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AARC Supports KY Respiratory Therapists

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UPDATE: March 19, 2014

Local media in Kentucky featured AARC Executive Director Tom Kallstrom in a news story that focused on the layoffs of respiratory therapists from several Louisville emergency rooms.

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In speaking on local Louisville station WDRB, Kallstrom said in the end “we want to make sure it is the patient who does not suffer.”

Kallstrom further reviewed why it’s important to have respiratory therapists in the emergency rooms with a surge of chronic patients from the baby boomer generation about to hit the health care system with COPD and other illness.

March 7, 2014

AARC has sent a letter of support, asking for reconsideration in the layoffs of respiratory therapists from a Kentucky health system.

The layoffs, making news around the country, include therapists from the hospitals of KentuckyOne health system. It has been announced that no respiratory therapists will be available in the emergency rooms of some of the system’s hospitals.

In a sign of the times, other hospitals around the country have been announcing layoffs in cost-cutting measures, now even reaching into the physician ranks, as well.

In the Kentucky situation, AARC President George Gaebler said, “We are concerned about the gap in care that patients in these hospitals may experience with no respiratory therapists in the care setting.” He explained in the letter that others who may be called upon to deliver respiratory care services there will not have the competence or proficiency of the respiratory therapist. “We want to ensure these patients are cared for properly.”

In AARC’s letter to the president of the health care system, Gaebler expresses concern for the patients and invites dialogue.