National Respiratory Care Week took place the last week in October, and therapists from Maine to California used the occasion to raise awareness of the profession and the clinicians who play such an integral role in the health and wellbeing of people with respiratory conditions. Here’s a brief look at some of their celebrations — including a couple of fun videos that really show how RTs made RC Week their own!
University of South Alabama
Seniors in the cardiorespiratory sciences program at the University of South Alabama used Respiratory Care Week as an opportunity to educate the students and faculty on campus about smoking cessation, asthma management, and the respiratory therapy profession. Activities included ventilating a salvaged pig lung with a mechanical ventilator and providing bystanders with the opportunity to attempt to intubate a mannequin. The event was met with enthusiasm by the public, and was successful in promoting respiratory care. Go Jags! — Spencer Gayles
We hold a Fall Seminar each year during RC Week and this year we had 125 individuals attend. — John Campbell, MA, MBA, RRT-NPS, RPFT, FAARC
To celebrate Respiratory Care Week this year, the cardiopulmonary and home oxygen staff sold raffle tickets for a gift basket valued at over $200. The proceeds from ticket sales were donated to the Trails Edge Camp, a special weeklong camp held once per year for ventilator dependent children. We closed the week out with a cake and punch celebration and the drawing for the gift basket. We were very pleased to present a check to Jeff Bradley, from Trails Edge Camp, for over $1,200! — Valerie Boyd, RRT
Metroplex Health System
We had a community and employee open house event where we set up education stations including disease overview stations (COPD, asthma), healthy vs. non-healthy lungs with real lung displays (with the help from Temple College students), and what RTs do (including inpatient, cardiac services, EEG, and sleep). We also had games, prizes, RT challenges (intubations), and we broadcasted our RC Week video. We provided free spirometry screenings, as well as sleep screenings and education. — Amanda Richter, RRT-NPS, RRT-ACCS, RPFT
Modesto Junior College
We had fun at MJC celebrating RC Week with the students in the program with a Health Fair on campus. They spent time speaking to other students and faculty about what is an RCP, asthma, air quality, and hazards of smoking. We had “non-smoking” and “smoking” pig lungs on display, a photo booth, and an app that could take your picture and the app would age you 10-20 years as a “smoker” and as a “non-smoker” to compare how much smoking will age you. We had colorful posters, flyers, and brochures. — Janet Fantazia, MHS, RCP, RRT, AE-C
El Camino Hospital
Our medical director discussed a case at a Lunch and Learn, our department director provided meals during the week, and trivia quiz questions were asked at shift change daily with prizes for correct answers. We had multiple in-services, RT staff spoke with the public at a display table about asthma, COPD and sleep apnea, and we ended the week with our tradition of RT Olympic Games in which three teams of two try to best each other in silly antics using our equipment and other toys. We also had a reunion with retired staff. — Kathryn Carpenter, BA, RRT
Boston Scientific always goes above and beyond during Respiratory Care Week by contacting local hospitals and setting up meals and exciting lectures for the RTs. They are always generous and easily accessible when we need them. I would specifically like to thank Tyler Monger, our sales rep, for always being so accommodating and making sure we all had a great week! — Diana Ogorchock, BSRT, RRT
Children’s National Health System
Therapists at Children’s National Health System celebrated another awesome Respiratory Care Week! The primary focus this year was education; the topic of special interest — ethics. Each day offered an opportunity to sit in on a lecture, in-service, or case study. In addition, we were honored to again receive a Proclamation from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in acknowledgement of National Respiratory Care Week! The smiling faces said it all — it was a Happy Respiratory Care Week! — Cherise Wilson, BS, RRT
University of Texas Medical Branch
We celebrated RC Week and our diversity by organizing a pot luck with dishes from around the world. Some of the countries represented were Nigeria, Mexico, Italy, India, United Arab Emirates, and the Philippines. Both faculty and students were enthusiastic about participating and showcasing their culinary skills! — Daneen Nastars, MS, RRT-ACCS
DCH Health System-RMC & NMC Campuses
We started off the week with a homecoming celebration, inviting previous and retired coworkers to attend, as well as honored those we have lost with a memorial. Throughout the week we had photo contests, including baby photos, “face-swap” photos, and “filter” photos. Additionally, we voted on the “sunshine” award, given to that special coworker who always seems to bring a little ray of happiness whenever they come around. All and all, it was a fantastic week — despite TJC inspectors being at our facilities! — Sonja Brown, RRT-NPS, CPFT
University of Cincinnati Respiratory Care Program
The faculty (myself and Jodi Kaminski) had a breakfast for the first and second year students. We reviewed the history of RC Week and gave everyone a Real Life Heroes pen. We took a picture for marketing purposes that showed our second year students, Cheyenne Hayes on the left, and Kayla Rauch on the right, in the Sim Lab. — Michael Mullarkey, RRT
Shawnee State University
Our students made candy and treat baskets for all of our clinical sites as well as held a Health Fair at the university. We carried out the theme of “Respiratory Therapists Real Life Superheros” in our cards and during the event. — Amy France, MS, RRT
Hampton Roads Specialty Hospital
We started the morning with a display of the normal and bad lungs in the lobby. This was followed by personality team building with invited guests. One person per discipline joined us for a “PAINT & SPARKS” team building exercise. Everyone painted different type of lungs, and I served sparkling drinks and chips and dip so they could eat while painting. Around 5 p.m., dinner was served and our administrator, educator, and doctors joined us. I announced the RT of the Year winner during the dinner. We ended the celebration with a two hour CEU. — Aileen Holgado, BSRT
Sheikh Khalifa Medical City
This is the first time we celebrated Respiratory Care Week at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi, UAE. We had banners and t-shirts made, and planned a full day of activities, including lectures with CMEs in the auditorium and various stations in the hospital lobby (PFT table, COPD/asthma station, trivia, and fastest intubation competition). One of our staff also made the coolest cake ever, and we made a video presentation of our services. Both are now social media sensations. Go SKMC RT Team!! — Yann Lavoie, RRT
Bon Secours Saint Francis Eastside Hospital
We made several poster boards on different therapies we do as RTs and how they work, and why our role as RTs is important to the health care community. This is one of the posters I worked on to commemorate my co-workers as real life “heroes.” — Abigail Klear, RRT
Rock Valley College Students For Better Breathing Club
The Rock Valley College Students for Better Breathing Club celebrated Respiratory Care Week by holding an event that was open to all Rock Valley College students. This event consisted of pig lungs to demonstrate how smoking affects the lungs, a peak flow demonstration station, asthma education, OSA education, and then an intubation station in which the RT students taught non-RT students, faculty, and administration staff how to intubate using our intubation head. — Debbie Booton, RRT
Valencia College students want to thank all respiratory therapists for making the profession what it is today as they imagine what it could be in the years to come! — Jamy Chulak, MS, RRT
University of Kansas
Our students showed their “superhero” sides in this poster for National Respiratory Care Week. — Karen Schell, DHSc, RRT-NPS, RPFT
Pennsylvania therapists acquired an official proclamation from the state government proclaiming National Respiratory Care Week.
Washington, DC Proclamation
Therapists in the DC area acquired an official proclamation from their mayor, Muriel Bowser.
The Respiratory Care Services department at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO, celebrated RC Week with a full on dance party for their video above.
University of Missouri-Columbia
The University of Missouri-Columbia Respiratory Care program channeled their inner Rocky for this year’s RC Week.