Kelly Hassall RRT FCSRT MEd

It’s been an exciting start to the year for the RTSO Leadership Committee.  We’ve had one meeting in 2020 and it was filled with updates on the many projects that we’ve been working on that are now coming to fruition. In addition to projects, we have had a few changes in our membership.  Sue Martin has announced that she will be stepping down as Co-Chair of the Leadership Committee in order to focus on her duties as RTSO Treasurer.  We have recently welcomed Stephen Buziak from Halton Health onto the committee who has kindly offered to Co-Chair the committee.  We are still looking for representation from the London and Kingston/Ottawa areas.

As you will see in this edition of RTSO Airwaves, the data from the preliminary PTSD survey has been collated and shared at the Leadership Summit, with the Ministry, as well as with the CRTO.  We will continue to support work in this area with the hope to expand to an Ontario-wide survey, and we’ll be sharing the results at the CSRT Conference in Montreal.  The Registered Respiratory Therapist Integrated Role Profile is in its final stages of approval and will be available for reference by the end of February 2020.  The Board is just in the process of finalizing a plan for disseminating the document to key stakeholders in an effort to raise awareness of the vast scope of the Respiratory Therapist and consideration for inclusion in various care teams and areas of care.  A huge thank you to all of our members who have contributed to this document.  The aim of the RRT Integrated Role Profile is as follows:

This document is intended to provide a broad, inclusive role description for RRTs working in a variety of practice settings across the continuum of care, demonstrating that with our specialized body of knowledge and skills, RRTs can have a positive impact on patient, caregiver and provider outcomes. The goal is to maximize quality, safety, health and health care utilization outcomes across those settings and through transitions in care within a patient centric model of care.

The document will also be accompanied with a list of resources and references to assist in adding some evidence-based support to the wide scope of our profession and benefit to patient care.

Also within this edition of RTSO Airwaves, you will see an update on the Workforce Planning initiative.  With all the changes that are currently happening within healthcare in Ontario, it is extremely important to identify the areas of the province that are lacking in the resources of Respiratory Therapists and linking that to the needs of various patient populations.

We are moving forward with our resources for Ultrasound training for RTs.  A pilot training program is in the planning stages with a team at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, Ontario.  You will be seeing a survey circulating shortly to assist in identifying the needs of Respiratory Therapists with regards to ultrasound training.  The focus for this pilot will be to gain competence in the use of point of care ultrasound for vascular access and lung assessment.

The RTSO Leadership Summit will run again this year and will be adjusted to reflect the continuum of patient care and the services we provide.  The preliminary date set for this Summit is June 5th, 2020 and the location is still to be determined.

Our February meeting will be focused on setting new goals and targets for 2020.  We will be discussing ways in which we can support the needs of practicing RTs in Ontario in terms of additional resource packages, membership benefits, education, etc.  Should you have any thoughts or suggestions, please feel free to email  ​