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  • Breathe easy! Respiratory Care Week: October 25-31
    Added by My Identity Doctor

    Most people have heard of physical therapists, and often occupational therapists or speech therapists. But what about respiratory therapists? If you live with lung disease, like cystic fibrosis, asthma or COPD, you likely have encountered a respiratory therapist at some point–even without realizing it. Respiratory therapists are specially trained professionals with university or college degrees (either undergraduate or masters level) training in respiratory care–these people work from the waist up to treat diseases involving the lungs, and sometimes heart, both inside and out of the hospital.

    Picture of lungs

    Respiratory therapists (RTs) might be found in the community educating patients about lung disease–RTs are also able to become certified asthma educators, respiratory educators (COPD and asthma), or allergy educators, with additional training and examination, to help people living with lung disease live well by ensuring they are avoiding disease triggers, taking their medications properly, and have the right supports in place to keep their disease under control–or help them get to that point.
    In the hospital or clinic, RTs might administer pulmonary (lung) function tests, educate families after a severe asthma or COPD exacerbation, perform chest physiotherapy/percussion for cystic fibrosis patients, administer inhaled medications like nebulizer treatments or inhalers and ensure patients and their families know how to use these devices effectively at home, monitor patients in intensive care on ventilators or other machines to assist with breathing due to lung disease, illness, or injury (such as those with traumatic bean injuries affecting consciousness where a person cannot breathe independently) or paralysis (example, spinal cord injury around the neck, where nerves that control breathing can be severed), and perform sleep studies (to check for diseases like sleep apnea). Respiratory therapists may also help in pulmonary or cardiac rehabilitation clinics for those with lung and heart diseases, to help individuals, in part, become more physically active to improve the efficiency and function of their heart and lungs.
    This isn’t at all an exhaustive list of what respiratory care professionals do to help patients breathe easier–but it’s a start! The American Association for Respiratory Care outlines these goals for Respiratory Care Week–October 25 to 31!
    Celebrate: Recognize respiratory therapists for the work they do
    Motivate: Encourage patients living with lung disease in their journeys, as well as their families
    Educate: Make communities aware of lung disease, including COPD and asthma 
    Inspire: Share what respiratory care professionals do to encourage others to enter the field
    Learn: Continue learning, personally and professionally, and gaining new resources to promote excellent patient care.
    To learn more about respiratory therapy, visit my friends online: John at Respiratory Therapy Cave, and Stephen at Breathinstephen. To learn more about Respiratory Care Week, visit the AARC or Canadian Network for Respiratory Care
    Breathe easy!
    Published by My Identity Doctor on October 25, 2015


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