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Friday, May 25, 2012

Do we learn too much in RT school?

Your Question:  Is it common that the things we learn in RT school are not what we deal with once we start working?


My humble answer:  There's always going to be things we cover in RT school that we don't use in the real world.  Yet I think this is a good thing.  It's good because it helps you with critical thinking.  It's better to know the why and the how rather just that it is.  This additional wisdom is what separates the neb jockeys from the professional respiratory therapist.

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1 comment:

Chad Hasselius said...

Here's an example I've come across: a lot of therapists don't know that paO2 is the pressure of oxygen measured in the blood plasma.

A lot of therapists would say that knowing this doesn't help you do your job, which is taking the blood, running it through the machine, and giving the results to the doctor.

However, if you don't know that PaO2 is the oxygen in the plasma, and that it's the oxyhemoglobin curve that gives you your calculated saturation, and how the oxyhemoglobin curve can be skewed in cases of fever and acidosis... then you won't understand why the saturation given is incorrect if the patient has a fever or is hypothermic.

You might also not understand how the paO2 doesn't matter if the patient has a hemoglobin level of 6 grams/dl.