Celebrating Us!

It may seem as if every week is a special week for something. Diseases, organizations, and yes, professions as well, all want to raise awareness of their place in the world. Earmarking one week out of the year is a good way to make that happen.

This week belongs to us! National Respiratory Care Week kicked off yesterday and it will be celebrated as it is every year by respiratory therapists in settings ranging from the acute care hospital to the pulmonary rehabilitation program.

It’s all about pride in profession, and that will be in full evidence as RTs hang banners, make posters, set up displays, host educational sessions, treat their colleagues to special meals, play fun games, recognize outstanding members of their teams, and more.

“I’ve been an RRT since 1976 and have watched and participated in the metamorphosis of our profession, starting with the oxygen orderly, then the inhalation therapist, and finally arriving at the RRT,” says Charlie DeFrancesco, BS, RRT, RABT, director of respiratory care at Union General Hospital in Blairsville, GA. “Every time we celebrate RC Week it’s a time to reflect on how far we’ve progressed in defining our scope and influence in the practice of medicine.”

Joel Livesay, MS, RRT, RVT, department chair for respiratory care, pharmacy and massage therapy, and the simulation lab at Spartanburg Community College in Spartanburg, SC, wholeheartedly agrees. “Every year for Respiratory Care Week we review the history of our profession and show the video of Dr. Bird produced by 60 Minutes.  For me, it is a reminder of how far we have come as a profession in a relatively short time.”

For Ed Coombs, MA, RRT, RRT-NPS, RRT-ACCS, FAARC, RC Week is “an opportunity to share best practices, promote higher education, and drive the profession forward as a team – industry, providers, educators.” The director of marketing-intensive care for Draeger notes his company helps to make all that happen by partnering with ICON to provide daily web conferences each day during the week.

This year’s lineup covers topics ranging from preventing ventilator induced lung injury to identifying burnout and building resilience.

Many other RTs will be bringing many other activities to the table as well. But in the end, it doesn’t really matter how you celebrate RC Week – what matters most is that you do!

Happy RC Week to all!