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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
August 21, 2014 11:15 AM by Penny Mehaffey of Adventures in Sleep

Difficult patients in the sleep lab are no surprise, nor are they a new phenomenon. What is new is the frequency with which they are showing up. Sometimes it feels as if the doctors are in a contest to see who can refer in the most difficult patient. 

I come from a nursing background and so I can usually handle whatever comes through the door but now I am guided by a different set of standards. The ...


 

Ebola. Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably know more about this disease than you ever wanted to know. It has infected more than 2,000 people and killed at least 1,145 in four different West African countries already. And it's spreading. But are healthcare workers prepared if Ebola were to hop the pond and ...

 
August 18, 2014 12:49 PM by Victoria Florentine of An RT Paradigm Shift

Recently, I engaged in a conversation about direct access physicians, not realizing the vociferousness of the opposition to doctors who opt out of Medicare.  However, as a respiratory patient advocate, I do not shy away from a debate if the subject is improving patient care. Even though I do not have the answers, I believe we should question everything, especially the status quo.

As passionate ...


 
August 18, 2014 8:25 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

A new addiction is hitting us now. Workaholism is an acceptable addiction in society, but costs money, productivity, relationships and enjoyment of life. In Japan, it is called "karoshi," which means "death by work." Ben Franklin thought we would be advanced enough that by now we would only work 4 hour work weeks. In 1933, the Senate passed a bill for a 30 hour work week, which President Roosevelt vetoed. In the last ...

 

When someone asks what do I do for a living and I tell him or her, they looked dazed and confused or like I have two heads.  They know what a doctor does, a nurse, or a radiologic technologist but a respiratory therapist?  What's that? ... I usually get the response ..."So you help people breath?"  Yes, yes I do, but it's so much more than that.

So how can we promote our profession? How do you ...


5 comments  
August 11, 2014 10:06 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

One of my favorite people to "read" is Peter Economy. You can often find his work in "Inc." magazine. Recently, I read a post of his on the Seven Things Every Great Boss Should Do. Here is his list. If you are a supervisor, see how you stack up. If you are an employee, this may help you determine the kind of boss you deserve to work for.

Acknowledge. Everyone likes a pat on the back ...


 
August 11, 2014 8:36 AM by Victoria Florentine of An RT Paradigm Shift

When I was 2 years old, I contracted rheumatic fever. Too ill to be transported to a hospital, the family doctor came to our home with his black medical bag and watched over me all night. 

Nowadays, doctors no longer make house calls, and they can no longer do what they think is best for the patient. Instead, they do what Medicare is willing to pay for. Thousands of nonmedical Medicare ...


 
August 7, 2014 11:56 AM by Penny Mehaffey of Adventures in Sleep

I wish, oh how I wish, that my lab dispensed our own CPAP equipment. And not so much the CPAP machines but the masks. We do as much as we can by giving the patient the mask they are titrated with, but that's as far as it goes. Once they leave us, it's out to the big bad world of DMEs. 

Part of the life of a day tech is to perform mask fit clinics; mine are usually the ...


 
August 4, 2014 11:06 AM by Victoria Florentine of An RT Paradigm Shift

The first carpet mill opened in Philadelphia in 1791. Carpets were made of either wool or cotton until nylon was developed in the 1950s. Nylon soon dominated the market because it was much less expensive than natural fibers. In 1965, manufacturers introduced polyester carpeting, then olefin, rayon and acrylics. Today, the vast majority of carpeting is made of synthetic fibers.

Since indoor air quality ...


 
August 4, 2014 8:06 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

The FDA has approved a new tool for fighting COPD. Olodaterol (Striverdi Respimat) is a once-daily spray made by Boehringer Ingelheim. It is a maintenance drug that will be used to deal with the third leading cause of death among Americans. Olodaterol, a long-acting beta adrenergic agaonist (LABA) helps the muscles in the airways and lungs stay relaxed. Side effects may include a runny nose, bronchitis, cough, upper ...


 
August 1, 2014 8:52 AM by Penny Mehaffey of Adventures in Sleep

Problem: A patient was diagnosed with sleep apnea 5 years ago and has been treated with CPAP since. At his office visit this year he complains of poor sleep and a return of symptoms of OSA. He has gained 60 pounds and has other lung problems as well. 

His doctor orders a new sleep study since it's been 5 years. Said sleep study is promptly denied by the strategically aimed, absolute and ...


1 comments  

A few days ago one of my former students sent me a quick message. I always enjoy these messages because usually I hear about an experience they had at their new job. It could be anything from observing a clinical finding on x-ray, an intubation, or a clinical decision that they made which resulted in an impact in patient care. It is great to hear about their enthusiasm of their new profession and how respiratory therapists ...

 

Could you unknowingly be aiding and abetting your patient's asthma triggers simply by labeling them as such? New research suggests that just might be the case when it comes to odor-triggered asthma. Researchers at the Monell Center have found "that simply believing that an odor is potentially harmful can increase airway inflammation in asthmatics for at least 24 hours following ...

1 comments  
July 28, 2014 12:22 PM by Victoria Florentine of An RT Paradigm Shift

 A long-overdue CMS mandate is causing a paradigm shift in the nation's approach to health care. Beginning October 1, 2014, Medicare will impose penalties upon hospitals with unacceptably high readmission rates for COPD, CHF, and MI that occur over a 30-day period. The mandate is already in place for pneumonia.

While it has always been the heart of dedicated clinicians to see patients get well, hospital systems ...


8 comments  
July 28, 2014 8:27 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

We all do it. We get sick or hurt a little and ignore it. We think it will go away in time. There is no reason to seek a doctor's attention. We "tough it out" and get through the day. In the old days, one of the "perks" of working in healthcare is that you could always get some free medical advice or even an examination from the doctor on the side, while he or she was in the hospital. Rules and regulations the way they ...

 
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 ...


2 comments  

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 ...


8 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 ...


 

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.

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.

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



RTs need to consider newer and better ways to practice patient care.