Recently I had an ephiphany while shopping at our local grocery store. It occurred to me that we as a society start teaching our children at a very young age how to become “sales people”.
Standing outside the front door was a group of young girls. Dressed in we clothes with a uniform underneath. On there sign it said, “Girl Scout Cookies For Sale”.
It was at that point I realized how young our children are when they begin to develop selling skills.
The Girl Scouts of Colorado start recruiting girls as young as four or five. These little girls were so cute standing there and asking if we wanted to buy some cookies.
It was at that moment I realized these little, innocent girls were being coached to push their products. Okay maybe “push” isn’t the right word.
It doesn’t matter what the product is, it’s the fact that at a young age our children are vulnerable to the art of selling.
My belief is that as long as adults are teaching their children to be honest and forthcoming in their business practice, children grow up to be great sales people and leaders.
Gain The Advantage,
Welcome to my first in a series called “Respiratory Round Up.
Twenty seven years ago I became a Respiratory Therapist. When I was a child I can remember my own hospital stays with asthma. The ones who seemed to take the most time with me were the respiratory therapist.
I thought it would be unique to ask a group of Respiratory Therapist some questions and publish a round up.
Your probably scratching your head wondering, “What does a Respiratory Therapist do?” The best way for me to describe what an RT does is by an article I found at Respiratory Therapist License. com titled “What Is A Respiratory Therapist”?
Respiratory therapy is best described as the assessment and treatment of patients with both acute and chronic dysfunction of the cardiopulmonary system. Today’s respiratory therapists have demanding responsibilities related to patient care and serve as vital members of the healthcare team.
Everyone who participated were asked the same three questions.
1. What made you decide to become a Respiratory Therapist?
2. How has your experience as an RT helped you in your personal and professional life?
3. What advice would you offer to someone looking at Respiratory Therapy as a career path?
Scott Dykes RRT
2. Helped me by day to day care of patients, and saving lives. Personally, I was my sister’s medical advocate when she was comatose after an MI, with anoxic brain injury.
3. See picture
Hayfa Perez, BS, RRT-NPS, SDS
1. The Respiratory field caught my attention when I witnessed a friend on life support. Initially intubated, then trached and unable to be weaned off life support. It was a struggle for all involved in his care- Family, friends, Clinicians and the RRT’s. They struggled with him step by step and always initiated trials with positive reinforcement. At that time, I was not in the medical field and found it overwhelming, yet fascinating. I had the opportunity to speak with some of the RTs there and realized instantly that I wanted to help people live and breathe. I wanted to be able to make a difference. Respiratory Care is a growing field that is blossoming. Many avenues to venture and I ventured happily. Years later, I still love the field and feel passionately about what I do.
2. My experience as an RT has helped me grow as a person- professionally and personally. It’s made me appreciate life and to always remember there are those who have far more struggles than I do. The simple things taken for granted such as breathing, talking, and eating can be the unobtainable dreams for others. I think about that and remind myself how harsh life can be to have such simple pleasures taken away. After so many years the field still amazes me. I still encounter cases that humble me. There is always a case that presents unlike another and reminds me that I have so much more to learn. It also reminds me to have compassion and empathy in my heart.
3. The advice I would give someone looking at Respiratory therapy as a career path is to review first what Respiratory Care is and make sure the field attracts attention. Choosing this career path, one must be focused, study and understand that the decisions made will affect lives. It is not a field to be taken lightly. It is intense, but rewarding. Always be ready, ask questions, follow instructions and directions. Be respectful to patients, preceptors and colleagues. A strong Therapist is built on values and always remember that patient care is priority.
Sheila Hensler, RRT, BS
1. I wanted the excitement of medicine without the nursing responsibility. But I wanted to work directly with patients. Being an RT has given me that.
2. I have had many experiences as an RT, some good, and some not so good. But the one thing that has changed is that I am more confident in both my professional and personal life. A lot of times as an RT, the information I give and the decisions made for a patient require some risk. Being willing to take those risks has created my confidence.
3. There are so many more options now than when I became an RT. It used to be that RT’s worked in hospitals, LTAC’s, PFT’s or home care. Now, there are APRT options, RT’s work with ECMO, and can even be found in physician offices. Aim high. Don’t settle for “just an RT”.
