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Monday, November 18, 2019

I have amonia can you check my stats

I always think it's cute when people come up with their own play on common terms we use in healthcare. Some people are unfamiliar with these terms until all of a sudden they get sick. So, we certainly can't fault them for the error.

Here's a couple that we here a lot.

I have suffered from this for years 3 years ago I had ammonia.

Can you check to see what my stats are?

And it's not just patients though. I have heard nurses use these terms. I hope I haven't heard an RT to use them. 

Can you think of other medical terms like this? 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Introducing Respiratory Cram

Today we feature a guest post from  Damon Wiseley. 

Respiratory Cram is a new free resource for current respiratory students and working RRTs. Our goal is to find the best respiratory teachers from around the country to write and talk about the content they teach best. 

We currently have several in-depth articles on the site covering the dreaded a-A gradient, causes of hypoxemia, and even how to pass the information gathering section of the NBRC clinical simulations. Respiratory cram also gives free access to 2 CSE practice simulations for students getting ready to take their board exams.

We’re also hiring. If you are a respiratory program teacher yourself or know of an excellent teacher that is interested in writing for us, please head to the website and shoot us an email from the contact page. We’re always looking to work with teachers who have a passion for teaching and would also like to reach a wider audience online.

Thank you,

Damon Wiseley

Monday, November 11, 2019

Myth Buster: Vaping is the worse thing ever

So far this year 12 people died as a result of vaping. So, this has some people saying it is an epidemic. Is it really an epidemic? Let's put this in perspective.

I will keep this simple. About 3,000 people die each year as a result of asthma. About 120,000 die every year as a result of COPD. So, to say vaping is an epidemic is poppycock.

Look, I am in no way endorsing vaping. It's not a good idea to inhale fumes that no one is sure what's in them. To make efforts to prevent kids from vaping, that's fine.

But to scare people who could benefit from vaping away from vaping? That I think is a stinky idea. No pun intended.

You have 12 million U.S. adults who currently smoke cigarettes. Cigarette smoking is linked to so many horrible things.

Vaping was created to give people who smoke a viable alternative. All it contains is nicotine and fumes. Nicotine is the most addictive substance on earth. That's not to take away anything from Heroine or Cocaine. But, it's very addictive.

But, nicotine itself is not harmful other than that. All it does it get people addicted to cigarettes. What is harmful are the 4,000 plus chemicals in cigarette smoke. It's these chemicals that cause so much harm to their body's.

Currently, the FDA is investigating the cause of those 12 deaths due to vaping. It's investigating the few e-cigarettes that blew up. So far, it looks like it's the result of one specific substance stuffed into e-cigarettes. We'll see how this investigation turns out.

In the meantime, if vaping can help people who smoke get away from these 4,000 plus harmful chemicals, that's great. Don't take away the viable alternative to vape for those who yearn for a viable option to help them quit.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Shut up and do it

Freedom of speech is a natural right. But it's limited to your government. Your first amendment rights refer to government. They do not refer to your place of employment. So, if you don't like what your place of work is up to, your best bet is to shut up and just do it.

How did I pass algebra? 

A good analogy is algebra. I hated algebra. In high school I really struggled. I questioned the teacher, "Why do I even need this." This attitude lead me to day dreaming in class. After a while I got far behind.

One day I was sitting in class doodling while the teacher was talking. He came up to me after class. He said, "If all you're going to do in class is doodle, you might as well not come back tomorrow."

So, I never went back. It was nice in a way because I had an hour free time for studying for my other classes. But, it didn't bode well for my future. Even though algebra never made sense to me, I still had to do it to pass high school. I still don't understand why I needed it then.

In college I got an C- in my first algebra class. This was way better than in high school. Still, the reason I got a C- is because I questioned why I needed. it. The teacher came up to me and said, "I think you should retake Algebra 1 before taking Algebra 2. Back then, this was not a requirement.

I decided against. I took Algebra 2 anyway. I got an A+ in algebra 2. How was I able to do it. Because I decided that I ought to just shut up and do it. I stopped asking questions. Even though algebra made no sense to me, I just memorized the formula's and did it.

Did I truly learn anything? Not really. To this day I have no idea what algebra is. Well, I do know some basics. But, I still fail to see how it has helped me in my life. But, in the moment, it was required. I learned that the best way to succeed in Algebra was to just shut up and do it. This is how I got my A+

How do I succeed at my work? 

Same with Algebra, some things at your work are going to make no sense. Your boss is going to make you do things that make no sense. For instance, your job is to take care of patients. You are the best respiratory therapist in the world. Your patients love you.

