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Thursday, April 12, 2012

If the stupid read this blog, they don't stay stupid long.

Stupid people don't read my blog.  I'm sure stupid people click on my blog from time to time, but stand assured it's only because a search accidentally lead them here.  If the stupid read this blog, they don't stay stupid long. They either leave or they become smart.  The entire premise of this blog is to make all of us smarter, and if stupid people come here they will become smart by default.  

I'm not trying to sound arrogant and condescending here, I'm just stating a fact.  Nothing on this blog is written based upon feelings and emotions.  Nothing on this blog is written based on a myth, unless it's a facetious version of it. What we do on this blog is show absurdity by being absurd, and we simplify the complex; we make things easy to understand.  We analyze and articulate ideas and scientific data.  So if the stupid find their way to this blog, and they somehow stick around for a while, there's no way they could leave stupid -- at least when it comes to respiratory therapy wisdom.

I must tell you that the stupid are among the intended audience of this blog, yet I highly doubt the stupid will be reading anything I write here.  It's simply a fact the stupid don't read.  It's because they don't read that they don't learn, and hence they stay stupid.  And let me state here that while I might disagree with some of what the medical profession believes in -- like the hypoxic drive hoax and hoaxonex -- doctors are not stupid.  The stupid are among my intended audience, yet so to are doctors and nurses and fellow respiratory therapists, none of which are stupid.  You cannot go to college and come out with a degree and be stupid.  You can be wrong -- hence the hypoxic drive hoax -- but you cannot be stupid.  So doctors and nurses and respiratory therapists are not stupid.  You cannot get a degree and remain stupid.  
And don't worry, the stupid aren't smart enough to know I'm writing about them. There's no scientific data on this, but the stupid don't even know they are stupid.  If they are smart enough to know that, then they aren't really stupid.  I say that because no stupid person will take the time to read my blog.  Stupid people choose not to be smart, perhaps because they don't know they are stupid.  The stupid might by chance hear something I write about from their friends or acquaintances, but then the question is whether they will be smart enough to know I'm talking about them, or trying to target them.  If I'm trying to target the stupid, and only the stupid, my audience won't be very big, and I would basically be writing to myself.  Such an attempt would be frivolous at best.

By chance I will have some stupid people coming to my blog.  I say this because I highly doubt the stupid really know they are stupid.  And I'm certainly not going to tell them, and neither will you.  It's called human decency.  We don't tell people the truth even when we know it, because then we would be judging. Then we would be mean, arrogant and condescending.  Plus who's to say we aren't stupid ourselves.  We aren't stupid as stupid is defined, but I'm sure every one of us has stupid tendencies. 

What I'm saying is we all have our weaknesses.  The mechanic might be smart when it comes to fixing cars, but that same person may not have a clue how to romanticise.  When it comes to keeping a relationship he may be stupid.  But that doesn't mean he's stupid. And that certainly doesn't mean we are going to tell him he's stupid when it comes to relationships, because that would make him mad, and we as a society don't want to offend people.  That job should be reserved for his good friend, or his wife or girlfriend.  It's her job to question his stupidity when it comes to relationships.  It's her job to challenge him and make him better, or even a little better.  And I suppose, in a way, that's kind of what I do on this blog.  No, I don't tell the truth about relationships, I tell the truth about respiratory therapy.

In the same way you may have the smartest doctor -- the best doctor in the world -- who still doesn't oxygenate COPD patients because he believes in the hypoxic drivec hoax.  The urologist may be the best urologist for 1000 miles, but still be stupid about oxygenating COPD patients.  He may be the best surgeon, but still be stupid about respiratory therapy.  The surgeon may be the best surgeon, but be stupid about bedside manners.  The Internist who takes care of you and your grandma may be the best Internist in the world, yet still be stupid about respiratory therapy. 

In fact, as noted in the 1982 version of Egan, the respiratory therapy profession was created because respiratory therapy was proven to be beyond the scope of nurses and doctors.  Our profession was created to fill that gap.  So in RT school that's what we are taught, and then the medical profession is so stupid, so blind to that fact, or at least not wanting to admit it, that they ignore our profession.  They continue to see us as ancillary staff or technicians. 

And no one will say anything to them for fear of offending them, for fear of ruining the doctor RT relationship, or out of respect for the medical profession.  We don't want to say anything because we are kind human beings.  We might be good friends with that doctor and don't want to hurt the relationship.  We might be simply coworkers with that doctor and nothing more.  We might simply respect that doctor.  Surely that doctor is smart or he wouldn't be a doctor. 