Karrie Mitchell, CRT (No picture was given given to include)
1. Right out of high school in 1995 I was making $10 an hour working for an alarm company, and back then that was good money. I felt like I wasn’t ready for college at that point. I was making more money than a lot of my friends and just didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. After a couple of years, I switched to banking and then I became a Phlebotomist. My mom is a nurse and was always trying to talk me into becoming one and I just didn’t want to. After seven years as a phlebotomist I was told I had topped out my pay scale and wouldn’t make any more money. I was making $12.75 an hour. I went to see my mom at work and she was stressing about not having enough nurses for the weekend. I looked at it and said, screw it I will go to nursing school. I considered several schools and after finding out there was a minimum 2 years wait to get in I got discouraged. I was sitting in the ICU talking to one of the pulmonologists about wanting to go to school and being discouraged and he told me that I should be an RT and not a nurse, because as he put it I wouldn’t have to wipe grown up butts. I still chuckle about that. This conversation took place in May and I started RT school in August, I was 29 at the time. When I graduated and went home to Wyoming I started working at a small mom and pop DME and realized I liked the consistent patient interaction. I moved to a national company with more opportunities about a year later. 10 years later I am a General Manager of a branch and I am the RT.
2. When I was in school everyone would say don’t go into home care you won’t ever gain any skills. I’ve been in home care 10 years and I have gained many skills that I wouldn’t have working in a hospital. I was incredibly lucky to have had a manager for 6 years that let me run the RT department (ok I was the only RT) my way. She let me push for better therapies for my patients and encouraged me to push my own boundaries and learn every aspect of the business. She taught me how to manage a budget and staff and supported me when I didn’t think I was smart enough to do things that were new. When an office within our company needed a manager, she pushed senior management to choose me for the position. Along with the management and RT component of my job I am also the sales person, and because I speak from a clinical background I have found it easy to get doctors to talk to me and work with me and sales was not something I ever thought I would be good at it. But my tiny branch in a tiny town is doing amazing things. I took over a branch that was in the hole and they were talking about closing it and I made it better. I think the thing that I have learned is to never take no for an answer and keep pushing for more.
3. I think the one thing I would say to someone in RT school or considering it is to never discount homecare and think that home care RT’s aren’t real RT’s. Also consider what is important to you, do you want to just treat patients and often not know what happens once they leave the hospital, or do you want to work with them for a long time? I get updates from families about their family member I have taken care of, I get pictures of babies I took care of. It’s a different animal, but it’s not less in any way.
Michael W. Hess, BS, RRT, RPFT
1. I had been fascinated by medicine for a while, but didn’t really feel that medical school would be practical at that point in my life (almost 30 with 2 kids). My wife was a nurse, and I thought that might be a good way to go, and then I discovered the waiting list in our area was about 2 years long. I wanted a career a little more urgently than that, so I looked into respiratory care. The director of our local program was willing to bring me in even though I was missing one pre-req at the time, and I was very grateful for that. I had a vague sense of what RTs did, because one of my kids was a preemie and I had worked at DME office for a year or so doing customer service, but I didn’t really “get” much of it. However, after only a few weeks of the program, I fell in love with the profession, and I never looked back.
2. The journey has been incredibly fulfilling in so many ways. I’ve been fortunate to have various opportunities to see how the healthcare system works from several angles, in both inpatient and outpatient settings. I’ve been able to touch lives and share experiences with people from an incredibly broad cross-section of life, and I’ve learned something from every interaction. In my current role, I’ve seen that every person has a story, and the assumptions we can be quick to make as clinicians are wrong more often than we’d care to admit. Learning to look past preconceptions has, in turn, made me a better parent, a better spouse, and a better advocate for both my profession and the people we care for. Being a respiratory therapist has empowered me to increase both my knowledge (through academics) and wisdom (through experience).
