When I enrolled for this program I seriously considered whether becoming a respiratory therapist was the right job for me. My experiences thus far have convinced me that I am on the right track. Being able to use my professional skills as a therapist has given me more self confidence. Not just as a therapist, but in other aspects of my life too.
I realize that if I am going to make patients and their families trust me, I need to appear confident and competent. Having patients and their families trust me is very important to me. I like interviewing patients the best. Many of them have interesting and colorful histories. During my evaluation interviews, I learn a lot about the patient and their illness. I find it interesting, but not surprising, that many of the patients have similarities in their histories, which is why they may have emphysema, for example. I have almost gotten to the point where I can look at a patient’s chart and know something about their history, even before I interview them.
I find that working with premature infants and the elderly is more stressful for me, because their conditions often involve life or death situations. I had an opportunity to work in an emergency room once where one of the doctors had to perform a tracheotomy. It was intense. It made me realize never to take what I do lightly.
I prefer working in the hospital to doing home visits. I appreciate the professional setting of the hospital and working with other medical professionals. When there is a crisis, there are more people there to help. In the home setting, you are pretty much on your own until the paramedics arrive. On the home visits I can feel that people put a lot of faith in me to help them. It makes me feel very important and fearful at the same time. If something happens to them, like a heart attack and I can’t save their life, I fear I will be affected by it for the rest of my life.
I’m not too keen on performing the breathing, or diagnostic tests, mostly because I have to repeat some of them more than once to get a valid reading. Also, the doctors and other medical professional will be looking at them and I know how important it is that they are accurate. I am afraid of making mistakes. That’s why I make sure my test results are as accurate as possible.
I’m committed to working the long hours because I need the money. But, I’m committed to doing a good job, because I take saving people lives seriously. I work best between the hours of eight am and five pm. This is when I am at my best. I work well under pressure too. If I were having a heart attack, I’d wish someone like me was there to help me.