Wednesday, January 9, 2008
So what exactly is a Respiratory Therapist?
So I am just about sick of hearing people ask me "what exactly is a respiratory therapist." So I am going to try and condense it to simple terms so not as to bore you with the details that only I find so exciting. Put simply, I am a specialized nurse of the heart and lungs...but I have never wiped poo off someones butt nor will i EVER have to. You could never pay me enough to do that.
HERE IS MY JOB
We use a metal pry bar like device to pry open peoples mouths so we can shove a breathing tube down into their lungs....don't worry they are knocked out for this procedure. (aka intubation)
Then we hook that tube to a machine to blow air and 02 into their lungs and do their breathing for them. (aka a ventilator/life support)
When we can't get the air in or out of the lungs they are usually full of snot so we stick another smaller tube down in the lungs and vacum suck the lung snot (aka sputum) out so that we can get the air in and out. (this triggers the gagg reflex in patients and they pretty much hate it...and us).
We find great pleasure in finding a good snot pocket in the lung and getting it out.
Most people draw blood from veins...but we dig deeper. When we draw blood we stick your ARTERY for blood.
We put CPAP masks on people whose airway collapses when they sleep becuase their third or fourth or fifth chin is so fat it collapses it.
We do tests to make sure the patient is strong enough to come off the breathing machine (aka ventilator).
We run blood through a machine that tells us values and tells us if we are breathing good for the patient and keeping the body in a homeostasis state.
We measure the amount of volume people can take into their lungs.
We make people who just had their chest cut open and stapled shut take deep breaths and cough...( this hurts real bad as I am sure you can imagine).
We vibrate, hydrate, and medicate peoples lungs to get the mucus out
Quite often they can't cough up the crap that is clogging their lungs....so we get to go down into their lungs to get it. (they really really hate that...lots of gagging and wrestling....my kind of fun!!)
We deliver Nitric Oxide (aka exhaust) at low dosages to people and babies to improve their oxygenation.
We decided how much air to put into peoples lungs so we don't blow a hole in their lung (it really can happen).
If someone comes into the ER we get the best view cuz we stand at the head of the bed and take care of the breathing for the patient.
If someone is going to be knocked unconcious for a proceedure we are on standby incase they decide to stop breathing (aka turn blue).
We take care of the patients who breath through holes in their throats... and we go down those holes to suction mucus out.
SO THERE IT IS>>>> A QUICK LITTLE OVERVIEW OF RONNIE AND JUST WHAT THE HECK I DO WHEN I GOT TO WORK!!!