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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
December 15, 2014 11:58 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

I love this time of year. Not because of the holidays, and not because of the crispness in the air. I don't care for either of those. I love it because at this time of year, every year for the past 25 years, a new report from America's Health Rankings comes out. The report, broken down state-by-state, is available online and is hot off the press now, after it was released Dec. 10. The rankings are actually published ...


1 comments  

It's that time of year -- when therapists from around the United States and around the world meet for AARC International Congress. This is the 60th event in Las Vegas. Yesterday started an educational event where therapists from various clinical backgrounds meet to network, learn, and advance the profession. During Dr. Durbin's acceptance speech of the Jimmy A. Young Medal, he stated that our profession is ...

 
December 8, 2014 3:50 PM by Victoria Florentine of An RT Paradigm Shift

I have the privilege of visiting assisted living facilities (ALFs) on a regular basis to speak with the residents on topics of interest to them. Recently, I have been addressing residents on the importance of getting the flu shot each year. 

I am a bit dismayed to know that many elders who reside in ALFs flatly refuse vaccination. Except for the few who have a strong aversion to needles, most of the reasons ...


2 comments  
December 8, 2014 11:39 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

Well, the flu season is almost upon us, and the CDC says that it may be a bad one. In fact, the same week we heard that this year's flu vaccine may not cover many strains of the flu we will be dealing with this year, the CDC reminded everyone that a flu shot is recommended, particularly for those at high risk. The agency is also encouraging doctors to treat flu-like symptoms as the flu sooner rather than later, to ...


2 comments  
December 1, 2014 9:16 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

Well, November was quite a month for electronic cigarettes and those who use them. Just as the CDC reported that smoking in the United States has decreased to an all-time low, we also heard that when users recharge their e-cigarettes, malware may be transmitted from the device into their computers. Most e-cig devices are made in China, so who knows what this does to your laptop or desktop? Later in the month, I read ...

1 comments  
November 24, 2014 12:58 PM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

An interesting study on public radio said that it is the insured, not the uninsured, driving up healthcare costs. The premise was simple: If you have health insurance, you use it. If you lack health insurance, you are more selective about doctor and hospital visits. It makes sense, yet who really causes our steady increase in costs is still debatable.

The Affordable Health Care Act, or ...


 
November 11, 2014 10:08 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

Many of us have done it. Walked around a big chain department store and looked for things, while employees simply pass us by. No one offers to help and no one wants to be the person to end our search and make us feel better. If you have experienced this, imagine what it must feel like when it happens at a healthcare facility. You are already scared and nervous, worried about the horrible bill you will amass and you ...


3 comments  

Well, October just flew right by!! First off, I hope everyone had a wonderful Respiratory Care Week. It's a great opportunity to highlight the work we do every day. I really enjoyed the pictures on the AARC's site of how different therapists across the country celebrated their profession. My favorite had to be the one with the 15ft inflatable ...

 
November 3, 2014 10:24 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

The third Thursday of every November has become a challenge day for many. On that day, which falls on the 20th this year, the Great American Smokeout encourages all smokers to quit. I doubt there are few of us that do not realize the health benefits. Patients know them, too. But still, it is hard to quit, though some do not understand the difficulty. I laugh at any smoking cessation class run by someone who has never ...

1 comments  
October 27, 2014 2:17 PM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

It's 2 a.m. You are making your rounds, and it is time for ventilator checks. You step into the intensive care unit. Something you do not see often (if at all) is a dentist in the ICU. Researchers now know that better dental care can help prevent lower respiratory tract infections, such as ventilator-associated pneumonia. Since the bacteria causing this often begins in the oral cavity, it makes sense that a ...


 
October 27, 2014 12:36 PM by Victoria Florentine of An RT Paradigm Shift

In his book, Love, Medicine, and Miracles, the surgeon Bernie Siegel wrote, "Hearty laughter produces relaxed action of the diaphragm, exercising the lungs, increasing the oxygenation, and gently toning the entire cardiovascular system.  Norman Cousins termed it 'internal jogging,' similar to a deep massage.  Anticipating a funny situation creates a rise in pulse, skin temperature, and blood pressure.  ...

1 comments  
October 20, 2014 12:30 PM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

I find the news so funny these days. The "sexy" thing to report on now is every single person affected with the Ebola virus, which many of us never heard of and did not know anything about until recently. Now, we have all the misinformation we want, and we still do not know anything about it other than the President of the United States has appointed a "czar" to oversee it here at home, and that people continue to die ...

