Raising the Bar
Education is a key component in quality care. It begins at home, in the RT profession.
I am very pleased to join the staff of this magazine as its new senior editor, although its former senior editor, Paige Smith, will be a tough act to follow. The magazine is the direct result of your contributions, as its readers, writers, and interactive users. I look forward to learning from you as we continue to work together.
One particular illustration: This January, a joint statement was released by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), and National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) encouraging respiratory therapists to more actively seek advanced education and credentialing. (You can read the full statement at http://www.aarc.org/headlines/landmarkstatement.asp.) Their argument is that the respiratory therapy profession needs to increase the number of therapists with advanced education and credentials to remain competitive in todays health care market place. Many RTs already have the necessary skills and training to take the examination needed to become registered RTs, but have not yet done so. Why? What are your thoughts on the credentialing statement? How have you managed your own education as a practitioner? Do you plan to receive further education and credentialing in the future? What relationship do you believe increased credentialing might have with the current recruiting environment, in which the need for RTs is high?
In this magazine, I hope to address issues of education in general, in both directions: educating ourselves and educating others, about the fast-evolving currents in respiratory therapy. This certainly includes the clinical concerns of the respiratory industry, which you will find addressed in this issue in articles on infection control and on managing adult respiratory distress syndrome, and insights into its measurement, as explored in an article on screening spirometry. It encompasses opportunities for sharing information available to RTs, as demonstrated in an article on exercise and asthmatic children, and, especially, in our guest editorial on talking to students about tobacco use. In future issues, we provide information on the working interests of RTs themselves, in articles on top RT institutions and on RT salaries.
Please let me know your thoughts about the above or any other topics, issues, or concerns you would like to see addressed in the pages of RT magazine. Send me emails or letters, or catch up with me at the FOCUS conference in Nashville on April 1012. I look forward to meeting you. b