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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
September 10, 2014 3:05 PM by Rebecca Hepp of ADVANCE Perspective: Respiratory Views

It seems unexplained outbreaks are the name of the game this year ... and this time it's hitting home in the U.S. The CDC has reported a recent outbreak of enterovirus 68 (EV-D68 ) in Illinois and Missouri, with warnings that it could spread to neighboring states.

It's time for pediatric RTs to strap on their battle gear ...


 
September 8, 2014 4:19 PM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

Noone likes to toot their own horn, but with all the competing services, we literally fight for survival in healthcare. As respiratory therapists, it is our job not only to care for our communities, but to let them know that we are available, in many cases 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Respiratory Care Week is October 19-25. What better time to do a little public relations and marketing?

There are many things ...


 
September 3, 2014 3:12 PM by Victoria Florentine of An RT Paradigm Shift

The vast majority of patients who sustain a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI, formerly called a "concussion") improve within hours to days, with no lasting clinical sequelae. However, some patients may continue to have symptoms more than a year after injury. Those who are most at risk for persistent symptoms include wounded warriors and certain athletes. Because these patients may sustain repeated blows to the head, ...

 
September 2, 2014 8:23 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

As medical professionals, it is important that we project a certain image to our patients. We need to be professional, intelligent, curious and caring -- all at the same time. The biggest detractor we face is our interactions with other professionals, which are sometimes in a very unprofessional manner. The therapist at the nurses' desk chatting with the nurses are noticed by those family members on the way to the ...


 

Have you ever had an experience that made you feel like you chose the right profession? One of those times where you felt you made the difference that changed the course of a patient's care? 

Towards the beginning of my career as a respiratory therapist, I had one of those moments. I was working in the acute care area; I was assigned to an asthma patient that didn't seem to have the typical course. A ...


3 comments  
August 28, 2014 10:50 AM by Penny Mehaffey of Adventures in Sleep

We had a COPD patient in the lab this week. This is not an unusual occurrence, but it was an exclamation point for me, given that CMS adds COPD to the list of targeted and tracked diseases this October. I thought our patient was a prime example of why COPD is so difficult to treat and why it made the list.

Upon arrival to the lab all was well, but an hour and a half later he begins to complain of SOB; he ...


2 comments  
August 25, 2014 9:14 AM by Victoria Florentine of An RT Paradigm Shift

I love to think of ways to improve patient care delivery, and usually embrace change. To me, "That's the way we've always done it," is ridiculous. There is, however, one change I cannot abide: That it is acceptable to hand off certain RT responsibilities to other allied health professionals, or worse, to unskilled labor. 

IMHO, it is NOT OK to give away anything! Do RNs hand off tasks to others ...


 
August 25, 2014 8:29 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

Let's imagine a better world for a minute. Imagine a United States that actually wanted to cut down on smoking. Imagine what kinds of programs would be instituted. Graphic images on cigarettes, ads educating the public about the risk of not only lung cancer, but of stroke and other diseases. We could imagine that, and we could have had that years ago, but the CDC and seemingly everyone else has to have their say first. ...

 
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 ...

1 comments  

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 ...


3 comments  
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 ...


1 comments  
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 ...


3 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. ...

 

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.