Respiratory Care Week 2023

By: Ben Phelps

Respiratory Care Week is Oct. 22-28, and we wanted to put a spotlight on the amazing work of the 100,000+ Respiratory Therapists across the country. So, we did what anyone would do – we asked Krucial Reservists, and they gave us insightful answers. Take a look and Enjoy!

Why did you become a Respiratory Therapist?

My mom has been a Respiratory Therapist for 26 years. I grew up seeing her do home care, and she really enjoyed her career. She poured love into her craft. I can honestly say now, being a therapist, I do the same, and she is all to blame!” – Oviere B.

“I became a respiratory therapist because my grandmother and my sister were both in the hospital on ventilators. I always told myself as a young girl that one day, I want to be able to help those in need. During the few weeks my sister was in ICU, I was amazed at how my sister’s health improved over time, from being on a ventilator to being extubated, taking breathing treatments, and getting CPT around the clock. Her respiratory therapist was top tier & definitely was a big influence on my health career choice.” – Neysa A.

Honestly? Because Respiratory School was at walking distance from my home and I didn’t have a car.” – Elizabeth B.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

“I love the variety of patients we see every shift. You never know what you’re going to see and it keeps you on your toes.” – Kristin W.

“My favorite two things about my job are patients and co-workers. When patients breathe better, look at you, and just say thank you. My co-workers, are who I lean on and band with no matter the location or obstacle we face. TEAMWORK is amazing.” – Amanda O.

“My favorite thing is the flexibility to move about the hospital. When all my patients have been seen and are being taken care of, I am able to go to another floor and help out, Also, I like the fact that I am needed in all the codes. We are the head of the bed like people in healthcare always say.” – Andrea A.

What’s something you wish the general public knew or understood about RT, but currently doesn’t really know or understand?

“I wish the general public knew that RTs are very important in the healthcare system and we are FIRST RESPONDERS.” – Yamilez R.

“We are just important as nursing because IV medications sometimes don’t sustain a life; we are needed as much because if you’re not breathing, you’re not doing anything.” -Claudia R.

“The ventilator, a.k.a “Life Support,” does NOT mean death! We are resting bodies to be able to get over whatever disease process is going on! It is another tool to get better!” – Oviere B.

If you have taken travel contracts before, what is one of your favorite experiences from traveling? 

“My favorite experience from traveling is when I met my fiancé! We get married on Nov. 18, 2023. Who would’ve thought I would meet my soulmate thousands of miles away from me while on a work assignment?” – Neysa A.

“My favorite contract was in San Antonio. The location was close to the riverwalk, so I was able to take relaxing walks.” – Psykhe S.

“Traveling contracts give me the wonderful opportunity to discover new and exciting places, people and ways to do Respiratory Therapy under a different scope each and every time, broadening my skills. Developing resiliency.” – Elizabeth B.

What has been the most challenging experience as a Respiratory Therapist?

“The most challenging thing in my 17-year career has been COVID in general. The shock, the helplessness, and the death I experienced no matter all our efforts. A very sad moment for humanity.” – Amanda O.

“The challenging experience remains the fact that I have been exposed to so much death and code blue. I still remember several faces of my patients who passed away without their family. I was a caregiver and a family. The lonely days in the hotel without my husband and children.” – Melanie Y.

“The most challenging experience as an RT was leaving home 12 and 7 hours away, going into places I had never been before and not knowing what the outcome was going to be and leaving everything behind in 24 hours.” – Claudia R.

Why would you recommend your profession to someone thinking about becoming a Respiratory Therapist?

“It is a specialized scope that is an important part of the healthcare team. We work alongside RNs and doctors to help care for patients. There will always be a need for respiratory therapists.” Kristin W.

“Being a respiratory therapist is so rewarding because at one moment you’re in a c-section OR seeing life being born, and at the next moment you’re also turning off a ventilator because that was the end of a life. It puts life into perspective in so many ways. If you’re not breathing, you’re not alive, and we are the key to taking the first and last breath.” – Claudia R.

“I am recommending my profession as a respiratory therapist to anyone interested in becoming a first responder. I believe that this line of work offers invaluable opportunities for individuals eager to learn and contribute to the field. As a respiratory therapist, I have had the privilege of providing critical care to patients in need. The role not only allows me to make a difference in the lives of others but also presents constant opportunities for personal and professional growth.” – Yamilez R.

How did Covid affect Respiratory Therapists in ways unlike other healthcare professionals?

“Before Covid, not many knew what a respiratory therapist was. We managed so many ventilators that breathed for our inflicted patients, gave so many breathing treatments, and did CPR on hundreds more. And family members, as well as patients, relied so much on us to save their loved ones. Unfortunately, it took the pandemic for many to know that our role in saving lives is more relevant and necessary than what they all thought. That even our neighbors and family members would call us to ask us questions about their respiratory symptoms.” – Elizabeth B.

“The Respiratory Therapists had to be at headlines and frontline staff with our ventilators. We were entering patient’s rooms while everyone else did not want to be in there. We had to be there for intubation and hope that our live support machine will save the patient’s lives” – Melanie Y.

What has been your favorite experience working with Krucial Rapid Response?

“How fast they were able to get me there to provide the medical help needed. How amazing and caring they were when I got there. How safe and organized the process was.” – Andrea A.

“My favorite experiences are meeting new people that you eventually feel like you’ve known forever and feel like they’re family while making you feel welcomed and missing home a little less. Also, most importantly, feeling good about helping patients when they most need from us and giving all we have until we were burned out, but knowing we helped save a life with our knowledge and skills.” – Claudia R.

“THE INCREDIBLE KRUCIAL KREW! Krucial made us feel like superheroes on a mission where we were absolutely needed. All those healthcare ninjas in black scrubs made us feel empowered and ready for another 72-hour week, month after month. Gosh, if I had a time machine, I would do it all over again!” – Elizabeth B.

If you could change one thing about Respiratory Therapy, what would it be?

“If I could change anything, I would love for respiratory therapy to be recognized more as first responders worldwide.” – Psykhe S.

“If I could change one thing about respiratory therapy, it would be to address the issue of insufficient staffing. The workload in this field can be demanding, and having a shortage of respiratory therapists often puts a strain on both the staff and the quality of patient care. By having a better ratio of respiratory therapists to patients, we would be able to provide more focused and effective care.” – Yamilez R.

“I wouldn’t change a thing! We are Respiratory Therapists! We beat at our drum and get it done!” – Oviere B.

Thanks to the amazing respiratory therapists who work so hard to keep us all healthy, happy, and breathing. Happy Respiratory Care Week, everyone! Show the Respiratory workers in your life some love this week!

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