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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Respiratory therapists are eubiquitous

Respiratory therapists are ubiquitous; seeming to be everywhere at the same time.  This is the nature of our game.  Wherever we are needed, that's where we appear.

Where might you find your respiratory therapist? The following is a typical day at a hospital near you.  You will find your RT:
  1. Walking into the front doors with a cup of coffee in one hand and a lunchbox in the next
  2. Punching in
  3. Greeting his coworkers with "I'm doing great today!  How are you?"
  4. Placing his keys in his locker, and lunch in the refrigerator
  5. Taking report in the RT cave
  6. Answering the phone at the secretary's desk
  7. Reading yesterday's newspaper in the RT charting room
  8. Discussing a new idea for a protocol in his boss's office
  9. Bantering with a visitor in the waiting room
  10. Guiding a lost visitor to the room his mother is in
  11. Guiding a second patient to the front back lobby
  12. Grimacing as his beeper goes off for the first time for the day
  13. Running through the hallway on the way to the emergency department
  14. Bagging a patient in the Emergency room, and then setting up a ventilator
  15. Washing his hands behind the ER nursing station
  16. Running through the hallway on the way to critical care
  17. Assisting with an intubation in the critical care, and then setting up another ventilator
  18. Walking through the hallway on the way back to the RT Cave
  19. Grabbing a clipboard in the RT Cave
  20. Washing his hands in the bathroom near the cave
  21. Walking through the hallway on the way to do breathing treatments
  22. Walking into a room, saying, "Well, are you ready for your med-day peacepipe?"
  23. Giving an albuterol breathing treatment in a patient room, and bantering just as well
  24. Giving an epinephrine treatment in recovery
  25. Attending a code in the front lobby
  26. Performing EKG or PFT on an outpatient
  27. Assisting a physician do a stress test
  28. Washing his hands once again
  29. Grabbing his lunch box from the RT Cave
  30. Gobbling his lunch in the cafeteria
  31. Grimacing as his lunch is interrupted by his beeper going off
  32. Trudging down the hall on the way back down to ER
  33. Rushing room to room in ER doing several EKGs
  34. Washing his hands by the ER nurses station
  35. Pikcing up some medicine in pharmacy
  36. Rushing back down to the emergency room
  37. Trudging room to room in the ER doing breathing treatments and more EKGs
  38. Setting up a holter monitor in the emergency room
  39. Rushing up the stairs
  40. Grabbing incentive spirometers from one of many satellite stock rooms
  41. Walking room to room teaching patients how to do incentive spirometry
  42. Instructing a middle aged woman on methods for quitting smoking
  43. Grumbling as his beeper goes off, once again
  44. Taking an patient on a ventilator to CT
  45. Setting up on oxyhood in OB
  46. Running a blood gas in the laboratory
  47. Watching monitors in the sleep study lab
  48. Checking on a BiPAP set up in critical care
  49. Joking with a critical care nurse
  50. Giving a breathing treatment and watching the Detroit Tigers with a COPD patient
  51. Watching telemetry while the monitor tech takes a break
  52. Eating lunch in the hospital cafeteria.  Whew!  A much needed break. 
  53. Watching a C-section in surgery
  54. Watching Matlock while giving a breathing treatment to an elderly lady
  55. High fiving a happy, young child with down syndrome
  56. Cheering up a child with stickers after the lab tech drew his blood
  57. Rushing past the unit secretary on his way to the stairway
  58. Trudging through the surgical doors, and down a long hallway
  59. Searching for an EKG machine that was not put away
  60. Smiling when he discovers the EKG machine is right where he left it
  61. Doing a STAT EKG on a pre-operative patient
  62. Joking around with the nurses in recovery
  63. Talking with a volunteer on the way up the stairs
  64. Talking in the break room with a nurse
  65. Meeting in the doctor's lounge with a hospitalist
  66. Attending doctor's rounds in the critical care
  67. Searching for an old EKG in medical records
  68. Watching a football game in the break room, at least until his beeper goes off
  69. Grabbing stock from the basement stockroom
  70. Grabbing a new oxygen tank on the way through the tank room
  71. Enjoying the fresh outdoor breeze while taking a break on the loading dock
  72. Surfing the Internet in the Computer room
  73. Attending a meeting in the classrooms
  74. Talking with the CEO in the administration building
  75. Assisting a nurse boost up a patient in bed
  76. Attending a Keystone meeting in the boardroom
  77. Extubating a patient in the critical care
  78. Watching telemetry as a DNR patient's heart decides to go flat line
  79. Taking a dead body to the morgue
  80. Walking some epaper work to a doctor's office
  81. Walking through OB on the way back to the RT Cave
  82. Stopping on a dime as his beeper goes off
  83. Rushing to check on a ventilator that "won't stop beeping."
  84. Suctioning a ventilator patient in the critical care
  85. Washing his hands in the patient's bathroom
  86. Walking through the hallway
  87. Eating dinner in the break room
  88. Discussing the end of the day plan with his coworker
  89. Rushing room to room doing breathing treatments
  90. Standing in the doorway of a patient room saying, "Well, if I see you again, I hope it's at Walmart or a Bar or sometihng."  
  91. Touching a little old lady on the shoulder, and noting how she smiles
  92. Standing in the doorway of the same room, listening to one old lady say to the next, "What a fine young man he is."
  93. Returning to the RT cave
  94. Leaning back on his chair an dputting his feet up on the desk
  95. Placing the keyboard on his lap and charting his daily work
  96. Giving report to his replacement RT
  97. Bantering with his fellow RTs in the RT Cave
  98. Standing by the time-clock watching the last minutes tick away
  99. Punching out
  100. Saying "have a wonderful night" to the folks working at the front desk
  101. Walking to his car after a long day

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