Adult Acute Care Section Chair
Manager of Respiratory Care Services
University of Chicago Hospital
Member Since: 2003
Elections Committee Questions:
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the AARC and what do you recommend to address it?
I feel the biggest challenge facing the AARC is membership. I have always felt a gap exists between the top of our profession and everyone else in it. The top 5% do 95% of the job in promoting and attempting to support and advance our profession. I think this needs to change and to do that I think we need to do a better job of making every RT aware of what the AARC does, doing things that “average” RT’s see as a benefit to them, and finding a balance between that and doing what we know has to be done that isn’t so obvious to the average RT. I think if we can get these messages out and as a result, increase membership and engagement in the AARC, hopefully we can over time increase the number of leaders pushing the profession forward. Increased membership will increase revenue to fund initiatives, and hopefully create more engagement in the AARC and the profession.
What ideas do you have to help todays Respiratory Therapist recover from the pandemic and what do you feel is the main issue Respiratory Care Practitioners are facing, and what key solutions should be addressed to support our profession?
I think encouraging organizations to improve pay, staffing, and work-life balance is key. Most therapists are burned out and feeling pretty unimportant these days. Therapists that work for agencies are creating a noticeable pay discrepancy between the average staff therapist and the agency pay. This creates disengagement with their organizations and with the profession. I think offering resources to help RT’s deal with burnout and helping them re-engage and remember what is great about this profession and why they should feel good doing it. There is a bigger picture as well, and I would like to figure out a way to show the value of a high functioning RT department to organizations the way we have to my former hospital. Organizations can benefit greatly with regard to patient outcomes, ICU free days, bounceback rates, and hospital discharges with a high level RT department. This should lead to well compensated, engaged, and content RT’s.
Value of this section is important. If given the opportunity to represent, what would you do to increase the value to this section and how would you increase section membership?
I would do my best to increase awareness of the AARC and specifically the acute care section. I would attempt to engage members who practice in this area and get feedback from them on what is good and what could use some improvement. I would do my best to implement reasonable suggestions to make this section more valuable and accessible to members. I would try to set an example for how respiratory therapy should be practiced and use my experience in adult acute care to try to make whatever positive changes I could while maintaining the great work that my predecessors have done in this area.