Years ago a fellow respiratory therapist provided me with this list.
Respiratory Therapy 101
1. The first treatment for pneumonia will sometimes help, and maybe even the second, but most subsequent treatments will have no effect unless the patient has underlying bronchospasm.
2. When a patient in fluid overload is given a breathing treatment and lasix at the same time, once the fluids is drained from the lungs and the patient is feeling better, the treatment will almost always get the credit.
3. Because respiratory therapy is poorly taught in nursing and medical schools, all adventitious lung sounds will require a breathing treatment, and, more than likely, subsequent treatments.
4. Because respiratory therapy is poorly understood by the medical community, all embarrassed respiration will be treated as asthma.
5. Nearly every time you are called to recovery to do an albuterol breathing treatment, the patient will present with post extubation stridor, will be audibly wheezing due to fluid overload, will be faintly breathing due to too much pain medication, or won't be breathing at all. The treatment for all four cases will be bronchodilator, and I'm not joking.
6. Many of the therapies we do have nothing to do with therapeutics and everything to do with making sure the patient meets criteria for reimbursement. Profit! Profit! Profit!
7. Many of the therapies we do are simply so the doctor can cover his butt in the case of a laswuit.
8. Many of the therapies we do are to make the patient (or in the case of kids, the patient's family) feel like we are doing something.
9. At some point, some doctor will try to convince you that BiPAP helps treat pulmonary edema by pushing the fluid out of the lungs.
10. At some point, some doctor, or some nurse, or both, will try to convince you that all COPD patients are CO2 retainers who cannot be over oxygenated
11. A study was done once on 100 post operative patients. All 100 patients were given ventolin QID times three days, and they all eventually were discharged. The result of the study: post operative ventolin speeds up time to discharge. This should explain all the post operative ventolin treatments. This also shows how frivolous medical studies can be.
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