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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Old School Respiratory Therapists

Some of the wisest respiratory therapists among us are your "Old School RTs."  They've been wearing out carpets and tile on hospital floors since the 1960, 70s and 80s.  Their minds are filled with so much RT wisdom they're often utilized as living Respiratory Therapy Encyclopedias.

Many worked as RTs in the days when oxygen was piped into walls and the need for RT services was in question.  So some doctor decided that oxygen caused COPD patients to stop breathing, and thus the Hypoxic Drive Hoax was created to justify the need for RTs.

And of course then you had some doctor make up the indications for IPPB therapy that drove the IPPB Revolution.  Between the 1950s and 1990s billions of patients had respiratory medicine forced into their lungs with the belief it made them better.  Yet studies in the 1970s proved IPPB merely acted to overdistend good alveoli.

Old school RTs saw the rise and fall of the IPPB revolution, and many were forced to do so many IPPB therapies they still need to recommend the therapy once in a while just to recommend all the years of wasted treatments.  So they write things like:  "Up with IPPB."  Oh, come on Jane, you know it was you who got the patient better, not the machine.

Old school RTs came to the realization (mainly due to RT fatigue) that IPPB was as useless as drinking water to treat heart failure years before IPPBs faded away, and they likewise realized the same was true of the hypoxic drive theory when 100 percent oxygen and breathing treatments given with oxygen killed no one in 40 years of RT-ing.

Your old school RTs are not your RTs who hold on to old theories like the plague.  They defend the hypoxic drive hoax, believe xopenex is better than albuterol, and still defend IPPB.  Surely my friend Jane is not an old school RT by my definition, she's an RT Sage, an RT Encyclopedia.

Old School RTs are old fashioned.  Yet your sagacious RTs are your "Great and Powerful.... all knowing... Wizards of Respiratory Therapy."  We love them all and appreciate them.  Plus, years ago, they were in the same boat we are in now. So, while you think what your going through is new, think again.  Talk to an RT Sage, an RT Encyclopedia. 

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