Q: Why all the  hype about RT Week?
I don’t see the big deal!

A. Pathy, RRT

Dearest A.,

We are an amazing, passionate and dedicated profession that is highly skilled!  Respiratory Therapists (RTs) deliver high quality, safe and ethical care to the public of Ontario. Of course we need to celebrate, promote, educate, and advocate…RT Week is our opportunity to shine!

Self-promotion may not come naturally to most RTs, but it is essential. Unless RTs are very open about the profession and what services it provides, our patients won’t know or understand the role of an RRT on the health care team. Be sure to introduce yourself as an RT to patients and members of the public.   RT Week is a great opportunity to start a conversation about the profession with our patients, the public, and even with fellow colleagues!  Advances in preventing and detecting disease, improved medications and more sophisticated treatments and technology will only increase the demand for Respiratory Therapists…why not become a health promotion professional?

Plan and set goals and objectives for professional development and education activities…do an environmental scan or a needs assessments to identify key drivers and critical success factors that support role development in your workplace. We need to GROWOM (CRTO, 2014) and evolve, educating others on who we are, what we do and what we can offer.

Why not represent and be a professional ambassador?  We need a comprehensive, sustained and intensive approach in moving this profession forward into the future. Advocacy occurs when groups of people attempt to change or influence the activities of governments, corporations, or other organizations, such as the work done by the RTSO’s amazing group of volunteers!  Raising awareness and lobbying are ways to have our voices heard! Seek to get more involved as a member…engage with or volunteer at one of your professional associations today…together, we can lead our profession into a bright and healthy future!

References

American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) (2019).  Respiratory care week.
Retrieved from http://www.aarc.org/resources/programs-projects/respiratory-care-week/

Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists (CSRT) (2019).  Respiratory Therapy Week.
Retrieved from https://www.csrt.com/rt-week/

College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario (CRTO) (2014).  GROWOM Ongoing professional growth.
Retrieved from http://www.crto.on.ca/members/professional-development/grow-2/ &
http://www.crto.on.ca/pdf/GROW/CRTO-Grow-Brochure-Final.pdf

Respiratory Therapy Society of Ontario (RTSO) (2019) website: https://www.rtso.ca