciting. I have also seen more people volunteering for committees. This again is exciting as our field grows and changes. 

Why am I so excited? Well, it came on the heels of an experience my dean had when ...


 
March 31, 2014 10:23 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

Now there is something "old" to look out for. A resurgence of measles is underway in California. Orange County officials are saying it is the worst outbreak in decades. The measles are very contagious, and usually start with a fever, cough, runny nose, and pink eye. It progresses to a rash and can lead to pneumonia, encephalitis, and brain damage, all of which can be fatal. Measles are spread though airborne exposure ...


2 comments  

Mouse.

What do you think of when you hear the word? You may think of the most famous mouse - Mickey. Or you may think of a cute little field mouse, like the ones I had to deal with in my former state of Illinois. You might think about running away if you saw one. You could think of a pet or just a plain dirty rodent. One word can bring up so many different thoughts.

Working in an urban area provides ...


 
March 24, 2014 7:56 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

Well, old man winter just keeps hanging on here in Missouri. Like many Missourians, particularly the ones out where I live, I continue to cut wood almost daily to heat the house. Now the government wants to stop me from burning wood because of the health risks it brings. The Obama administration wants the 2.4 million homes that rely on wood heat to suddenly stop. Good advice and better for everyone, but highly impractical ...


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Public speaking is a lot of people's greatest fear. I have conquered this fear a long time ago, but I still get first time presentation jitters. I did my very first presentation a few years ago at the State conference focused on neonatal/pediatrics. I have to say it gave me a new-found respect for those who lecture. There is a lot of time, effort, and work placed into designing an interesting and informative ...

 
March 20, 2014 8:33 AM by Amy Reavis of Adventures in Sleep

The one thing I can tell you as I teach is how much reviewing the rules is important. I have recently taught scoring and titration. As I am going through the curriculum it is always helpful to remember that reviewing the rules makes me a stronger technologist. 

Titration is the heart and soul of our profession. As we were reviewing proper titration I was reminded how important educating ...


 
March 17, 2014 9:20 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

Stroke is the number four killer in the United States. Faster treatment helps save lives, but faster treatment may also be quantified, thanks to a study at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Dr. Atte Meretoia discovered that for every 15 minutes quicker that treatment is received, a month can be added to the patient's life. The faster tissue plasminogin activator (tPA) is delivered, the better the outcomes. ...

1 comments  

Like most of you, I have been curious what makes a hospital organization choose to remove its respiratory therapists from its emergency department. There are many professional concerns that come up. First and foremost what comes to my mind is the safety of the patients being cared for. As a respiratory therapist, I feel that I bring value to various medical scenarios from the emergency department, acute care and intensive ...

1 comments  
March 13, 2014 12:26 PM by Penny Mehaffey of Adventures in Sleep

We just concluded Sleep Awareness week 2014.  I am ashamed to say that I completely forgot about it this year. This year I was too distracted and was not even aware until the last day. But I will make up for it next week by hosting a belated event.  After all, it is spreading the word and awareness for sleep apnea that is important --  not a specific date that matters.

Normally ...


 
March 10, 2014 9:25 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

 A recent study reminds us of the importance of cleaning our equipment. While healthcare has made a big push on cleaning hands, offering hand sanitizing gels in our hallways for workers and guests, insisting on routine hand washing between patients, and other preventative measures to reduce the transmission of germs, we often forget about the tools we use routinely, like our stethoscopes. We have standards that ...


4 comments  
March 6, 2014 4:49 PM by Penny Mehaffey of Adventures in Sleep

All of my experience in sleep having come from the sleep lab, I do not have any hands-on experience with oral appliances. I have done a few sleep studies with appliances in place but that is the extent of my exposure. 

I am comfortable supporting the oral appliance in theory. I think it is an excellent option and/or alternative. Thinking of the patients who just cannot tolerate ...


5 comments  

Medical transport is another world. You go to a different facility to pick up a patient that needs some higher level of care or medical specialty. You are a guest in another person's home essentially. The referral personnel are happy to have you there, but more excited to see you go. They have done their best to have the child ready for you so that you can get them the additional care that they require. The tools and ...

 
March 3, 2014 9:31 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

Researchers in the U. K. have presented findings that lung transplants, even from heavy smokers, can be beneficial to those in need. A "heavy" smoker is someone who has more than a 20 pack-year history of smoking. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery report that the study used 237 participants between 2007 and 2012, and concluded that though the lungs of heavy smokers were older, there were no apparent differences in the ...


3 comments  
February 27, 2014 9:20 AM by Amy Reavis of Adventures in Sleep

We are all in fields that need a little more representation. We are not nurses, doctors or x-ray technologists. Our fields are often misunderstood by those outside our field. As a program director for a neurodiagnostic technology program I have learned that almost no one knows what that is and that the word polysomnography is nothing more than a tongue twister. So how do we change the lack of knowledge ...


 

This week, I was teaching clinicals for one of the local community colleges. My students were surprised by all the syndromes we come across in the pediatric world. I will admit I am the product of the times. I am used to electronic journals and having access to Google. I truly believe Google is your friend in pediatrics. I cannot imagine not having access to information at the tip of my fingers. It ...


 
February 24, 2014 8:43 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

It's late, the lights are low so the patients can sleep.You are walking the hallways ready to save lives. Have you ever considered the effects of the lighting on your job?

Researchers at the University of Toronto Scarborough in Canada and the University of Illinois recently published findings in the Journal of Consumer Psychology suggesting that lighting has a dramatic effect on how you perceive ...


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As hospital workers, we are used to working weekends and holidays. Last week in my area we had the worst snow we have seen in four years. I don't track the weather but I can always tell when weather is coming. There is a buzz in the hospital; people are talking about packing bags and preparing their households for the possibility of not returning home for a few days. On the other side of life, "the real world" ...

 
February 20, 2014 10:31 AM by Penny Mehaffey of Adventures in Sleep

I missed my blog deadline last week due to the crazy weather.

We are accustomed to weird weather phenomena in the garden city. Augusta, Ga., seems to have her own personal climate system at work. Last week we prepared for winter storm Pax to cross us. He did and apparently was bitter about it.  

On Wednesday and Thursday we had wind and ice which brought down numerous ...


 
February 17, 2014 9:14 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

Using a scaffolding of collagen and elastin from two children who died in an accident, researchers in Galveston, Texas, have created human lungs in the lab. Though the advance is not likely to impact patients for several years, the promise of being able to "grow" lungs in the lab could have a tremendous effect on the over 1,600 people waiting for lung transplants. Immersing one lung into a liquid that provided nutrients, ...


 

I don't know about anyone else but, I kind of fell into my career as a respiratory therapist. It is not something I dreamed of when I was a child. Quite frankly, I had never heard of a respiratory therapist until someone I know was talking about it. I was looking at a career path change and respiratory fell right into my lap. You look back on things and wonder, what would I be doing if that fork in the road didn't place ...

 

ABOUT OUR BLOGS

A therapist since age 17, Jimmy Thacker shares his thoughts on anything and everything respiratory.

Adventures in Sleep gives us the chance to look at some of the fun, adventures and challenges we have helping our patients, and each other, in a climate of change.

The Politics of Healthcare covers the latest developments in healthcare policy and legislation.

Pediatric respiratory therapy is interesting, rewarding, and challenging all at the same time.