Sue Jones RRT FCSRT LSSBB RTSO President

As we work through COVID-19 and the challenges it has created in our healthcare system, our lives and our economy, please know that we are here for you.  This respiratory disease has created a massive need for PPE to keep you all safe as you provide assessment and treatments for these patients.  There has never been a time in history like this, with the increased spotlight on ventilation.  We are striving, along with partner organizations, to also highlight the need for Respiratory Therapists to manage and operate the increased number of ventilated patients.  From across this country including Ontario, Respiratory Therapists are finding their way into the minds of many as the media starts to feature our profession in their stories.  These are unprecedented times, and with this comes opportunities and challenges. We are working through both concurrently.

What does success look like for our profession?  I would say at the patient level success is being part of the team that treats the patient with COVID-19 and sees them survive and go home.  At the organizational level wherever you work, success means recognition of your hard work, dedication and contribution to patient care, and the added value you provide to that organization.  At a professional level, success looks like improving partnerships in the healthcare system and the resulting increase in participation and recognition of our skills and knowledge. Provincially, success has meant increasing involvement and advocacy, as government groups and others reach out, seeing the need to include Respiratory Therapy in planning for future needs around surge and pandemic planning. Nationally, success is the increasing media spotlight and growing interest from potential students for our profession.

We continue to provide you with the most up to date information on COVID-19 on our website including continuing education, products and announcements/directives we have been collecting.  There will be so much data after this, and the analysis and learnings from this pandemic will be presented at INSPIRE on October 24, 2020 at the Blue Mountain Conference Center in Collingwood, Ontario. Please join us for a big party to celebrate and absorb as much information as possible from our current situation.

Your support is more important now than ever before.  Please join if you haven’t yet become a member of the RTSO, and encourage your colleagues to become members.  Your membership allows the Board representatives to have a bigger voice at those important tables where planning takes place.  It also allows us to initiate research studies and provide you with the tools you need at the front line of healthcare.

Lastly, I want to recognize all of your hard work and dedication to your patients and to each other.  I know that my loyalty has always been in helping my colleagues at my workplace – as Respiratory Therapists we stick together, look out for each other and most importantly support each other through these trying times.