March is about YOU!

March marks the one- year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown

So much has transpired over the last twelve months. There has been a lot of sadness and angst as we’ve said goodbye to loved ones, we’ve helped patients say goodbye to their loved ones and so much in our lives has been turned upside down.

At the same time, there has been light, new beginnings, new friendships and time to reflect on all that we are grateful for and cherish in our lives.

The RTSO wants to celebrate YOU and say THANK YOU for all that you’ve given and all that you continue to give as we manage our way through these challenging times.

We invite you to kick back and grab a coffee ….

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

On Friday March 5th at 12 noon we’ll welcome Vij Richards Registered Psychotherapist, RN, RP to share some of her new book “SHIFT STRESS”.

SHIFT Stress1Trailor – YouTube

Meet Vij !

She has been in healthcare for over 30 years and would love to help you understand how your brain and body reacts to the stresses you may be experiencing. With awareness comes a choice to change and create some new goals for yourself. She can help you achieve your goals by offering a variety of simple and easy to learn energy techniques.

Vij is happy to support individuals in the community as well as the helping professions, by offering easy to learn, evidence-based tools for stress, anxiety, depression, trauma and loss. Her intention is to empower you, to learn tools to manage and/or release the stresses that may be affecting your life, and those closest to you.

You can reach Vij at www.miltontherapist.ca

CLICK HERE ON MARCH 5TH TO JOIN US

On Friday March 26th at 12 noon we’ll welcome Ian Robertson MSW, RSW, Social Worker. “Managing ME through these difficult times”

Meet Ian !

For twenty-five years, Ian has worked with families, couples, and individuals, helping them discover solutions to their difficulties in a safe environment. Filling many roles throughout his career, Ian has never lost sight of his life’s purpose: helping people.

He has a sizeable clinical background where he specializes in adult and children’s mental health, trauma and concurrent disorders. He completed levels 1 & 2 in Trauma Therapy at the Hincks-Dellcrest Institute in Toronto. He holds an advanced clinical supervision designation from Smith College MA,US. In addition, he is an organizational consultant for developing standards of care for trauma- informed practices, and trainer for several clinical models of care.

You can reach Ian at counsellingniagara@gmail.com

CLICK HERE ON MARCH 26TH TO JOIN US

2021/22 RTSO Membership Year
Register today and your Membership will be in effect until March 31, 2022.

The RTSO requires your membership, your ideas and your experience to address the concerns and issues that impact RTs in Ontario. Your profession needs you!

If you become a new RTSO Practicing Member or renew your Membership by
February 28th, 2021 you will be entered into a draw for a
$100 pre-paid Visa and a FREE Membership!

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR MISSION HERE

TESTIMONIAL

Dear RTSO ,
Over the years I have been proud to call myself a Respiratory Therapist. From now on I will be a “retired Respiratory Therapist”.
I graduated from the Michener Institute in 1988. I worked for a year at Toronto General Hospital. I then moved with my wife and 2 young daughters to Lindsay, Ontario. I worked full time at the Ross Memorial Hospital from July 89 to June 96. I worked part time between 3 hospitals,  the Ross, Soldiers Memorial in Orillia, and Peterborough from 96 to 98. I opened the office of ProResp in Peterborough and over a year and a half grew the company to over 60 oxygen patients and 50 CPAP patients.
In September of 99 i joined the RT department at SickKids. I worked at SickKids until I retired in May of 2018. It was a great almost 19 years. For 16 of those years I was also an ECMO specialist. I felt as though I was making someone’s life better everyday. Up until this month I have been constantly either part time or casual at the Ross Memorial Hospital.
I am now choosing to hang up my stethoscope and not renew my license to practice. I have been a member of the RTSO for most of my career. When the CRTO was created, the RTSO was instrumental in guarding our rights as Respiratory Therapists and in promoting our profession. I highly recommend that all Respiratory Therapists join the RTSO in order to enjoy the full range of opportunities available to RT’s to serve our patients in Ontario.
I want to say a big THANK YOU for being there for me and all Respiratory Therapists!
Also a big thank you to all Respiratory Therapists, many of whom I worked with, for all you do, especially during this difficult pandemic.
Stay safe and be well!
Christopher Zajchowski, RRT ( soon to be Retired RT)

Welcome to 2021’s first issue of RTSO Airwaves! 

This edition of RTSO Airwaves introduces the new Board of Directors and Committee members. We’ve also included a year in review for reflection on our many accomplishments as a volunteer organization, highlights from RT Week 2020, and some fantastic student submissions received relating to neonatal and pediatric respiratory care as well as COVID-19.

CHECK IT OUT HERE!

RTSO Webinar: Covid-19 Vaccines

Recorded: January 14th, 12:00 – 1:30pm.

