Hospice provides holistic care and comfort of home at the fulfillment of life’s journey.

National Respiratory Care Week

Happy National Respiratory Care Week, everyone! Since 1982, the last full week in October has been a time to raise awareness of the medical professionals who specialize in respiratory medicine and promote better lung health across the globe.

Respiratory Therapy is an often-overlooked discipline in the medical industry, so we’d like to take a moment to salute these experts for the work that they do.

In a hospice setting, respiratory therapists (RTs) fill a variety roles: communicating with the patient’s doctor about treatment plans, educating the patient and their loved ones about normal pulmonary care regimens and breathing-emergency procedures, and verifying that the patient’s caregivers know how to properly administer any inhaled medications or prescribed steroids.

Even during a patient’s final moments, an RT is usually close by; when a patient has reached the end of their natural life and their family makes the difficult decision to withdraw ventilator support, the RT will follow all protocols to prevent the patient from suffering any pain or anxiety as they pass. These duties are all absolutely critical for upholding one of the most sacred tenants of hospice: providing patients with the comfort, care, and respect that they deserve, regardless of their individual circumstances.

We understand that respiratory therapy can help folks of all ages and from all walks of life—not just people receiving hospice or palliative care. Whether your job consists of teaching schoolchildren how to use their inhalers, monitoring young adults undergoing sleep studies, or taking care of senior citizens with respiratory diseases in the privacy of their own homes, your efforts make a substantial difference in the daily lives of your patients.

That being said, to all the respiratory therapists employed by Dignity Texas, and all of the respiratory therapists who work in the medical industry: thank you!

Image courtesy of University of Essex/Flickr