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Friday, March 29, 2013

You may be wrong, but you are not an idiot

Okay, folks, I have to write a post like this at least once a year.  I have to remind my readers that I do not advertise this blog, and it's the #1 most read respiratory therapy blog on the internet.  I have never advertised my blog in all the five plus years I've done this, and I have no public relations team.  I do not analyze what I'm going to write, I just am who I am and I write what I write.  


I have never, at one point, ever tailored what I write on this blog to attract this group or that group of readers.  I just sit down here at my computer and do what I do, follow my heart, be honest, and it attracts an audience.  And if it doesn't, I don't care.  I don't care because I don't do this to attract an audience.  I do not do this to keep you happy.  I do this because I love to do it, and because I love to do it my writing attracts readers.  
Now I understand there are people out there with different needs.  I understand there are nurses and doctors and respiratory therapists, asthmatics, COPDers, CFers, CHFers, pneumoniaers, reading this blog. There are people who have never been sick and do not work in healthcare who have emailed me that they read my blog.  So people read my blog, so there is nothing wrong with my blog.  And people who read my blog on a regular basis know I'm not the "ignorant, idiotic, moron" as some of the comments on some of my post suggest.  
Despite some people who think I'm an idiot because I have an opinion that differs from theirs, or an opinion that differs with the medical profession, or differs from the nursing profession, or differs with respiratory therapy bosses, or differs from what  CMS officials say, does not make me an idiot.  The fact that my blog still ranks number one, and is rising among the ranks of healthcare blogs, shows that what I write is not the problem.  The problem, if there is one, is the people who make these comments.  They are the problem.  They can't stand that someone like myself is guts enough to speak his mind about his job on the internet.  
You guys who read my blog all the time know this blog is not a blog of hate, for example.  This is not a blog of extremism.  This is not anything that it is said to be by its critics or people that don't read my blog except when they hit it in a Google search for something else.  They see that I have made a funny about Ventolin, when they say Ventolin is nothing to joke about.  They see I think the hypoxic drive is a hoax, and they write a comment that I'm an idiot.  They see I hate the government intruding in healthcare, and they say I'm an idiot for writing about politics when this is a respiratory therapy blog  -- "How dare I write about politics in a respiratory therapy blog. Stick to politics!" one angry reader wrote me.  
My point is that, for me to change the way I approach this blog because of what is said about me, would be folly.  The way to approach expanding the audience would be to deal with it from that standpoint, but not to change me.  Sorry guys, anything that effects the profession of respiratory therapy is open game here. I will not, nor have I ever, come up with any opinion on this blog just to cater to a specific audience.  I do not stay away from sensitive issues just because I might offend someone.  If I did that, then this wouldn't be my blog, it would be no different than reading the newspaper.  This is my blog, so it only makes sense posts follow my opinion.  
If the government is making laws that create more useless breathing treatments, I will speak out against it.  If the government is going to pass a healthcare law that forces my place of work to hire 30 more people to create more paperwork and more useless charting and more useless order sets that force me to treat every patient the same, and increase my workload needlessly, I will speak out.  I cannot keep quiet just because one of my readers might be offended. 
If I offend you, I'm sorry.  If I offend you, I always offer on my blog the opportunity for you to challenge me.  I invite challenges all the time on this blog, and rarely does anyone challenge me.  Sometimes I'm called an idiot, but rarely does anyone of those people who calls me an idiot ever provide evidence why I am an idiot. No one has ever offered me proof that I am wrong.  
And, as I wrote once, even though I have all the evidence on my side, I am always put on the defense.  That seems to be how it is with the respiratory therapy profession.  We RTs know that Ventolin does not treat pneumonia, CHF, or rickets, and we have all the evidence on our side, yet we are always put on the defense.  That's just how it is.  
A few years back a doctor emailed me to tell me I'm an idiot and he will never recommend another reader to my blog because I wrote a post chiming in that the medical profession is full of lies as it tries to convince people Ventolin will treat pneumonia.  The doctor even sited an article that noted that "Ventolin does too treat pneumonis," the doctor said, "it's proven right here that it increases sputum production."  Instead of apologizing so I wouldn't lose a reader, I simply wrote him this:  "If Ventolin causing increased sputum production treats asthma, then why do asthmatics, who have an increased number of goblet cells, still get asthma."  My point was that this doctor's theory was hogwash, and not at all based on science.  Yet I'm the idiot.  

I in no way write to offend poeple.  I write based on what is offered.  I take words that others have said, and I use those words here, informing my readers why they are folly.  And as all my fellow RTs know, it's not hard to find folly among the words of many in the medical profession.  And it does not mean that those who say these words are idiots either, as I have never called them that.  

For example, one doctor once said to me while showing me the pneumonia spot on the x-ray:  "This is why I'm doing a breathing treatment."  I never called that an idiot, because she is not.  She is a very good doctor; she is simply ignorant about respiratory therapy, and there fore she doesn't know it.  So I simply say, "That's interesting."  

I find that saying "that's interesting" is the best response when you really don't like something, and you don't want to hurt that person's feelings.  When I used to go to art shows, and someone would show me a piece of art I thought was junk, I'd say, "That's interesting."  When I used to be in a writers group, and someone had me read and criticize something I thought was junk, I'd say, "It was a really interesting story."  So that's how I treat ignorant words by members of the medical profession.  

And, while the artist who painted a picture I don't like, or the author who wrote a story I thought was junk, can still be a brilliant artist and writer, so too can the doctor who says something based on ignorance still be a brilliant doctor.  There are many brilliant doctors, many I truly respect, who still believe in what I consider the 15 biggest myths of respiratory therapy.  Yet while I postulate these myths often to those I work with, proffering scientific proof, I am often put on the defense, even while the person doing this has no evidence to prove me wrong other than, "Well, every one else agrees with me."  Which goes to the old saying, "If every one else jumped off a bridge, would you?"  Probably not.  

So just because everyone else believes in a myth, does not mean you have to.  That is the purpose of this blog.  Respiratory therapists who don't agree that every order written by a physician is needed are not idiots, but intelligent, well educated people who want to move healthcare forward by using common sense and scientific facts, as opposed to myths, theories and speculation.  You can agree or disagree, and you can also debate in the arena of ideas, which is what this is.  Regardless, no opinion is idiotic, as any person who forms an opinion must have some degree of intelligence.  

Further reading:

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keep doing what you are doing!!!!

Carla Penner said...

10 Things: 1.I'm an RT student 3.I see classmates visiting you, too 4.I think instructors have mentioned your blog 5. The more I know, the more I don't know 6.I'm from Canada and it seems those politics are relative here, too. 7.Your content agrees with what I'm learning 8.Some posts initiate great discussions 9.Your blog is what settled my career decision. 10.I keep coming back for more.