I have been engaged in connecting people with opportunities for much of my career whether it be hiring, career mentoring, coaching, volunteering for recruiting events, or taking a whirl through the executive recruiting landscape. If at the end of a day, I made a difference in helping bring people together and opened new doors for someone, it was a personal win for me as well. It helped shine a light on what I really wanted to do next in my career. My head had a long and fortuitous journey in the technology world, but my heart wanted to be contributing towards supporting a fundamental human need. So here I am, aligning a passion and a human need with the goal of connecting candidates and clients to deliver great healthcare.
Stepping onto this path I am through human connection, learning quickly about the healthcare industry, and the various roles at the bedside and elsewhere, yet there is so much more to learn. I am meeting very extraordinary people. Like any other career field, it takes more than being proficient at a skill or having strong time management to be in a healthcare role. There are fundamental character strengths in everyone I have met thus far. They have given me a flavor of what makes a great healthcare worker. They have compassion, empathy, patience, kindness, resilience, courage, and impeccable listening skills. When they describe teamwork, they speak of working together as one for the patient, supporting each other, and of learning together. So, in this short couple of weeks since joining with All Med Search, I thought it worthy of stepping back for a moment to not only reflect, but also share my learnings and spotlight one of those healthcare roles.
In the United States, we are nearing one million lives lost related to COVID-19. Millions of people that were infected were fortunate to have never seen a hospital bed. But for those who suffered more severe illness, hospitalization was necessary and respiratory therapy was key to their recovery. The respiratory therapist plays a critical role in managing a patient’s respiratory illness. If you were watching the news at the onset of the pandemic, like I was, you heard time and time again that we needed more ventilators, but I don’t recall ever hearing, we need more respiratory therapists.
They are the healthcare workers who intubate, test lung function, manage and monitor breathing on ventilation, and provide therapies to help patients recover amongst many other duties. The bottom line is they keep patients breathing! They were likely to be at the bedside for those who took their last breath and a first smile when a patient was set to discharge. Thus, I imagine there are days they have gone home with a story of a patient overcoming and being discharged and on other days, wondering if they could have done more.
While COVID-19 has been at the center of respiratory illnesses for the last two years, the need for respiratory therapy will not go away as case counts drop. In 2020, COVID-19 was the third highest cause of death in the United States, while chronic lower respiratory diseases was the sixth highest cause of death, thus there are other respiratory diseases that continue to need the support of our respiratory therapists including asthma, COPD, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, and pneumonia. There are also a number of other health conditions that result in breathing problems.
As an Army Veteran, I often say “thank you for your service” to the active duty and veteran service members I meet and know. Being fully transparent, I did not truly reconcile until now, that in a not so different way, healthcare workers are due the same consideration and honor. Every day they serve and every day during this pandemic they put their lives in harm’s way for the better of humankind. So today, I want to particularly pay honor to respiratory therapists. Thank you for your service. We truly appreciate you!