And it's for that reason, that kindness of the human spirit we RTs present with, whereby we don't want to be the one to tell them the truth, as Egan did in that 1982 book.  We're afraid to tell them that a continuous breathing treatment will not treat heart failure, or pulmonary fulmonating edema, or BiPAP does not force fluid out of the lungs (it helps, but that's not the reason), and the hypoxic drive theory is a hoax that merely works to force hypoxic patients to needlessly suffer.  We don't say these things because we are smart, and they are smart, and we respect that.  

Yet as the girlfriend of the mechanic who is terrible in relationships, it's the job of the best friend of that man to tell him or her the truth:  is it not?  I would contend that this job should fall on the RT bosses and administrators.  Yet they don't want to do anything for fear of hurting the relationship, and that's the same reason the girlfriend of the mechanic probably won't say anything to the mechanic either.  We don't want to challenge someones intelligence. We don't want to challenge someones ego.  As we all know, we all have egos. 

Even if you don't admit it, you have an ego.  It's a proven fact that every conflict between two people is because one or the other challenged the ego of the other person.  If the wife challenges the ego of the mechanic, he will be offended.  If I challenge -- if we RTs challenge -- stupid doctor orders we will be challenging the ego of that doctor. We will be risking making a doctor mad, and then we will risk our bosses coming down on us, and we will be risking losing our jobs. 

If I say to a nurse:  "that patient doesn't need a breathing treatment, he's wet," she will say, "You're being lazy and trying to get out of work."  The truth hurts.  It may hurt the person whose ego your hurting, and it will hurt you because you may be punished for stating the hurtful truth. 

By stating the truth we may be eating the hands that feed us.  When a doctor or nurse is mad, they write variances.  They will tell your boss you have a bad attitude.  You will risk being reprimanded or even fired.  And that, my friends, is why we don't see improvements in the medical profession. That's why the field of RT continues to stay in the dark ages.  That's why 80 percent of what we do is either a waste of time or delays time.  We are afraid to tell doctors the truth for fear of bursting their egos.  

It's because of this that stupid doctor orders are written.  It's because of this that we RTs are still treated as ancillary staff, even thought the NBRC has seen to it that we are the respiratory therapy experts, educated to the highest degree.  We are trained to fill the gap of a physician's respiratory therapy ignorance.  Yet despite that fact, we are still treated as ancillary staff, or as technicians.  They see us, many of them anyway, as just another person doing a task.  

I actually had a doctor tell me that once.  She basically pulled me aside and said:  "You are ancillary staff.  You are a tech.  You aren't to question my orders, and you aren't to interpret EKGs and you aren't to do critical thinking.  I order and you do."  She was the best ER doctor that we had, yet when it came to respiratory therapy she was ignorant.  Yet she fails to admit it.  I know I shouldn't say it, and I never would to her face, but she is stupid when it comes to respiratory therapy, as many doctors are.  And I'm sure they don't read my blog because people that are stupid about respiratory therapy don't want to come here. They don't want to read the truth. They don't want to have their egos offended.

It's the same reason that  most liberals don't want to read National Review, or why most conservatives don't want to watch MSNBC.  People don't want to hear that of which is contrary to what they were taught, even if what they were taught is completely wrong.  They will avoid hearing contrary thought like the plague.  They don't want to learn the truth because it would challenge their egos.  It would challenge what they learned in medical school back in 1982.  There's this old saying that the truth hurts and then it makes you better.

Yet since most people don't want to be hurt, they don't choose to read things that will hurt them; that will make them better.  If they do read things that hurt them, if they read the truth -- which is what my blog is all about -- they will become smarter.  And that's the premise of this blog post:  If the stupid read this blog, they don't stay stupid long. They either leave or they become smart.

Further reading:



Anonymous said...

I read every word of this and you basically just put everything into perspective for me. This is exactly how I've felt about this profession ever since I started. I love all your blogs btw. Keep it going please. :)

Rick Frea said...

Yet I suppose even in saying this truth I'm taking a calculated risk. For that reason, I've actually thought of deleting this post. Yet thanks to your noted appreciation of my words I'll leave it up for the time being. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Don't delete it. I agree with Anonymous. And, as an RT who just started my career in October, I feel better knowing other RT's just get it. No one will rock the boat.

There are far too many managers and/or supervisors who won't support us if we try to teach Dr's and RN's, or try to provide good patient care by not doing everything we are told to do. We should just shove the neb in the patient's mouth, don't question, don't suggest alternatives. Don't teach patient's that the neb won't cure their pneumonia, or won't help their CHF, or their cough or coarse breath sounds, give them the neb, we want that money, we want that productivity.

I won't last as an RT, so my hope is that I can make it into management and make a difference there.