Member Since: 1978
Elections Committee Questions:
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the AARC and what do you recommend to address it?
The biggest challenge to the AARC is maintaining and growing our members. In my role as a Director at Large I participated in a strategic planning exercise. This activity will help to shape the AARC 2.0. I believe we need to be more supportive and responsive to the needs of our members. The AARC and its programs is the best kept secret, and we need to focus our efforts and inform and connect better with our members. We need to meet our members with a technology that meets their needs.
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?
The main issue Respiratory Care Practitioners are facing is falling out of love with their profession. They have worked tirelessly, understaffed and in many instances unrecognized or unthanked. The AARC is working on a public relations campaign to help others recognize that Respiratory Therapy is a career option. Increasing enrollment will help replenish the workforce. The newly published Safe and Effective Staffing Guide focuses on valued added practice and not just performing procedures. The hiring of an individual to update the Clinical Practice Guidelines to make them evidenced based will help shape the practice of Respiratory Care. By showing the value of respiratory therapist’s in patient care, and how having a respiratory therapist on the team results in positive patient outcomes, that will help bring the resect that many RTs are seeking. I believe that being a truly valued member of the patient care team will help us all re-fall in love with our profession.
Promoting the profession is considered one of the greatest opportunities, what are your ideas to help realize this opportunity?
Promoting the profession is something that I did daily. I think it begins by telling others that “I am your respiratory therapist” and not just from respiratory. If each practicing RT were to introduce themselves in this manner it may begin a grassroots effort of profession identification. We, the RTs, can be our own best (or worst) advocates of the profession. As the former Director of Clinical Education, I promoted the profession and the AARC every day that I taught. I taught at Manchester Community College for over 35 years. I love being a Respiratory Therapist and was not ashamed to say it. I participated in a variety of different activities with participants in a wide range of age groups. From grammar school students participating in a “medical” summer camp, to middle and high school students exploring different medical career options during hands-on career days, I have been an active participant. In 1995 I helped develop the tech prep allied health program in our region in CT. Students earned college credit while in high school and participated in hospital shadowing opportunities at their local hospitals. The program was awarded the “State of CT Education for High Performance Award”. The program is still active.