Respiratory therapists have received well deserved recognition in the latest issue of the Exchange, a newsletter published by the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), US Department of Health and Human Services. The issue focuses on “The Role of Allied Healthcare Providers and COVID-19” and features a four-page article that highlights RTs as key members of healthcare teams and how they have played a “significant role in the treatment and management of COVID-19 patients.”
The feature article is an interview with the RT Clinical Coordinator for the Adult Respiratory Therapy Department at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland. She covers topics such as the biggest challenges when COVID-19 began, managing the first surge of patients, changes in protocols, medication issues, lessons learned and how she dealt with RTs who might second-guess their profession, among other issues. It’s an important read for our members as we know many of you have faced similar situations.
The timing of this article is especially important as the Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Health has scheduled a virtual hearing to discuss “The Long Haul: Forging a Path through the Lingering Effects of COVID-19” on April 28, 2021. AARC and representatives from our Allied Health Coalition that includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists and audiologists will be reaching out to E&C staff and Committee members to highlight the role our professions have played during the pandemic and to provide background prior to the hearing.
Staff at ASPR also reached out to the AARC directly regarding collaboration on a speaker series they host regarding healthcare operations during COVID-19, which includes a range of topic areas and features from healthcare professionals and features short stand-alone recorded presentations. They recognize that respiratory therapists have been integral during the pandemic response and recovery efforts and feel that their stakeholders would greatly benefit from hearing more about the roles of RTs and their unique perspective. We will continue to explore the opportunities they offer to highlight the expertise of RTs and the tremendous job they have done in patient care during the pandemic.
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