“Why did you sign up for this?” is probably a question that others asked of you during the early, frightening days of the pandemic. It might even have been a question you asked of yourself. But then you undoubtedly shook any uncertainty off, wrapped your stethoscope around your neck, and headed off to see the next patient. Because that is what RTs do, they keep moving forward, regardless of the obstacles in their way.
Respiratory Therapy a small and relatively new profession that has faced so many hurdles on its way to gain recognition for the unique body of knowledge its member possess. And maybe that’s why RTs are just able to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Potential staffing shortages, problems obtaining PPE, concerns over ventilator capacity – the list of very real and genuinely concerning issues seemed to grow by the day. But never once did we hear, “this is not what I signed up for”. Rather, what we heard from RTs and what we saw in the growing media attention on our profession was that RTs were standing strong on the front lines doing what they do best – Mcgivering their way through any obstacle in their path (younger RTs, if you are not familiar with the McGiver reference – ask a seasoned veteran).
You may have your own personal reason for why you “signed up for this”, but I bet all your colleagues, coworkers, and – most importantly – your patients are glad you did.
Thank you for rising to the challenge when it mattered the most.