Letters to the Editor

Vol. 18 •Issue 17 • Page 10
Letters to the Editor

Attitude of Profession Disappoints Therapist

I am disappointed in our attitude towards our profession and each other. Why do we think we are less deserving than nurses? We view our profession as temporary because we have not been around as long as nurses. Is this why we do not deserve better pay because we do not have RN after our names? Why do we even compare ourselves to nurses? Do we compare ourselves to radiology or lab?

Our enemy is not nurses, it is ourselves, our attitude toward our jobs and our education. We perform a necessary duty, one which most nurses have no desire to do. We should have pride in our job.

We spend our time bickering about CRT vs RRT or whether we should have bachelor’s degrees. I am in favor for advancing education, but somewhere we lost our focus. CRTs are as smart as RRTs. There should be one examination for everyone! We all do the same job, an important job.

We need to validate our existence by standing together, not tearing ourselves apart.

Cathy Melero, RRT
Brownsville, Ore.

Therapist’s Letter Required Courage

I would like to reply to the letter, “Therapists Work Hard with Little Benefit,” in the July 11 edition. I applaud this magazine for allowing all viewpoints to be heard, no matter how unpopular. I am continuously impressed with the level of dignity that this magazine carries.

I would like to say that Mr. Richey is correct about one thing. I was considering his courage to write such an honest representation of himself for some time before responding. I know others who support and share these views. I ask only the one thing: that he leave the field of respiratory care immediately. He does not belong around patient care with such a poor attitude about what we do and what our education levels really are.

He is missing a bigger picture. We are given a gift that helps to preserve quality in a majority of peoples’ lives. We give people more time with health. We give families hope and more time with loved ones.

We most importantly help people die with dignity. I hope the person who accompanies me through that process does not share such negative views.

In response to professional organizations, membership is not mandatory. I am not a member of any. I do feel that they work for us at some points, but I have chosen to stay clear of politics and place my time and money in other avenues.

We are lucky to have jobs that pay so well and allow us so much autonomy for so little education involved. Most of us work to live up to these means by treating this job respectfully and bringing it into a higher level.

I too work with very valuable CRTs who do the same work as I do. I feel that many therapists educate themselves further by whatever means are available.

As a clinical instructor for over six years, I can only say that teachers failed Mr. Richey along the way because they did not express the importance of our job and what we should do.

Gregory K. Womble, RRT
DeLand, Fla.

Tragedy Brings Woman to Profession

I wish to address issues Mr. Richey brought to light in his last published letter. I will start with those he listed. I work in a great facility that is dedicated to making life better for children. I asked my co-workers why they entered the field and if the consensus was that we were in a dying field. This is what was gleaned from those answers.

If you were looking for a job that was easy or paid like gold, then you should not choose health care.

Our field is fairly young. We have gone from pushing oxygen tanks to actually caring for patients.

In the facility where I work, we are in every area of the hospital, thanks to some very proactive management. We have the choice to work in the cath lab, surgery, pulmonary lab, sleep lab or cardiac, trauma or general ICU. And the list goes on.

This facility does hire CRTs with eligibility for RRT, but the time limit is 6 months. What is amazing is the teamwork that exists among all disciplines.

As for joining the AARC, that is a choice. It is not a requirement for hire.

I want to address my motive to provide the best care that I can. In 1985, my grandaughter was flown by Life Flight to Hermann Hospital in Houston. She was on life support for two weeks without a diagnosis. For the length of time she was there, the care of the nurses and therapist was above and beyond what we could have ever asked.

Caregivers treated the entire family. We hung on every word, every facial expression and every turn of the knob and hoped for anything that would give us any hope. She died at five months of age. Six weeks later, the autopsy report came back: Legionnaire’s Disease. I entered a respiratory care program one year later.

Mr. Richey, at no time did I consider that this would be just bettering my own place in life. I understand we cannot save everyone. I resent the comment that you made, saying that you stand idly by and watch your patients die.

Those who cared for our baby did not. They did all they could with the equipment, knowledge, and medicine available. My motive is to give back. All my patients deserve that, and if I cannot do that, then I need to leave the field.

Jean DuBois, RRT-NPS
Children’s Medical Center of Dallas
Dallas, Texas