3. What advice would you offer to someone looking at Respiratory Therapy as a career path?
You will get out of this profession almost exactly what you put into it. If you go in with the belief that there are certain limits to our skills or practice, you will never learn to exceed those limits. But the truth is, our field is virtually limitless. More and more RTs are breaking out of the traditional bedside mold, and becoming entrepreneurs, consultants, clinical educators, even CEOs. We are poised to take on an even bigger role in healthcare, but we must be ready to accept the responsibilities that go with that larger profile. That means being ready to take on more education, and to be creative in demonstrating our value. Be ready to probe your own limits, and you’ll learn that they aren’t barriers, but rather mileposts on your journey.
Alicia Osmera, CRT, RTL
1. As a kid with childhood asthma I watched many RT’s take their time administering my breathing treatments. Also my mother was in and out of the hospital with lung issues when I was younger. One therapist was very rude and in a hurry. He made my mother feel like crap. Like she didn’t even matter. I decided I could make a difference to those in need.
2. Respiratory therapy has given me many experiences. Taught me to be empathetic, courteous, and caring towards others. Professionally I have done many things from trauma, flight transports, pediatrics and more.
3. To those whom maybe considering a career change, I will just say follow your heart, fund a program where you can shadow someone to make sure this homeless profession is for you.
I’d like to thank all of my fellow Respiratory Therapists for participating in my round up.
I hope you enjoyed this and as always……
Gain The Advantage,
Have you ever wondered how the months got their names?
I thought it would be fun to start the year off with an informational post.
■ How did the months get there names
■ What is the Gegorian calander?
■ How many different calanders are there?
The ancient Romans used a different calandar system that began with March and ended in February.
Now let’s look at how the Romans names each month.
March: The ancient Romans started the year off with March. It was believed that all wars were to cease during the time of celebration between the old and new years. Some historians believe that since March was the first month of the new year that the Romans named it after Mars, the Romans God of war.
April: Some historians believe that April got its name from the Latin word meaning “second” since April was the second month on there calendar. Another theory is that it comes from the Latin word “aperire”, meaning to open because it represents the opening of buds and flowers in the spring. The last thought is that it was named after the goddess Aphrodite.
May: Originated from an earth goddess named Maia, meaning growing plants.
June: What is the most popular month for weddings? Yes, June.
The Romans named June after Juno, the queen of the gods and patroness of marriage and weddings.
July: July was named after Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. Previously it was called “Quintilli,” which is Latin for “fifth.”
August: In Latin the number six is called, “Sextilla.” Later is was changed to August named after Augustus Caesar in 8 B.C.
In today’s traditional calendar the months of September, October, November and December, we know as months 9, 10, 11 and 12. On the ancient Roman calendar these months were known as 7, 8, 9 and 10.
September: September comes from the Latin word, “septem,” for “seven.”
October: October’s name comes from octo, Latin for “eight.”
November: Being the ninth month, November’s name comes from the Latin word, “novem,” which means “nine.
December: December’s name comes from decem, which is Latin for “ten”.
In 690 B.C Numa Pompilius proclaimed that a period of celebration at the end of the year be turned into a month with its own name. February received its name after the festival Februa.
Later that same year Pompilius added another month to the beginning of the year and called it January after Janus, the God of beginnings and endings.
The Gregorian calendar in 1582 was adjusted by Pope Gregory and the western nations began celebrating the start of the new year on January 1.
According to the website Wonderoplois the Englad and American colonies continued to celebrate the new year on the date of the spring equinox in March. It was not until 1752 that the British and their colonies finally adopted the Gregorian calendar.
So many different calendars
Besides the calendar that we use everyday there are others that you might have never heard of.
The Hebrew or Jewish Calendar
The Hebrew or Jewish Calendar is used as a religious guide for the Jewish faith to keep in observance with holidays, agricultural meanings and the timelines for the religions history.
The Chinese Calendar
The Solar Calendar
The are a few others that I have not mentioned.
I hope you enjoyed these facts.
Gain The Advantage,
Anger, denial, depression and frustration doesn’t even begin to explain emotions when a person is suddenly let go from their job.
When your first hired emotions run high. Excitement, joy, scared, are just some of the emotions you can feel when taking on a new challenge in your career.
How do I know this?
Because after a four year hiatus from my chosen career path as a Respiratory Therapist I landed what I thought was going to be the perfect job. I was so elated with joy. Suddenly changes started to happen. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m all for changes as long as their for the betterment of the company and they don’t compromise patient care.
