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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
January 26, 2015 9:21 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

Can someone answer a question for me? What does our government do for a living? Seriously, someone needs to tell me. I consider myself reasonably intelligent, but when the government does "studies" and finds the same information, or non-information, over and over, I am baffled. I mean, just today, an article cites a study that shows that electronic cigarettes, when using a higher voltage battery, produces formaldehyde. ...

 
January 22, 2015 11:31 AM by Victoria Florentine of An RT Paradigm Shift

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes brain damage in two ways: by physical insult to delicate brain tissues, and as the result of delayed inflammatory responses to the initial injury.  The damaged brain tissue (traumatic penumbra) is the site of repair and regeneration, but also the site of damage that occurs up to several days later.  It is the acute inflammatory response, especially neutrophil recruitment, ...

2 comments  
January 19, 2015 12:38 PM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

This time of year, many are working on New Year's resolutions. As a respiratory therapist, one of your resolutions should be to improve yourself somehow, personally or professionally, and preferably both. It can be hard. For many, work takes up so much time. Not only do you work your regular shifts, but maybe you cover for someone else, or take overtime from time to time get a little extra cash. There is nothing wrong ...

 
January 12, 2015 9:27 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

The television show 60 Minutes is not a comedy, but I had to laugh when it aired last night. Part of the show was dedicated to the Affordable Care Act and what it has and has not accomplished. One of the subjects was that it has not reigned in rising hospital costs. In part, this is due to some chief executive officers of non-profit hospitals and their pay. One short interview was with Jeffrey Romoff, CEO of ...


2 comments  
January 5, 2015 10:18 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

Our children spend 28% of their daytime in school during the academic year, and 14% of their total time between the ages of five and 18 will be sitting at the desk learning the three R's (yes, I know they are no longer taught). Behind the scenes, someone is responding to the 18 million children estimated by the Department of Health and Human Services who have health care needs or a chronic illness. The school nurse may ...

 
December 31, 2014 3:08 PM by Victoria Florentine of An RT Paradigm Shift

It recently came to my attention that a respiratory equipment representative was trying to convince some respiratory therapists that patients who required noninvasive ventilation could be put on a ventilator in bi-level mode, and the therapists could use the higher-paying billing code for a ventilator instead of the lower-paying billing code for a bi-level device. Of course, this is both unethical and fraudulent. ...

1 comments  

As I write this, it's the last day of 2014. This is a time of reflection and to look back at a year's work. Our healthcare world is changing from a reactive one, to one of prevention and wellness. The rules are changing, and the question is how are we going to change with these rules. I hope to see RTs moving more into non-traditional roles of pulmonary disease managers and stepping outside of our primary hospital ...


 
December 29, 2014 9:21 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

As the New Year quickly approaches, I just want to let you know about some conferences coming up so you can plan your calendar:

  • The AARC Summer Forum takes place in Phoenix this year and goes from July 13-15. The AARC Congress is in Tampa, FL and runs from November 7-10.
  • The Pulmonary Disease Education Course, which may be an extension of the COPD Educator Course, is being presented in Arlington, ...

 
December 22, 2014 9:56 AM by Jimmy Thacker of In My Opinion

 

Christmas is upon us, and the New Year is not far away. After all the presents are unwrapped and travel to "grandmother's house" is done, we settle in for the rest of winter. Interrupted by New Year's Day celebrations, often, this can be a tough time of year for many. Depression seems to run rampant this time of year. Some, shut in by conditions they have acquired over the years and life experiences, can ...


 
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 ...


3 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 ...


 

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

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