National Respiratory Care Week: October 23-29
Many of us simply breathe in and out without thinking too much about it. For the millions of people suffering from respiratory conditions, however, even the simple act of breathing can be challenging. National Respiratory Care Week, which runs from October 25th to the 31st, provides an opportunity to learn more about respiratory conditions and thank members of the respiratory care profession.
What Do Respiratory Care Providers Do?
National Respiratory Care Week recognizes the efforts of physicians working with lung diseases as well as respiratory therapists. Respiratory therapists are at the front line of medicine, yet many people have never even heard of this profession. Respiratory therapists address all aspects of the breathing process. They diagnose lung disorders, perform chest physical exams, consult with physicians about recommended treatments, analyze breath and tissue specimens, respond to Code Blue calls and help patients use ventilators or artificial airway devices. Because breathing problems affect people of all ages and those with a variety of medical conditions, respiratory therapists work in many settings.
How to Celebrate National Respiratory Care Week
One of the best things you can do during National Respiratory Care Week is to learn something new about respiration and the health care workers who address problems in this area. This might include volunteering at a hospital, reaching out to a local respiratory therapist to learn about their profession, participating in a local charitable event or engaging in advocacy to improve air quality in your area.
National Respiratory Care Week can also provide an opportunity to educate yourself about diseases that affect respiration. One of the most serious respiratory conditions is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD requires proactive management, including working closely with your physician and nursing team. Visiting Nurse Health System has an excellent COPD Care at Home Program, which serves patients suffering from this condition. This includes education about medication management, nutrition education, assistance with monitoring breathing status and oxygen levels and learning breathing techniques. Collectively, these strategies prevent emergency department visits and help to improve patients’ quality of life.
Join Visiting Nurse in celebrating National Respiratory Care Week. Thank a respiratory therapist or nurse who works with patients suffering from respiratory conditions. Let us know what you are doing to recognize the importance of respiratory health, and use the hashtag #rcweek to raise awareness on social media.