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Journey: A Love Story

Journey: A Love Story

Respiratory Therapy

I remember the day I heard the two words that have shaped my life thus far. “Respiratory Therapist” is what my teacher said.

I immediately raised my hand and asked what that was. I had never heard of them on TV, no one in town had mentioned them, and I had never been sick enough to possibly see one myself. They were like a shining unicorn in the night, only glimpsed briefly through the trees.

As my teacher, her name escapes me now, explained what the profession was all about I immediately knew what I wanted to do. I started pulling books on the subject, got into a shadowing program, and shadowed a local therapist. The impact that has had on my life was fairly significant. I’ve kept that experience in my mind through the 10+ years since.

Last night I was speaking with someone who has great respect for Respiratory Therapists. He reminded me that an RT is more than just a job. It’s a person who cares and creates a system around their patient. They are coordinators of care, sideline leaders, and professionals who can come into a situation and be a key player in controlling a situation. We have no fear and little patience for negligent care. A Respiratory Therapist end’s up being more than just a care giver. Since we are part of  a team we start to do things that are more general and less specific. Our skills learned in school give us the ability to understand more than just our scope of practice.

We may only take care of people with respiratory issues to start, but at the end of the day everyone in a hospital is safer because a therapist walks those halls. It took me from the time I was in high school until now to realize that even though our pay is small, hours are long, and work is sometimes difficult we are a profession and people who command great respect within the medical community.

Currently I work on this website, and am helping others create income through other means. How am I able to do this? Through a realization that I’m a Respiratory Therapist. I’m multi talented, my skills are sharp enough so I am able to accomplish many things. I lead through my calm demeanor and quick response. Being an RT has taught me that everyone matters, not just the people I’m assigned to. I may have a specific job, but my profession tells me to protect everyone.

If you’re a Respiratory Therapist thank you. Know an RT? Take time to get to know them better. If you’re thinking about becoming an RT… Go for it. We need more strong people in our profession. People who aren’t afraid to take a chance and lead through their profession. To realize that our scope is small, but responsibility tremendous.

Take the time to commit. Even if it’s not to Respiratory Therapy, commit to something. Make it specific the more you learn about it. People don’t pay you because you’re a “Jack of All Trades, Master of None”. They pay you because you have a specific set of skills for a specific job, profession, contract etc.

Commit, be specific, and Love your RT.

NightShift Guide – Jay

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