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Write to Congress to support AARC-backed bill

HR 2619 would allow qualified respiratory therapists to provide education and instruction in disease self-management for Medicare patients diagnosed with certain chronic lung diseases. The legislation will allow physicians to utilize the respiratory therapists’ skill set to educate Medicare beneficiaries on how to recognize and reduce symptoms and triggers of their disease to prevent exacerbations that can lead to costly inpatient acute care.

Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) has introduced the AARC-backed Medicare Respiratory Therapist Access Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill, identified as HR 2619, will permit qualified respiratory therapists to provide self-management services to Medicare patients in physician’s offices.

“We have listened to the feedback from previous years, and are positioned to move the profession forward in an era of increasing healthcare needs,” said AARC Federal Government Affairs Chair Frank Salvatore. “We need your letters going to your U.S. Representatives, asking them to co-sponsor HR 2619.”

The bill has not yet been introduced in the Senate, but has backing there from a number of members who are also involved with the Congressional COPD Caucus. “We’re at a tipping point,” said Cheryl West, AARC Director of Government Affairs. She explained that letters help garner attention and they should be sent now to:

  • Your member of the House of Representatives asking for their co-sponsorship of HR 2619.
  • Your 2 Senators, asking them to support the introduction of a companion bill in the Senate.

AARC has an easy-to-use letter system online that allows you to quickly edit a suggested message in order to personalize it a bit, and then to easily send those emails on to your members of Congress. Click here to find the page. A Respiratory Therapists Alert with an update on the bill is at the top of the page; scroll down to find the form to send the letter.

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Photos show State Conference highlights

Lectures, discussions and activities highlighted the NSRC’s annual State Conference, held May 15-17 in Kearney.

Key events and education included the Advanced principles in Ventilation workshop, where patient-ventilator synchrony were discussed; as well Enhanced Ventilator Monitoring and Decision Support.  Lectures on pediatric emergencies and infant ventilation demonstrated techniques and technologies for those who deal with children.

The lymphatic system was discussed as part of an integrated approach to respiratory care, demonstrating the advanced skills of the respiratory therapists.  Respiratory care in rehabilitation was added as a different facet in what is considered traditional respiratory care.  Diaphragmatic pacing and safety for us and patients concluded the topics.

“Attendance was great and we got to see friends and peers that we hadn’t seen for a while,” said Jenny  Bush, NSRC board member.  She said Joe Rush, Vice President, was  in charge of the conference, “and he did a great job in getting speakers and generating activities with our vendor sponsors.”

Please check out the conference sponsors and Vendor Hall participants.

NSRC state conference
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AARC schedules ACCS exam prep course

The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) has scheduled its first live and interactive Adult Critical Care Specialist (ACCS) exam prep course. It will be taught Sept. 18 and 19 in Las Vegas, NV.

The website and course registration are not yet available as of June 19, 2013, said Shawna Strickland, assoiate executive director of education for the AARC. However, dates and the location are being published so interested parties can mark the event on their calendars and make travel arrangements.

Strickland cited several reasons for taking the AACS exam and prep course.

  • Demonstrating your dedication to your patients and demonstrating your skill to potential employers.
  • For new respiratory therapists, developing a more comprehensive understanding of the ICU environment to make an impact on patient outcomes.
  • Taking a quality program to further your career and supplement your knowledge of the ICU environment and the critically ill patient.
  • Ability to earn 13.55 critical care-specific CRCE.

Program faculty are nationally recognized speakers. They include:

  • Gerald Fulda, MD, FACS, FCCM, FCCP; Christiana Health Care System (DE).
  • Carl Hinkson, MS, RRT-ACCS, RRT-NPS, FAARC; Harborview Medical Center (WA).
  • Keith Lamb, RRT-ACCS; Christiana Health Care System (DE) and AARC Adult Acute Care Section Chair.
  • Tom Lamphere, BS, RRT-ACCS, RPFT, FAARC; Pennsylvania Society for Respiratory Care and Gwynedd-Mercy College (PA).
  • Kathy S. Myers Moss, MEd, RRT-ACCS; University of Missouri (MO).
  • J. Brady Scott, MS, RRT-ACCS; Rush University Medical Center (IL)

More information and links to the website and registration will be posted here when they become available.

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Davison named Therapist of the Year

Dave Pelton, Kathy Davison and Nan Nathenson

Kathy Davison, center, respiratory therapist at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, is the NSRC’s Therapist of the Year for 2013. With her are Madonna colleagues Dave Pelton, Respiratory Therapy Manager, and Nan Nathenson, Respiratory Therapy Educator and NSRC board member.

Kathy Davison was named the Nebraska Therapist of the Year at the NSRC State Conference in May.

Davison was nominated by Nan Nathenson, an NSRC board member and co-worker at Madonna Rehabilitation Center in Lincoln.

“Kathy is not a respiratory manager, director or educator. She is a floor therapist and proud of it,” Nathenson said in her nomination letter. “Kathy willingly works with one of the most difficult-to-manage patient groups: long-term ventilator-dependent patients. She would not consider working anywhere else. Her unit has up to 32 ventilators running at any given time.”

Davison goes “beyond the call of duty” in many ways, Nathenson said. For example, when Davison is in a patient’s room, “she will be singing the patient’s favorite song. And that’s the thing – she knows their favorite song! It is Kathy who can get a patient/resident to go to bingo, go to church or just get out of their room.”

Another example of Davison’s dedication was shown over the Christmas holiday. “Kathy worked on Christmas Eve,” Nathenson said. “A snowstorm was coming, and she knew many staff would not make it to work. So she stayed overnight at the hospital and worked Christmas Day, which wasn’t her shift.”

Nathenson also cited Davison’s standard of care and integrity. “Kathy ensures that she fully understands equipment, process and policy changes. She will tell you that she wants the hands-on experience because that is how she learns the best. Kathy participates in any and every educational event offered her facility, state society and national organization.

“Kathy is on the front lines of patient care day after day, with her clinical strengths and loving heart, giving her patients and colleagues support. . . .You cannot help but smile and be cheered up by her effervescence and positivity.”

Kathy Davison, NSRC 2013 Therapist of the Year
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AARC recruting challenge offers $300 prize

NSRC members have been issued a challenge: Recruit at least one therapist to the AARC.

The names of those who do will be added, along the name of the recruited therapist, to a drawing for $150.00.

Your name will be entered in the drawing each time you recruit another therapist. There’s no limit to the number of members you can recruit, according to President Dave Patterson.

Another prize of $150 will be awarded to the therapist who recruits the most new members. Therefore, two prizes of $150 each will be given away.

In order to be eligible, you must:

  • Recruit a new member to the AARC
  • Send an email to Dave Patterson at with New Member in the Subject line, and the new member’s information in the text.
  • For each new member, you get another entry into the drawing and are one step closer to the “most members” prize.
  • Each new member is also added to the drawing, so is also eligible to win.
  • Only new members are included in this contest. Student membership does not  qualify.

The contest will end coinciding with the AARC contest on October 31, 2013.

All new member submissions will be verified before the entry into the drawing is completed.

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