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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
July 24, 2014 10:32 AM by Penny Mehaffey of Adventures in Sleep

I want to blog today about an experience I had related to sleep in industry. I know it's been done but it is pertinent still. I took the sleep educator workshop at FOCUS this summer and thank God I passed the exam. It was a toughy. Then, as if right on cue, I was contacted by a company in our area asking for me to attend their annual employee health and safety training. I went yesterday to tour ...


 
July 21, 2014 7:52 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

Ads are appearing all over for back to school sales, book and supply drives, and other activities aimed at arming students with the necessary equipment to return to school. The school year is closer than you think and before long, those big yellow buses will be filled again, going to and from the local school house. To my dismay, one of the things that many students will not be ready for is an asthma attack at school. ...

 

After dealing with my ill family member, I have returned to my normal routine of caring for strangers. On my commute from the suburbs of Virginia to our nation's Capital, I sometimes choose to listen to the TED lectures rather than listening to the morning radio disc jockeys that fill the airwaves. On a morning like this, I choose to listen to something random. Most of the time I am pleasantly surprised, hearing about ...

 
July 17, 2014 11:10 AM by Penny Mehaffey of Adventures in Sleep

I am curious about the opinions of my peers regarding medical marijuana. It's a hot topic lately and especially so in my area. Our governor was in for a visit last week to underscore his support of continuing research in the use of marijuana to help treat seizures in children. Our pediatric neurologist is very interested in researching cannabidiol with his severe patients. He has one child who has upwards of 60 seizures ...


9 comments  
July 14, 2014 8:08 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

It makes sense. Depressed people have trouble completing pulmonary rehabilitation. Depression hits so many, and comes in so many different forms. Researchers at the Miriam Hospital have seen a big rate of "non-completers," as they are called, in their pulmonary rehab programs, and those working in rehab facilities should take note.

COPDer's who attend pulmonary rehab are much less likely to get all the benefits ...


1 comments  
July 10, 2014 11:34 AM by Penny Mehaffey of Adventures in Sleep

I mentioned before that I attended the FOCUS spring conference in Florida. My main goal for that event was to attend the sleep educator workshop presented by the BRPT. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and I did learn a lot; it was worth every penny spent. 

Now, I am tasked with passing the associated exam. I attempted it a day or so ago and am disappointed to say that I did ...


 

Severe fatigue. That's the only way I could describe to my physician the symptoms I was feeling over the past few months.  Sleeping 10 hours at night; napping on the weekends. Yet, I was never rested.  As the editor of a respiratory website, I've read plenty about sleep apnea, and I've been warned by family members that I snore, so I suggested this diagnosis to my physician. After discussing my symptoms ...


6 comments  
July 7, 2014 9:09 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a plan to eradicate turberculosis (TB) from 33 countries and territories by 2050. In 2012, about 1.3 million people died from TB, with another 8.6 million falling ill. A benchmark set by WHO sets a goal of fewer than 10 cases per million people in the target areas, which include the United States.

TB is an infectious disease caused by bacteria. It is spread by germs ...


 
July 3, 2014 10:36 AM by Penny Mehaffey of Adventures in Sleep

I hope you all have a safe and fun time as our nation celebrates another birthday. I'd like to suggest that we take time to think of freedom as it relates to our health today. We have open access to doctors in our country and readily available medications, equipment and medical supplies. We have volumes of information streaming in from multiple media. We have hospitals, urgent care centers, primary care centers and ...


 
June 30, 2014 9:26 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

A new study indicates that people on corticosteroids may be more prone to TB than we thought. Dr. Nicholas Vozoris, a respirologist at St. Michael's Hospital, concludes that people on drugs such as prednisone be screened more often. Prednisone, it seems, can turn latent TB into active TB. These patients are also screened for TB much less often. His suggestion is to not only screen more often, but to also prescribe ...


 

One thing I love to ask is how others got into respiratory care. For myself it came by chance as I was influenced by someone who was a big part of my life at the time who ended up in respiratory school and peaked my interest. I have found a wonderful profession that impacts people's lives. On the other hand, one of my good friends from respiratory school ended up in the field because she had a personal ...

 
June 26, 2014 10:10 AM by Penny Mehaffey of Adventures in Sleep

I was thinking about an article I saw a while back about cancer patients and the sleep disturbances and cognitive loss that they experience. I have read before that CPAP was helping to improve memory and function during the day for some patients. I have a wonderful sister-in-law, who is a breast cancer survivor. I remember talking with her about this very thing when she was going through chemo and ...


 
June 23, 2014 8:35 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

The latest "Mirror, Mirror" analysis is out. It is a study funded by the Commonwealth Fund, ranking the world's healthcare systems. The United States has come in last of the nine rated countries. The study ranks countries on quality, access, efficiency, equityand healthy lives. The study, which admits it always has some bias because of "opinions" used by doctors and patients, is one of the benchmarks that should ...