And you get in trouble for not dotting an i or crossing a t. You get into trouble for things that have nothing to do with patient care. Your boss forces you to do something that seems completely irrelevant.

You might be tempted to wine and complain. And you might. And you might say, "Well, there's this first amendment thing. There's this freedom of speech thing."

But, the first amendment does not give you total freedom of speech. It protects your natural right to speak out against your government. You can disagree with Obama. You can disagree with Trump. You can disagree with your congressperson. And you can talk or write anything about them that you want. And they can't hunt you down like they can in China.

But, your first amendment right does not protect your right to speak out against your place of employment. You are hired to do a job. You are hired to do whatever you were hired to do. And if you talk bad about your boss, you can be fired for doing so. You do not have a constitutional right to bad mouth your boss or place of employment.

So, shut up and do your job.

If you don't like it, you can always get another job. In my case, not so easy. Where I live there's only one hospital. So, I have no choice but to shut up and do whatever this place wants me to do. Thankfully, where I work is a pretty nice place. My bosses and place of employment are pretty good.

Still, there are the regulations. There's federal and state regulations. There's Hippa. There's laws that make my place of employment make us do things that make no sense. And, when these moments occur, it's our place to shut up and just do it. That's how we keep the peace. That's how we keep our jobs.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Don't Hesitate To Call A Code

Occasionally, I get paged to a Rapid Response Team Call. Or I get called to a Code Blue. And I get to the patient's room and the patient is fine. No Problem. That happens.

It's your patient. If you see something is wrong. If you suspect things aren't right. And a notion in the back of your mind says, "call for help!" Fine. go for it.

You only get one chance at this life. I have seen such actions many times save a life. Many times the patient doesn't make it. But, occasionally the patient will be just fine.

Don't feel stupid! Don't feel bad because you called the team and their services weren't needed. We have all been there. Even I, your great and humble RT of 23 years and writer, have called a false alarm. It happens.

Will people make fun of you. Well, maybe if they know you can take a joke. But, probably not!

There is an old saying that goes well here. You do the best with what you know today, and as you learn more you do better."

Monday, October 28, 2019

Mergers, Universal Healthcare Causes Fewer Job Options

There are lots of hospitals. In the past, most hospitals were independently owned. This was good. It meant more competition and lower prices. It means lots of job opportunities. If you grew tired or your current place of employment, you just applied at another hospital. Same was true if you got fired. You just moved on. 

Today, with all the mergers, it's not so easy to move on. You have large hospital groups merging with smaller hospitals. You even have larger hospitals merging with other larger hospitals. They are doing this at record levels since Obamacare was signed into law in 2010.

Now, I don't mean to get political. I just want to explain how Obamacare is responsible for all these mergers. There are two stipulations in Obamacare that almost forced this on us. 

One, is a stipulation that makes it easier for hospitals to merge. This makes mergers possible. 

Two, is a stipulation where Medicare will no longer reimburse for patients who are readmitted within 30 days of discharge. This was done to lower costs to Medicare. It gave Medicare good reason to decline payment. But, it also encourages mergers. The writers of Obamacare knew small hospitals would want to stay independent. This stipulation made it so smaller hospitals would be, maybe not forced, but highly incentivized to merge. 

I think this was done on purpose. With only a few large hospital groups, it would be easier to merge them into one universal health system. 

Sure, there may be some good arguments in favor of universal healthcare. You may be a supporter of it. But, I here want to give you a great argument against it. And that is that you will have no options if you don't like your current job. There will be no alternative places to work. 

Sure, you could still switch to a different hospital. But, you won't be able to escape the system. And if you get fired, there won't be other hospital systems out there to hire you. If you get fired, you will be unemployable. 

Nurses would have more options. Nurses can work outside hospitals. But, we respiratory therapists can only work in hospitals. So, this is good reason for all of us to be very scared of the threat of universal healthcare. 

Monday, October 21, 2019

2+2=5 Strategy

Or just say, "Whatever!" 
A friend shared a meme with me. It went something like this:
2+2 =5.  When you get to that point in your life someone says this and you think: "Whatever! If you want to think that, have a good life. I'm not correcting you." 
I think this meme is so fitting.

Someone says: "The world is going to end in ten years if we don't do something about global warming."

You say, "Ok."

Someone says, "Smoking is not going to harm me in any way."

You say, "Ok."

Someone says, "Inhalers work better when you don't use a spacer."

You say, "Ok."

Someone says, "Socialism is good. I want America to be a socialist country."

You say, "Ok."

Sometimes it's just not worth the effort. When you're working, maybe you will want to convince the smoker to quit. But, if you've already made 20 efforts, maybe it's time to put the 2+2 = 5 strategy into effect.