Respiratory care is a wonderful career with lots of opportunities, and while we’ve all been challenged more in the past six months than we ever thought possible, we still have jobs that are not only meaningful but vital to the health and wellbeing of our fellow humans here on earth.
So, when this year’s National Respiratory Care Week rolls around on Oct. 25, we need to celebrate us.
Jennah Hollen, RRT, RRT-NPS, AE-C, has seen a number of National Respiratory Care Weeks come and go over her time in the profession, and she has a couple of great ideas that speak well to these troubling times.
“A lot of departments have received new equipment due to the pandemic and not all have had the time to become the champions they should be with their equipment,” said the Pennsylvania therapist. She suggests managers take advantage of RC Week to remedy that situation by hosting educational sessions for staff.
“Invest in their time by upping your staffing for the week and giving them time to relax within the professional work setting to feel comfortable and safe in it again,” Hollen said.
Letting education take the front seat during this year’s celebrations will not only bring vital information to the staff, it will also improve patient care by ensuring RTs are up to speed on the latest in technology and best practices.
But our national week of celebration doesn’t just have to be about education. During a pandemic it is important to boost morale as well. Hollen recalls one favorite RC Week activity from the past that she believes might work for other departments this year too.
“One hospital where I worked, we spent the month leading up to RC Week collecting bags of candy from RCP team members,” she said. “Then we got a team together to make up bags of candy that were then distributed to areas such as nursing, physician, and biomed within the hospital, with a note thanking them for their support of us throughout the year.”
She says the best moment came when they handed a bag of candy to the housekeeper who cleaned their department overnight.
“During a time when many of us think we deserve something from others, it turned out to be such a joy to give to them and let them know how we appreciate them during hard times of change and implementation of department initiatives,” Hollen said.
With COVID-19 taxing everyone who works in the hospital this year, bags of candy just might be the harbinger of goodwill your colleagues need to keep up the fight yet another day.
Find more great ideas for celebrating National Respiratory Care Week here.