Description: Overview of SARS-COV2 biology, pathology, and epidemiology. Impact of public health measures on infection prevention and control. COVID-19 vaccine immunology, efficacy and expected impact on pandemic.

Speaker: Giulio DiDiodato MD, MPH, PhD
Critical Care Medicine & Chief Research Scientist
Centre for Education & Research
Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
Assistant Professor
Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence & Impact
McMaster University

Staged Precautions for Pulmonary Diagnostic Testing During and After
COVID-19 Pandemic in Ontario

The Respiratory Therapy Society of Ontario (RTSO) recognizes the need for guidance for pulmonary diagnostic testing (PDT) during and after the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario. RTSO also acknowledges that there is limited and emerging evidence surrounding the potential for exposure to COVID-19 by patients and clinicians during PDT.

As the Province moves through the various phases/stages of pandemic control, considerations must be made to ensure that patient and clinician safety is balanced with clinical benefit during these procedures. When there is a lack of clear evidence, the RTSO recommends that precautionary principles govern the decision making process to optimize a safe approach and minimize the risk of disease spread.

The following document is intended to provide guidance for a staged approach for PDT in a variety of settings, taking local public health guidance and resources into consideration including:

1. Organizational Risk Assessment for Services and Test Capacity
2. COVID-19 Screening
3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
4. Reconfigure Test Space and Patient Flow
5. Environmental Controls and Cleaning
6. Reorganize Test Scheduling

This document may be updated as new evidence emerges.

SEE FULL DOCUMENT HERE

We hope that this information will be helpful in providing a safe pulmonary diagnostic testing process for both patients and staff. Any feedback should be forwarded to the RTSO Office at office@rtso.ca.

Thank you,
RTSO Board of Directors
RTSO Leadership Committee

SEE GUIDELINES

The RTSO would like to thank
countless people across Ontario.

Respiratory Therapists across this province demonstrated unbelievable resilience, leadership, and dedication despite the increased pressures and demands on our profession. In the interest of improving awareness of RT’s and creating improved opportunities for RT collaboration the RTSO board of directors decided to purchase services from the government advocacy agency Stosic & Associates. Part of the deliverables include increased awareness around our profession and our impact on patient care in Ontario. Collaboration with Stosic & Associates directly resulted in the announcements from both Hon. Christine Elliott and Premier Doug Ford. We take full responsibility for those announcements and are very proud of this accomplishment. I think we can all say that we are incredibly happy to be recognized!

The RTSO is alive and it is interesting to reflect to 2019 when Sue Jones stood up and let the membership know that the RTSO was at risk of closing due to a very bleak financial situation. Fast forward to now with Sue Martin presenting at our 2020 AGM that we now have a balanced budget despite not being able to generate revenue from an annual educational event. This is a massive success and is due to everyone who has supported the organization. We share this success with all of you from volunteers on the board and committees, to those of you who joined to support the organization, and with our corporate members who have supported the RTSO in both joining as members and supporting webinars. All this support has allowed us to focus on what is important to RT’s and to create a relevant strategic plan. Your support enabled the RTSO to be responsive to COVID-19 and your needs as this pandemic evolved. When the pandemic pay initiative surfaced, we were fortunate enough to be included due to your emails to political leaders and the start of a wonderful relationship with Stosic & Associates. This partnership has created a pathway for improved relationship building, creating awareness and introducing the addition of Respiratory Therapy in key legislative changes. We continue to engage with the government to realize our goals related to scope of practice, PTSD, and involvement of RT’s for improvements in clinical practice and patient care.

Not taking a back seat at all are the excellent learning opportunities that have taken place during this pandemic and over RT week. The RTSO is proud to have been responsive to RT’s evolving learning needs. Using virtual technology, we held the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the RTSO to provide the membership with the opportunity to hear about the work and successes the RTSO has realized over the past year.

Another great outcome of our work this year is the increased interest in RTSO involvement and membership. Annually there is turnover of Directors on the board. This year we posted several positions and received an impressive response with applications for each outgoing Director. This is a positive change as in the past several years recruitment proved to be difficult and was often a result of current board members directly reaching out to members. We are so proud to see interest increasing and hope that this continues as members see the value of this organization and how we can improve your daily practice. Stay tuned for the posting for President-elect for 2021 and please consider applying as we will continue to make a difference.

This past year has highlighted the tremendous value we bring to the healthcare system. Awareness and involvement of our profession is improving because of RTSO initiatives and members’ hard work. Now is the time to join the RTSO and be part of this exciting new chapter. To our members, we thank you for your loyalty, dedication and for showcasing how much stronger we are together. We could not have done it without you!

