Types of Respiratory Therapists:
1. ancillary staff: These are workers who are told what to do, and do them as instructed without asking questions.
2. Professional staff: These are professionals who are involved in the care of the patient and are a part of the team that "thinks" of solutions to acute and/or chronic problems the patient is confronted with.
3. Button Pushers: Respiratory Therapists who take care of ventilators and do nothing more than follow doctor's orders and push the bottons on the vent. They are ancillary staff. They may assess and have ideas, but do not communicate with physicians, and make little effort to participate as a team member to the benefit of the patient.
4. Respiratory Therapy Nurses: A term that might give the RT profession the respect we have earned and well deserve, as the term "nurses' in itself should bring about the respect of a profession that is often treated as an ancillary service.
5. Dragons: These are the RT Bosses. They guard the RT Cave during the day and have their watchful eyes peering upon everything you do, yearning for you to make the tiniest little mistake. When they catch you they pounce even before you get a chance to dot the i or cross the t. Usually, they are home sleeping at night, resulting in a more relaxed work atmosphere.
6. Queen Bees: These are all the supervisors. They take the heat from the worker bees so the dragons don't have to deal with piddly little things; like things that don't involve money. One of their biggest responsibilities is doing the schedule, and they often get pounded by unhappy bees if the schedule is not to the respective bee's liking. While they get paid just a smidge more than worker bees, they get paid way less than the dragons. Yet, while these are usually aspiring dragons, they do not complain. Now, it also must be noted that Queen Mother Bees are often in a money mindset just like dragons. For example, you are not allowed to have overtime, because the farther under budget the Queens keeps the department, the bigger the dragon's bonus at the end of the year. This is probably the most stressful job in the hospital and the least respected, as while the worker bees come at her with their problems, the Queen is also getting constant "heat" from the dragons to keep the department under budget. This is actually a lose lose job. But someone has to do it. You have to remember that queens are great people like you and me with a job to do and a family to support. And, besides, you might be one some day.
7. RT Bosses: (See Queen Bees and Dragons) These are the bosses or hospital administrators. If you want to learn more about these unique individuals click here, click here and then click here. These individuals all where suit coats, and will usually present with smile and, of course, they will want a hug or a hand shake. They love money. Everything is all about money. They want every i to be dotted and every t crossed so as to make as much money for the hospital as possible. They want to keep the worker bees just Happy enough so they want to keep working, they also want to make sure money keeps flowing in.
8. Worker Bees: These are all the Peon RNs, RTs, environmental experts, computer whizzes, x-ray techs, lab staffers, and all the other individuals who swarm around the hospital making the place look good so the dragons can make their annual bonuses.
9. RT Automatons: RTs who are trained to do and say the same thing every time a certain procedure is done on a patient, while disregarding uniqueness of the patient and the clinician.
10. Bronchodilator defenders: Some RTs Will defend useless treatments tooth and nail. They don't want to believe their livelihood is based on doing something that has no value, no purpose, and no scientific benefit to the patient -- and that spreads germs.
1. Amnesia: This is what occurs when a night shifter goes to days for a long enough period of time. He, or she, forgets what it was like to work nights. Synonym: Night Shift Suppression Syndrome.
2. Night Shift Suppression Syndrome: See Amnesia above.
3. RT Grumpiness: This is what happens to RTs who develop apathy due to too many stupid doctor orders and burnout.
4. RT Deja Vu: Catching yourself repeating yourself to a patient. Catching yourself repeating yourself to a patient. Habit of asking questions automatically at that point in the procedure. Other signs include but are not limited to: Selective hearing, Lack of attention, Burnout, Brain infarct, Exhaustion.
5. The stepping stones: These are the RTs who use the career of RT as a stepping stone to a more illustrious medical profession. In my humble opinion, this is the way to go. What better way to learn about medicine than through the eyes of an RT. I'm serious here.
6. The quitters: These are the RTs who don't like to work. Some "Quitters" take a job of RT because they think it will be an easy job and they won't have to do anything. As soon as they learn what RTs really do, they either quit or are forced out the door.
7. The contents: They are the happy-go-lucky RTs who never complain. They are the RTs you love to give report to because they are always happy. They rarely make any effort at learning new information other than what is required. They usually prefer not to work with critical patients, and when they do they never question doctors and they prefer to be button pushers. Usually, you will see these RTs happily knocking off treatments on the floors.
8. The complainers: This composes probably about 60% of all RTs. These are usually very intelligent people who love the career of respiratory therapy in theory, but hate the reality of it. They are usually well up on all the new technologies, and are very quick to question doctors or offer suggestions. However, while they are not happy, they do nothing to better their career field. After working for a while, they become frustrated and content and they give up. One of the reasons they are so frustrated is that they have decided that they are too old to get another job, or have families which makes changing jobs difficult. Yet, while they complain, they do not support change.
9. The optimists (or learners): These are the RTs who write blogs. They may or may not be more intelligent than complainers, but they love to learn. These are the RTs that consistently do research on the Internet and read magazines. These are the RTs that attend every seminar possible. These are the RTs who write the protocols and make recommendations for new equipment, and then write the policy and procedures for this new equipment. These are the RTs who learn about things like Graphics and educate the rest on how to use them. These are the RTs who make the best of their career even though they know there are a lot of forces working against them. Most important, these are the RTs every one in the department loves to talk to because they are good listeners (they listen because they love to learn). More often than not, they work with the leaders to solve these problems as they occur. They often let other RTs take credit for the work they do. They do this to keep morale in the department high. In essence, the optimists are the strings that keep the department together. A department without optimists does not run very well.
10. The leaders: These RTs, while far and few, take charge and lead. They make changes to the RT Cave and they are resented for it. They make sure everything is stocked. They make sure all the i's are dotted and the t's crossed. They are usually opposed to protocols because they don't want to "rock the boat", but they won't say so openly. They listen to the rants of other RTs, but they usually side with the administration on issues. They question RTs who question the status quo. You might hear them at an RT meeting saying something like, "Don't you think protocols might actually create more work for you guys." When they say things like this, they are catering to the complainers, who will work with them to stymie any change. The leaders do no like change because it goes against their philosophy of "do not rock the boat." It is also important to note that while most leaders are good people with normal home lives, they are often hated and revered at work. Complainers often do not get along with them, and optimists are often seen working with them "for the better of the department."
1. Bronchodilator Reform: An ongoing request by RTs to educate RNs and physicians that bronchodilators are bronchodilators and nothing more.
Overall, if you are the kind of patient who likes a doctor to take control, he's your doc.
2. Anti-irritation meds: A new line of medicine that doesn't yet exist to treat RT apathy, cynicism and vexation caused by annoying requests and stupid doctor orders.