 
June 19, 2014 10:08 AM by Penny Mehaffey of Adventures in Sleep

There are a lot of good resources available to us today that even 10 years ago we did not have.  I encourage you to read the various e-magazines and periodicals and keep up with what's happening in sleep. There is constantly new and exciting research being published and changes going on in government that greatly affect us. 

I have some very saavy people attending our  AWAKE  support ...


 
June 16, 2014 9:25 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

Talking to some friends, I realized there is confusion about electronic cigarettes -- a lot of confusion.  At a conference recently, one speaker told the crowd that nothing in an e-cigarette causes cancer. Many others have told me they switched to e-cigarettes specifically because they were safer. Yet an e-cigarette contains the same nicotine that a regular smoke has, although in a much smaller amount. The "vapor" ...


2 comments  

Respiratory deregulation has been a hot topic of discussion these last couple of weeks. The Sunset Advisory Commission of Texas has made the suggestion to deregulate respiratory therapists and various other healthcare professions. Michigan and Indiana have attempted the same process recently. This affects all respiratory therapists, and the public at large. Yesterday, I went to get my hair and nails done, and I appreciate ...


14 comments  
June 9, 2014 7:29 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

It is something many of us have known for some time. If you have ever lived on a farm, you have no doubt. A new study shows that kids who play outside may be more protected from allergens and asthma attacks than those who do not. When I was a kid, we barely knew what the inside of our houses looked like. Kids these days are much different. For many, it seems to be an effort to get them to go outside and play. Computer ...

1 comments  
June 2, 2014 9:26 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

Hello, Star Trek! According to Medical News Today, low level laser treatments may cause stem cells in living tissue and bone to regenerate.The initial study focuses on regenerating dentin in teeth. A Harvard-led team is laying the foundation for laser use in healing wounds, regenerating bones and teeth, and other applications that could change survivability rates and shake the medical world. 

Right ...


 
May 29, 2014 9:59 AM by Penny Mehaffey of Adventures in Sleep

There's a conversation going on in LinkedIn revolving around this question: Does a sleep study require a doctor's order? It's been an interesting feed to follow. You would think that this is a no-brainer, right?  It's a medical test, so it requires a physician's order.

But what's curious to me is why so many people even ask this question. I mean, they don't ask if they need an order for an x-ray  ...


3 comments  

We are just a short time away from one of the hardest times of year for working medical professionals in academic centers. It's not asthma or flu season, but it's the time of year when the new residents arrive. Sometimes this is called the July Effect. There has been research by the Journal of General Internal Medicine (2010) and Annals of Internal Medicine (2011) which both found evidence showing medical ...

 
May 27, 2014 7:49 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

An item has shown up on the Kentucky Society for Respiratory Care Facebook page, one that I hope does not signify a trend. KentuckyOne Health, based in Lexington, has decided to remove respiratory therapists from the emergency rooms of some of their facilities. About 20 therapists have been laid off, among 500 total. Two hundred other positions were done away with, so clearly KentuckyOne Health is suffering ...


12 comments  
May 22, 2014 12:32 PM by Penny Mehaffey of Adventures in Sleep

Well, we have another FOCUS meeting behind us.  nd what a great meeting it was: action packed, star studded and uber-educational.  Hats off to everyone involved in putting this first-class event together. The meeting was held at the Coronado Springs resort at Disney World, near Orlando, Fla. It's an idyllic setting, as is everything at Disney.

I attended the Sleep Educator workshop and ...


 

Organ donation is a reality of working in a PICU. As one life ends it provides the opportunity for others to continue. Those who work in these arenas get to know the people from their local transplant community. Transplantation is one of the great medical advances of our time. There are various patients young and old with organ failure and who need a transplant to survive.

Patients wait hoping to find ...


1 comments  
May 19, 2014 9:42 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

Now that the weather is getting warmer, it is time for respiratory therapists to consider "adaptive therapy" for their COPD patients. We have known for some time that people affected by COPD do not fare well when the summer heat comes to town. We told our patients that they need to stay indoors if possible. A new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference suggests that simply staying ...


2 comments  

Working in pediatrics has its ups and its downs. This week while working in the PICU and charting at the computer, the ladies at the desk called out to me.  "Do you remember this patient, because he remembers you?" I looked up and walked over and I will be honest, I couldn't place the patient but his mother looked very familiar.

Sometimes these are awkward moments when you are remembered and you can't place ...


 

ABOUT OUR BLOGS

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

The ADVANCE staff follows the top stories impacting upper-level decision-makers in respiratory care and sleep medicine.

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