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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Why are you a respiratory therapist?

Respiratory therapists and nurses have a greater calling far above helping people feel better and saving lives.  So if those are the reasons you are entering the medical profession then you may be utterly disappointed.  There is a greater calling, you see.  So read on and learn with me.

I have a unique position in the medical field, all us RTs do, and that is that we are seemingly everywhere all at once.  We have the ability to wander the hospital and we experience life in all departments.  We hear all gossip and we tend to know the milieu of all departments.  We hear all good, and we hear all bad.

One of the things I hear by some of my coworkers all over the hospital is "Why am I here? What is the point of my existence."  I hear this of nurses who go around doing nothing but giving pills all day to patients who have no clue.  They place people on ventilators who are essentially lifeless.  They do breathing treatments that are pointless.

"There is," a nurse said, "no point. I am waiting to learn the reason for my plight.  I yearn to know what is my calling, why am I here on this earth?"

I said, "Do you expect someone to come up to you and say, 'You're going to be the next prophet?'  Do you expect someone to come up to you and say, 'You're going to be the next Senator'  Do you expect someone to come up to you and say, 'You are going to write a best selling book?'

My friend said, "Well no."

"Good, because chances are no one ever will.  Why?  Because very few people get jobs that make them famous.  Think of it this way, only one person will be President of the United States, that leaves more than three million people to do every other job.  If you spend you're entire life waiting for one of those types of jobs, chances are good you're going to die severely disappointed."

"I see your point."

"My point is, you already have a purpose.  You already have a gift.  Think of it this way, if you're President of the U.S. you influence many people.  Yet the President had may people influence him through the course of his life, even in small ways.  He may have been touched for five minutes by a respiratory therapist or nurse, someone who influenced him, touched him, in a small way.

"I see your point."

"Even your minor role, even those few minutes you spend with a patient, influences that person.  You never know what person will go on to influence someone else based on what he learned from you.  Or maybe you saved his life so he can influence others.  Then you have shared your gift.  And I sound like a Rabbi or something."

My friend and I shared a laugh.

"So my point is," I continued, "that even though I don't understand why I do 90% of what I do, while I think most of what I do is pointless and maybe you do too, we touch people's lives.  We influence them in some way.  We, thus, are using our gift every day. That alone makes me proud to be an RT."

Whenever you feel there is no point, whenever you wonder what your role is on this earth, remember that you are but one small important clog in the world.  Every clog is a gift that keeps on giving so long as you choose to smile and accept your role.


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