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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Thank God For Acapella

No! I'm Not Talking About Music!
There's an old saying: If there is a healthcare tool, it will be abused once doctors catch on to it. This was true for IPPB back in the day. It was true for alupent and now albuterol. It was true for BiPAP. It was true for CPT. And now it's also true for Acapellas. 

Such is how it is in healthcare. And there's the old saying to justify such orders, "Well, it can't hurt!" 

Well, it can. It can hurt me, as getting all this nonsensical stuff done, plus all the sensical stuff done, creates a lot of work for us. And we get burned out, and when we do eventually get to doing CPT all we have energy for is a weak thud... thud... thud.   We teach our patients and we give the pithy version because we don't have energy or time to go into any great detail. It burns us out. But, at least it won't hurt the patient. Or will it? Hmmmm. Could be a debate here in the RT Cave. 

Now, CPT does work for some people. Don't get me wrong there. You have people with cystic fibrosis or bronchiectasis who may greatly benefit from it. You do have some patients who benefit from it. But, just like anything in healthcare, any thing that is available is going to be abused. And that is what lead to CPT on post op patients. Yes, we had a doctor years ago who ordered CPT four times a day on all of his patients who had abdominal surgeries. 

Really, all this accomplished was giving us RTs exercise. It really did not benefit the patient in any way shape or form. Yet we did this for years. And no one but me questioned it. Or, no one but me and some of my fellow RTs who got burned out from this type of stuff. 

And here I will segue to acapellas. Similar to CPT, they do benefit some patients. But, as with all things in healthcare, it is another tool that is abused. Now we have doctors ordering acapellas for every patient admitted with COPD and pneumonia and anyone with annoying lung sounds. This is interesting because only some of these patients would benefit from them. 

The nice thing about acapellas is it is something you can teach a patient and they can do on their own. It doesn't require us beating on a patient every four hours. And, for that, I think acapellas are one of the best inventions ever in healthcare. Thank God for acapellas. 

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