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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Think for yourself

One of the things I try not to do much of on this blog is write about life at Shoreline Medical. Of course you guys know that's a fake name right.  I'm not stupid enough to write the real name of where I work. I started out this blog thinking I'd write about my experiences as Shoreline Medical (fake name), although I quickly got scared out of writing about things, fearing even if I change names, dates, etc. someone might see through my story.

In fact, one of my early stories was read by one of my coworkers before he even knew I had a blog, and he said, "Are you writing a blog?"  Fortunately he's a good friend.  My point is I learned to be careful.  I have read many other RT bloggers over the years who have been forced to shut their blogs down because they got a little bit too personal.

And I'm not saying I haven't crossed the line a time or two.  Sometimes I get out of work so irritated that I sit down at my blog and write pretty detailed posts, only to never publish them out of fear.  However, I usually use this energy to come up with humor.  I use the words of actual doctors, twist them into RT humor.  I think this is safe.  So far it's been safe.  I'm basically showing absurdity with absurdity.  And occasionally I write an  actual educational post, blend in some philosophy, in order to not make my blog look like it's one made to blast the respiratory therapy profession.

I hope it doesn't appear on this blog like I'm blasting the profession, as that's not my intent at all (well, yeah I guess it is to a point). But what I'm trying to say (write) is that this blog is meant to shed light on what is good and bad about the profession, and to have a little fun along the way.  The ultimate goal is to be honest, and to hopefully make this profession better.  If your're just riding the wave, well, that's not how we get better.  The way to get better is to actually look at yourself, and to see what is good and bad, and to make changes that make you better.  The same is true of a profession.

Just so you know, I love being a respiratory therapist.  I love taking care of people. I love having chats with my coworker and patients.  And, just so you know, I do think it's fine to talk about religion and politics.  It's a fallacy that you shouldn't talk about these things. I'm pretty good at reading people, and I often know as soon as I walk into a room what I can and cannot say.

If the patient isn't a talker, I sit there and I come up with blog ideas.  And I take notes.  And when I see something, or a doctor says something stupid, I write it down.  If something new happens, I research it and I come up with a blog post idea.  When it's slow I read books, magazines, Internet articles, and anything I can get my hands on.  All this gives me ideas.  I take notes.  I usually don't blog when I'm working.  I think there are too many risks at that.

My son recently came to me and said he didn't want to be a dentist or psychiatrist because he learned there's a high suicide rate among those professions.  I think there are a lot of people who don't want to be doctors because of Obamacare.  I hear there are a lot of people who don't want to be RTs due to lack of respect for the profession.  I hear there are people who don't want to be teachers because of high burnout.

Yes, it was a teacher who told me not to be a teacher.  I regret not becoming a teacher.  You guys benefit, because I went to journalism school instead, and that's why I can do this.  Yet I told my son that you do what you think you'd like to do, and don't let other people, or studies, sway you one way or another. You need to set your goals high and, if you decide you want to stop, then you can settle with wherever you're at.  But you start out reaching high.

So that's why, despite the flaws of this profession, I never tell people not to pursue it.  If you have asthma, if you love people, then this profession is right for you.  Don't let the pessimism stop you. Why? Because no profession is ideal.  There are flaws with every one of them.  Your job as a high school student (or wherever you are in life) is to find the flawed job that is best for you.

My son said once he wanted to be a professional baseball player. I encouraged that goal too.  If he becomes a Tiger for a day (and he expects to replace Verlander), then I'm sure he'll take care of me when I'm old (financially that is).  What I did not tell him is that even baseball players get burned out.  It's a long grueling season you know.

Life can be whatever you make of it, and a job can be whatever you make of it.  So don't be discouraged by what you hear, or what you read.  Do what you want.  And that's my rant.  Thanks for hanging around here, and thanks for all the kind emails and comments.  And make your own decision, heed what people say or write, but don't let them sway you. Or, think for yourself.  That's what my grandma used to say.  Rick.

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