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Friday, January 20, 2012

The cure for RT apathy is the ABSOLUTE TRUTH

One of the things we have gotten away from in this country is telling people about absolute truths because we are afraid of offending people.  We've gotten away from this in church, courts, school, politics and, you guessed it, the medical field.  The result has lead to many of the problems we face today.

There are two things we are told never to discuss with strangers, and these are religion and politics.  The reason is because we don't want to offend them.  Yet in church, in court, in school, and in politics we should be exploring the truth and teaching about absolute truths.

Yet out of fear of offending someone, we don't do this anymore.  Today we are more interested in keeping the peace than telling the truth.  The reason for this is because the truth can hurt.  And, by golly, in today's world of political correctness, we are more interested in keeping the peace than teaching truths.

To make matters worse, since we have quit talking about absolute truths, we have become lazy intellectually.  Instead of continuously looking for answers, we settle for what we already know.  And I think there are no better examples of this than right here in the medical field.

For years evidence has been coming out -- and reported right here at the RT Cave -- that the hypoxic drive is real but the hypoxic drive theory is not real.  Evidence supports the idea of giving patients the oxygen they need, and yet doctors continue to underoxygenate COPD patients out of fear they will cause the patent's carbon dioxide to rise and their drive to breathe to become diminished.

Yet in all my years as an RT, I have only seen this happen once.  I've seen CO2 rise slightly, yet that's it.  I have only seen a COPD patient have a syncopal episode following oxygen therapy once.  And he was put on a ventilator and his breathing supported, and he lived on another two years. 

Yet because we RTs are enablers, in that we are more concerned to keep the peace than to risk offending a doctor and stating the truth, this theory continues to be worshiped by many physicians.  Because we are afraid to tell the absolute truth, patients are needlessly suffering.  Because we are afraid to tell the truth, the science world has become lazy in is research because doctors are not pushing for the absolute truth.

Instead, doctors in this country continue to teach and practice based on theories that are older than dirt.  Patients suffer, respiratory therapists and nurses are overworked and burned out (resulting in apathy), and the entire medical field suffers as a result.  And we RTs and RNs know about the problem and solutions, yet we don't tell the truth because we are afraid of offending physicians.

We need to step up and rise above the fear to educate doctors that bronchodilators treat only a select number of disease processes that result in bronchospasm and not the list of nearly 30 disease process that they order them for. I'm sorry if this makes you mad, but Ventolin does not benefit all that wheezes and all that causes shortness of breath. 

Ventolin does not treat inflammation (pneumonia), it does not get into the alveoli (pneumonia and CHF), it does not reduce fluid in your lungs (CHF), it does not treat processes outside the bronchioles (lung cancer, pleural effusion, pulmonary embolus) and it does not treat processes of the upper airway (croup, dry throat), it is not a cure for aging, and it won't prevent death (death rattle). 

Yet speaking these truths may hurt the person you're telling it to.  You Will insult their intelligence.  You may even risk losing respect, and even your job.  You will be called lazy and trying to get out of work.  Yet this is what's needed in the medical field. 

I don't know if you guys know about this, but when Moses escaped Israel, only 20 percent of the Israelites left with him out of fear of the absolute truths that lay out there.  They weren't sure they wanted to make the sacrifice, take the risk of going where no one has gone before.  They were afraid to face the absolute truth. So for this reason only 20 percent of Israelites stood by Mt. Sinai when Moses introduced them to the Ten Commandments.

Yet that's all it took was a small 20 percent to stand up and tell the truth.  All it takes is for a small group to peaceably assemble and say that the medical field is broke and we need to fix it, that we need to find the absolute truths and teach.  We need to put a kingdom of light over the darkness caused by the power of deception.

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