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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hospitalists have a lot in common with respiratory

When I started as a respiratory therapist the profession of hospitalist did not exist.  If it did, I wasn't aware of it.  Needless to say, therefore, I'm afraid to admit, when I first started reading the blog "Happy Hospitalist" I did not know what a hospitalist was.  I merely assumed it was simply the authors play on words to create a catchy blog name.  

Nor did I have a need to learn what a hospitalist was.  Where I worked they did not exist.  Since where I work exists ten years in the past, I think I'm safe in assuming that the profession of hospitalist began about 2003.  I'm making this assumption because it was in the year 2013 that the first hospitalist group was hired at Shoreline Medical.  

Now that I know of them, and have met many of them, I find that I really like them.  I find that they get along very well with our kind (species respiratoria therapista).  I recognized this the first time I was brave enough to recommend a ventilator change, and the hospitalist said, "We respect your profession.  You are perfectly approved to do what you are trained to do."

I recognized this the first time I was brave enough to ask for a COPD patient to receive more oxygen.  The hospitalist said, "We have an oxygen protocol, and it allows you to oxygenate chronic retainers."  

I recognized this the first time I heard a nurse say, "Call the hospitalist!"  I found this neat, because prior to their arrival it was only your respiratory therapist, lab and x-ray who were known only by the title of what they did.  

I recognized this the first time I realized hospitalists suffer from the same burnout and apathy respiratory therapists suffer from. 

I recognized this as I perused the "Happy Hospitalist" blog and found the same apathy formed, dry humor formed here at the RT Cave.  

I recognized this the first time I heard a hospitalist say "Oh!  Come on!" when his beeper went off for the three hundredth time in an hour.

I recognized this the first time I was having lunch with one, and his meal constantly interrupted by pages.  

I recognized this when I first realized the ubiquitous nature of the profession.  So, like respiratory therapists, hospitalists are seeming to be in all places at once, from ER to CCU, from recovery to a patient's room. 

So hospitalists have a lot in common with respiratory.  As I make this connection, I smile. As I hang with the hospitalist, this truth is real and assumed.  It creates a subtle bond that eases the relationship beyond that of simple doctor-respiratory therapist.   

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