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Friday, August 10, 2012

Does the job of RT suck?

Wow.  While surfing the net I came across this thread about the profession of RT.  It starts as one humble student asking questions about the field of RT:  "I want to be a respiratory therapist but everyone keeps asking me why? What do they do? So any respiratory therapists out there, what is the answer?

It lead off to a bunch of RTs trashing the profession:  "Don't do it!  This job sucks!  We get no respect!  RTs are the hospital's bitches, etc."

I wanted to be a teacher once, and the reason I decided against it is because I bravely went out of my way to approach some of my favorite teachers to ask them if teaching was a good career. They both told me it sucked and the pay sucked. 

So I ended up as an RT.  I like being an RT, yet I still dream of being a teacher and sometimes wonder how my life would have been different had those teachers said something nice about the teaching profession.  Two of my neighbors right now are teachers, and they both love their jobs.  Plus they get all summers off.  Plus they get paid better.

I agree with one fellow RT who wrote:  "If you hate your job so much get a new one."

Sheesh.  Get a life folks.  There are definitely times I get frustrated during the course of my work.  Just this past week I was ticked off at my bosses because they aren't proactive and don't go out of their way to make our jobs better.  They would rather sit and not make waves that might make their jobs harder.

Yet that's life.  No matter what job you do there's going to be things about it you don't like.  No job is ideal as the AARC pictures the profession of RT to be here.  Ideal is for dreamers and people who vote for socialists like Vladimir Putin.  In the real world nothing is perfect: Failure happens, Death happens, Poverty occurs, Dummies exist, People starve, Politics is real. 

In the real world people who eat bad, smoke and drink seem to live to be 80, and people who exercise and take care of themselves still get sick and die.  It's unfair, yet life is unfair.  Regardless of who you are, there is a risk to anything you do.

Yes, and smiles are fake.  Some person who says, "I feel great," is really having a bad day.

Sure, that's life.  Yet whether or not you smile and show your happy face and love your patients and love your coworkers and get along with people is up to you.  You can make it what you want.  You can say, "Yes, I'm having a great day!" even when you're really not.

Yet if you say, "My job sucks," then people will view you as the guy who hates his job.  Yet if you say, "I love my job," or, "I'm doing great today," people will see you as the cool guy who is always happy.  You can be the negative guy people want to avoid, or the happy guy people love to be around.

Life is what you make of it.  Complain sometimes to the right people, and don't lose your spirit.  Complainers are seen as unhappy and say more about themselves than what they are complaining about.

Does the job of RT suck?  It only sucks if you want it to suck. 



Unknown said...

Thanks for your response. I posted a similar question on a Facebook message and was given the same answers. I try not to dismiss their feelings on the situation because they're valid but I do wholeheartedly believe your view on the situation is what makes all the difference.

I am a first semester R.T. student and I am looking forward to completing and having hopefully advice to those curious about this field in the future.


... said...

Great post. I too have been on that same exact thread, and it can be disheartening to read all that negativity. In fact many of the threads on that website are very negative and if anybody tries to talk about furthering education they are bashed. But I think it is important to remember that the people who are generally posting on threads like that are the ones that ARE frustrated with how their careers are going. It's a very small sample size and generally people who are even just content with their careers are not seeking out job forums much less writing scathing comments about their chosen careers. The grass is always greener, they always say to go nursing, but if you look at the nursing forums on those sites, you will see just as much, if not more negativity. You can google "nursing sucks," or "don't be a nurse," and you will see hundreds or thousands of disgruntled posts. It's not that being a nurse really "sucks" in the eyes of most nurses. It's just that these are the few who have chosen to voice their dissatisfaction with the career. Just know what you're getting into when you choose pursue and profession and if you still choose to do it, the odds are that you will enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Having been an RT for almost 20 years, I feel I can give you a fairly good picture of how your career will transpire. I work in DME (Durable Medical Equipment). I've worked in this type of setting for the majority of my career, though I did work in Acute Care in the earlier years of my profession. What I like about being an RT in the DME industry is being able to really impact my patient's lives in a possible way in terms of educating them about their disease process and the steps they need to take to manage it. I love teaching - and my patient's seem to notice that and appreciate it.

What I hate: incompetent managers whose only goal is to make a fast buck at any long term cost to the company's reputation as a healthcare provider. These people are short sighted and have no real vision in terms of reaching out to the community to see how they can best serve it.

The job WILL be thankless if you rely on your managers and coworkers to praise your efforts. But if you care about what you do, your patients will make up for the inconsideration of your employer.

The money is ok - you won't get rich - but you definitely won't starve, either. And in this day and age, there's something to be said for that.

If you do decide to go into this profession - take my advice and do whatever you can to achieve professional growth at every opportunity you're faced with. This won't change the way your employers or supervisors treat you (they're fatally flawed, I'm afraid) but it WILL allow to you have a better sense of accomplishment and a higher degree of self esteem. You'll need it to offset all the damage your supervisors will try levy against you. For some reason the profession does attract a number of people with predatory personalities who thrive on making those around them miserable :(