Then it happened. Due to just one person and their management role the staff became on edge, the constant yelling, nasty remarks, even acting racist towards certain professions and people in the office.
People loose jobs all the time. The worst time is right before Christmas. I was called into the office sat down and heard those words; “Sorry but we have to let you go. Understand that it’s best for business”.
Emotions started swelling up inside. Angry oh yes I was angry. Angry that I had taken on this responsibility to essentially clean up a failed department. Trying to regain patients truat after the last therapist had mistreated so many patients.
What effected me the most was being lied to for months to my face, until they finally pulled out the rug from underneath my feet. Disgusted at the fact that this person whom the owners had put in charge and were trusting with their business, was actually the one who is hurting it. Customers had complained, even the reviews on yelp.com proved my point.
Getting Back On Track
Oh wow sorry I really got of subject there, didn’t I?
After much searching, praying, yelling, depression and crying I finally realized I need to let this go. Let go of the anger and resentment towards the owners and their deceitful ways. Let go of seeking revenge towards her racial attitude and obnoxious behavior.
How Do You Let Go?
Researching the world wide web I found this great article written by J. T. O’Donnell titled There Are 5 Stages Of Job Loss Depression.
Learning To Accept The Loss
Accepting a job as a loss? Yes just like the loss of a loved one we must accept their gone. Taken away unexpectedly from this earth. My favorite part in this article,
Accepting loosing my job that’s the hardest part. No real reasons given, not one performance evaluation in the sixteen months I spent there.
Choosing to stay in the past or move ahead is up to each individual person. It’s the thought of looking for a job, the interview process and explaining over and over again why you want to work for them.
I changed my focus from being angry and hurt to finding a new beginning which will allow me to use my talents in the best way possible to make a difference.
Focusing on the positive aspects of this chapter in life isn’t easy for some. Especially when you have a spouse who has been ill for a while and is relying on you to be the strong one.
Looking For Opportunity
Looking for that new job opportunity can be challenging and exciting at the same time.
When and where does one find opportunity? I’m told there all around us and that we just have to keep looking.
As always I welcome your comments.
Gain The Advantage,
Pushing through the challenges of life in general can be hard. Not to mention work, kids, all the adult responsibilities we all face. This last year has been hard. My husband has had five major operations in the last two years. Each one with different challenges.
My biggest challenge has been balancing taking care of his health needs, working a full time job, recruiting for two network marketing companies that are new to the direct sales market IPro Network Creating Your Future Now and Vitae Global – Products are fabulous . While I’m doing all of this I forget to look out for the most important person, Me! When someone you love is having health issues the last thing a caregiver wants to do is complain about how their feeling to the one person they’re caring for.
I will admit that I have let my blogging suffer, my success goals and determination to meet those goals has gone down quite a bit. It’s not because I don’t desire to complete what I set out to finish. By the time I am home, tending to my husband and what he needs it’s already so late at night I barely have time for myself.
Caregiver Action is a great resource for anyone needing to find solutions, ideas, advice on caring for ones self.
For instance in this article 10 Tips for Family Caregivers the number one thing is seeking other caregivers for support. You are not alone! Second, take care of your own health so that you will be strong enough to take care of your loved one. Number five – Caregiving is hard so take respite breaks often. (That I know I don’t do enough of). Lastly give yourself enough credit for doing the best job you can in one of the toughest jobs there is.
The biggest challenge for me has been keeping up with a positive outlook and mindset. In network marketing most of us are taught keeping positive, working on one’s self image and being persistent will out weigh the negativity, the dark days of feeling overwhelmed and helpless.
How have I been able to get through all of this you might be wondering?
Prayer – I am a born again christian I firmly believe in the power of prayer. Jesus Christ gives me strength everyday and my hope lies in him
Reading keeps my mind focused and clear headed towards my personal goals.
These are the main two I can actually say I focus on at this time. I am sure there are other things; however they must be suppressed at the moment.
Gain The Advantage!
As a respiratory therapist I feel it is my calling, duty or whatever you want to call it to help bring awareness of lung diseases to others.
Could you have COPD?
You might want to read this.
As always Gain The Advantage,
I just had to share this with you all.
I find nature so amazing.