We're infested with rats. I'm not talking about those little, nasty critters, but Respiratory Therapy Apathy Syndrome (RATS). It's a disorder recently diagnosed by the newly formed Respiratory Therapy Apathy Syndrome Nebulizer Society (RATS NEST).
RATS NEST was formed by Mike Olin, a recently retired respiratory therapist out of Los Angeles California. Olin informed the RT Cave that "I started feeling awkward, apathetic and passive in a way, toward my profession. I loved my job, yet something was amiss."
Yet, he continued, "After a long discussion with my psychologist, I realized I wasn't burned out, and I wasn't depressed, what I had was RATS. I was beyond burnout. I had grown so tired of running around the hospital doing senseless procedures that even when I was doing something I loved about the job I was apathetic and passive."
He explained that before he retired he hired a research company with his own money to interview over 10,000 respiratory therapists around the world, and he learned that 80 percent of respiratory therapists with greater than 10 years experience had described RATS symptoms, such as sudden outbursts of anger, sore feet, grumbling loss of interest in working
A few days after he retired he formed the RATS NEST, a society of respiratory therapists infested with RATS. The goal of the society is to "provide a place where respiratory therapists with like concerns can share their experiences and concerns and come up with a plan to improving RATS."
The main technique is to form committees, write articles, and hold seminars to help RTs cope with RATS and create techniques for improving conditions for RTs in hospitals, such as techniques and strategies to convince doctors and RT bosses and other RTs for the need for RT driven protocols.
Olin said that so far he's the only member of the society to not remain anonymous and that's because he's retired and doesn't have to fear losing his job. He said the main problem with RATS is "even infamous respiratory magazines like the RT Times refuse to acknowledge the existence of RATS. We're on our own here. We tend to lack the respect of other groups because most of our members choose to remain anonymous for fear of losing their jobs."
He says one of the next goals of the society is to create a blog and an online community for RTS infested with RATS and other RTS who love being an RT and want to create a better environment for RTS, improve patient care, reduce hospital costs and improve the inexplicable condition called RATS.