Announcements during RT Week from
Hon. Christine Elliott and
Premier Doug Ford

New Job Postings

Michael Garron Hospital currently has an exciting permanent full-time opportunity for an individual who wants to advance their career as a Clinical Resource Leader – Respiratory Therapy (Resuscitation and Simulation)

SEE DETAILS AND APPLY HERE

Peterborough Regional Health Centre has 2 Temporary Part-Time positions available for a Registered Respiratory Therapist.

SEE DETAILS AND APPLY HERE

Lakeridge Health is currently looking for an enthusiastic and experienced Registered Respiratory Therapist to join their team. Temporary full-time and regular part-time positions available.

SEE DETAILS AND APPLY HERE

Covid-19 Vaccine Update

Click on the button below to get the latest information on how and when vaccines will be rolled out across the province. 

As you know Respiratory Therapists in acute care have had access quickly however our colleagues in community care are in a different phase of the rollout.

The RTSO has been able to communicate with the Health Minister’s office to ensure community based Respiratory Therapists are included. Public Health units across Ontario will be the key contact as they plan the vaccine rollout in their respective regions. The RTSO is hoping to contact each public health unit to advocate and ensure community based Respiratory Therapists are included in plans for vaccine uptake.

See the latest information regarding the roll out of Covid-19 Vaccines HERE

Joint Statement from the
OHA, OMA, RNAO, RPNAO and the RTSO

As New Modelling Confirms ICU Cases Climbing Toward Devastating Levels, Health Organizations Re-issue Plea for Tougher Government Restrictions and Help from each Ontarian

SEE JOINT STATEMENT HERE

ATTENTION
Action required by all RRT’s
in Ontario!
Members and Non-members

The RTSO is lobbying and working behind the scenes to improve your ability to use ultrasound equipment when performing procedures to improve patient care.  We have been working with a government relations firm Stosic & Associates and we are now reaching out to you for some help.  Simply download and copy/paste the templated letter into an email and send it to your MPP. We have also included instructions on how to find your MPP.

The more RT’s across Ontario that send this letter the more support we will have moving forward with changing the authorization of the use of ultrasound. 

DOWNLOAD HERE

Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) Integrated Role Profile in Ontario

The RTSO has created a document with the help of many RT’s across the province to assist organizations who employ or intend to employ RT’s with a description of a broad, inclusive role working in a variety of practice settings across the continuum of care, demonstrating our specialized expertise in all sectors of healthcare.

Please take some time to familiarize yourself with the document and use it as a reference and share broadly with other stakeholders.

VIEW HERE

AAs Excluded from
Pandemic Pay

Doug Ford recognized many healthcare workers in his pandemic pay initiative. However, he forgot key players that were in hospitals every single day and in direct contact with COVID patients throughout the pandemic.

These forgotten healthcare workers have fought for recognition of their services during this pandemic and for entitlement to pandemic pay. They include Anesthesia Assistants, Perfusionists, Medical Radiation Technologists, Diagnostic Medical Sonographers,  Medical Lab Technicians, Registered Dieticians, and Physiotherapists. This list is not exhaustive.

Imagine you’re a very sick COVID patient entering a hospital. An Anesthesia Assistant helps anesthetize you and place your breathing tube. The progression of COVID’s effect on your lungs/body is tracked by images taken by radiation technologists/other medical imaging staff; they will take multiple images/scans during your hospitalization to help guide treatment. Blood work and labs are collected and analyzed by medical lab technicians. Your condition worsens and you require extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) – the most intense form of life support – a perfusionist will be managing that machine and keeping you alive until the machine is no longer necessary. Perfusionists see the sickest COVID patients every single day. Your body is continually growing weaker as it is fighting COVID, physiotherapists ensure your body stays strong while registered dieticians manage your diet to optimize your body for recovery. Diagnosis, treatment, recovery, and rehab are a team effort.

All these individuals were left off the list of being eligible for pandemic pay despite having direct contact with COVID patients. If painters, plasterers, locksmiths, carpenters, truck drivers, electricians, and other hospital staff who did not directly contact COVID patients qualified, WHY DIDN’T WE?

Please help us appeal to Doug Ford to remedy this situation.

If your profession was also excluded from Ford’s pandemic pay program in Ontario, please email me at fairpandemicpay@gmail.com.

Please sign the Pandemic Pay for Ontario’s Forgotten Healthcare Workers Petition

SIGN THE PETITION HERE

Occupational Stress Injury (OSI) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Respiratory Therapists (RTs)

It is imperative to have services and supports in place to keep RTs protected, mentally fit and healthy to ensure we can carry on our important and heavily replied upon expert services in this very intense and stressful role…for the good of each one of us and the patients we serve.

Respiratory therapists (RTs) work as essential members of rapid response, various code, disaster, radiation and other emergency response teams.

DETAILS