RTs Should Show Expertise with Allergies
Spring has sprung, and so have the allergens that trouble people. Grass, mold, bugs, and other organisms can all lead folks to seek care, or even the emergency department. You have already seen some of them, no doubt, with their stuffy noses and watery eyes. These folks suffer from things many of us consider ordinary, even likeable, during the spring and summer months.
One way to be sympathetic and empathetic is to do a little homework. Many television news stations now have websites, and those websites may contain an allergy forecast. This is a good way to monitor if your allergy sufferers are going to be coming in the hospital to see you or if they will be OK. If nothing else, you will impress your patients if you can give the allergy reading for the day and the forecast for tomorrow. Allergy sufferers will learn that you are the expert and that nothing escapes the keen senses that you developed from years on the "front lines" of health care.
In my opinion, though we may not have an active role in any except the most severe allergy cases, we can still manage to show off our expertise. A little background reading in the newspaper, the extra five minutes watching the news on television, or the website browsing right before work or before you hit the floors can make you appear to be much smarter than your colleagues. If you do not have a reliable source, consider contacting the Association of Asthma Educators or "google" allergy index and you will be presented with a wealth of information. Do not be afraid to share your knowledge with the local health department, emergency room, and the local school system. They will be amazed at your vast knowledge, and you can rest easy with the satisfaction that you provide a needed service to the community.
That's just my opinion,
Jim Thacker, MHA, CRT, AE-C