1 comments  
October 13, 2014 4:11 PM by Victoria Florentine of An RT Paradigm Shift

Most of us in healthcare recognize "health promotion and disease prevention" as smoking cessation, getting an annual physical, vaccinations, a gamut of diagnostic tests, and taking medications as directed.  However, disease prevention and health promotion are so much more than that. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health is a "state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, ...


 
October 13, 2014 1:28 PM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

Good supervisors know that there are some people in the department who just "get it" when it comes to taking on new projects. Using a "knowledge management system (KMS)" can help supervisors delegate authority for projects and get subject matter experts involved. The hard part for some is giving the "expert" the authority and freedom to plan, execute, implement and review the project on his or her own.

Cudney, Corns ...


4 comments  
October 6, 2014 12:49 PM by Penny Mehaffey of Adventures in Sleep

New research shows alarming but not surprising data that teens the world over self -medicate with over-the counter and prescription drugs. The statistics are:

  • young people age 13 to 18 routinely self-medicate with over-the-counter and prescription medications for various health concerns;
  • 22 percent of U.S. teens indicated that they overmedicated with painkillers; and 
  • around ...

 
October 6, 2014 9:23 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

I found this interesting this week. Researchers at MIT and Massachusetts General are experimenting with a pill that features little needles in it. When the pill is swallowed, the needles scratch the surface of the tissue in the stomach and inject the medicine. Successful trials have been conducted in mice and pigs.

My worry would be scratching the surface of the esophagus on the way down. Still, since most ...


 

Pediatric respiratory therapists deal with various diseases, but one stands out that is challenging, can take your breath away, and can be an emotional roller coaster: Cystic Fibrosis (CF).  There are various genetic mutations and aspects to this disease.  There are many updates occurring and I learned some of these new updates at a lecture presented by respiratory therapist Darlene Cowcer at the VSRC Neonatal/Pediatric ...

 
September 30, 2014 12:39 PM by Victoria Florentine of An RT Paradigm Shift

Here is a crazy idea: replace antibiotics with probiotics. That's right: instead of scrubbing up with antibacterial agents prior to surgery, we could dip our hands in yogurt.

Now stop laughing and consider this: Bacteria do not generally grow atop each other.  Instead, they tend to fill up spaces.  Scientists theorize that when surgeons "scrub in," they remove beneficial bacteria, leaving room for ...


 
September 30, 2014 8:15 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

With winter approaching quickly, it is time to remind ourselves that while some fun things occur during the colder months of the year, for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, the risks of winter and the holidays are increased. Winter traditionally starts anywhere from mid-October to early November, depending on where you are. First comes Thanksgiving, then you are wishing people a ...


 
September 24, 2014 4:13 PM by Victoria Florentine of An RT Paradigm Shift

One of the reasons why patients tell me they are disgruntled with their healthcare is they never know what the financial cost will be. For most of my professional career, it never really dawned on me how extraordinary that is! I took it for granted, like so many of my colleagues, that we have carte blanche to do what is in the patient's best interest, and the patient/insurance company will simply pay the bill. Or ...


2 comments  
September 22, 2014 10:10 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

It's that time of year. Time for the annual flu shot. Healthcare workers usually get them, in fact, most hospitals require them if you want to work through the winter. But what about patients? Many cannot afford the flu shot, and may not be aware that places like health departments and other service organizations offer them for free or at a low cost. It may amaze some that people can be so "out of the loop," but some ...


 
September 18, 2014 11:38 AM by Penny Mehaffey of Adventures in Sleep

I read with great interest the study results suggesting that sleeping after learning (studying) enhances our memory and ability to recall information. This is good news for students everywhere. The article was released in June by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center.  The research, done in mice (I'm sorry but I can't help picturing Jerry the mouse sitting in his little mouse hole reading the newspaper), ...


 

Recently there has been a new concern for pediatric ICUs. A mysterious respiratory virus is affecting children, Enterovirus-68 (EV-D68). Enterovirus is common in the month of September, but this variant is not. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there have been fewer than 100 cases since its discovery in California in the 1960's. Now health officials in over twelve states have reported ...

 
September 15, 2014 2:42 PM by Victoria Florentine of An RT Paradigm Shift

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog rebuking the notion that it is okay to hand off respiratory responsibilities to non-respiratory care providers.  I posited the problem with the promise of writing about the solution in a future blog. (Read Part 1 here.)

The solution ...


2 comments  
September 15, 2014 9:35 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

Today, I watched my Kansas City Chiefs lose to the heavily favored Denver Broncos. They tried, and they kept it close. In the end, all that matters is that they lost. I fear that rural hospitals are in the same situation. Whereas these bastions of care used to dot the landscape, times are tough for rural facilities. Some have been bought out by corporate systems, and have probably improved from the infusion of money ...


 

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.