Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Runout

Dear RT students,

Soak it up while you can... While you are a student I have learned the importance of asking questions. It is your time to ask questions and not look like an idiot. When it comes time to fly solo, guess what, your not going to have a wing-man to hold your hand. I am sure my proctor and fellow RT's at my clinical site are sick of answering questions. Don't be afraid to ask! When-in-doubt ask! Now is the time!

Along with Respiratory Therapy, rock climbing is one of my passions, and there are many things that make rock climbing exciting. As one acsends the cliff, there are many safety points, at most popular rock climbing sites, these safety points are called bolts. The distance between the protection points are called runouts or the distance between the bolts. In respiratory therapy there comes a time when you have to stop relying on the safety points (bolts) and rely on yourself.

When we are finally dubbed "Sir/Madam RT" there will come a time when we are going to be tested. I know what you are thinking... Didn't we just take tons of tests and examinations?? This test will not come from a University teacher, school board, or certifying association, this test will come from your RT director, RT co-worker, nurse, or doctor. They will test your clinical knowledge and aptitude. They will be evaluating to see if you are a good source of information. When this test comes be confident and direct. If you are unsure, fake it; Don't risk any lives or put anyone in danger, but fake it if you don't know it! Stick to your guns, even if you find out you are wrong down the road. Because if you go the other route and you are passive and you show your passivity, you are done. In their mind they will have stamped you "idiot" and move on and never give you the time of day again. Stupid right? Unfortunately, this is how it works. Confidence needs to be apart of your mentality. There is no room in a hospital setting for apprehension.

To avoid "faking it" learn all you can now so you can practice what I call "objective confidence". Objective confidence involves developing intelectually in preparation of these superfical tests. By asking questions and unceasingly building your respiratory therapy bank-of-knowledge, you will be able to use objective confindence.

One of my first RT trainers helped me to understand the importance of learning now. He was one of the most well educated RT's I have ever met. I asked him how he was able to retain so much during school? He said, "When I went to class, I took notes, when I came home from class I digitally recorded my notes, and when I went to the gym, went to the grocery store, went to the bank, I listened to my notes. And when I didn't know something, I asked."

Take ever moment to learn now, so when the runout comes you can use objective confidence, instead of ending up looking like this guy, stuck between safety points, with now where to go but down...


kscottrichey said...

First, I love the aesthetics of your Blog. Nice design.

Second, Great post me being a former wall rat enjoyed the metaphoric relationship between rock climbing & building respiratory knowledge.

Third, it’s nice that you encourage continuous development. I have seen a lot of stagnant new graduates, who do not care on their development.

Thanks for the post, will be waiting for more.


The Respiratory Cliff said...

Thanks Scott! I have enjoyed reading through your blog as well.

Michelle N said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog post to all RT students. I am currently in first year of the Respiratory Therapy program and I couldn't agree with you more. If I were to be a patient, I wouldn't want to be treated by someone who just got through school and barely passed the exams. I wouldn't want to be treated by someone who only knows 50% of the important Respiratory Therapy information. Thanks for posting, I'm glad I came across this article.