Friday Congress Gazette
Mari Jones, ARNP, RRT, AE-C, FAARC, Program Committee Chair
Health care professionals from all over the world are gathering in Orlando, FL, today as we prepare to convene the 53rd International Respiratory Congress, which will kick off tomorrow morning with the annual Awards Ceremony and run through Tuesday.
The next four days will be full of presentations on the topics RTs want to know most about delivered by the speakers they most want to hear from, along with cutting-edge research and an Exhibit Hall packed with the latest and most advanced respiratory care technology industry has to offer.
Attendees will also have the chance to network with leading respiratory health professionals from the United States and abroad and earn all the continuing education credit they need to maintain their license to practice. To top it all off, we’ll be celebrating six decades of service and advancement too, as the AARC marks its 60th birthday.
With sunny Orlando and its vast array of entertainment opportunities as the backdrop, the Congress promises to deliver everything therapists need to reenergize their careers and their lives.
If you are in attendance at the meeting, get ready to experience the difference that is the AARC Congress, and join us as we celebrate 60 years of the AARC! If you’re back home keeping up with the activities via this Online Gazette, check back often for the latest updates—and start planning now to join us for the 2008 meeting in Anaheim, CA!
For the past 17 years, the AARC has been bringing health professionals from abroad to the United States to tour respiratory care facilities in two cities and then attend the International Congress.
The International Fellowship Program is credited with opening the door to the profession in many nations, including Taiwan, China, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Italy, and Saudi Arabia—all of which are now engaged in, or investigating, the development of formal educational programs for therapists in their countries.
This year we are hosting another group of nine fellows, who are continuing in the footsteps of the pioneering international fellows who have gone before them. Our 2007 international fellows are: Gabriela Ferreyra, PT, CRT (Italy); Zujin Luo, RT (China); Alda Marques, PT (Portugal); Valdone Miseviciene, PhD, MD (Lithuania); Mohanumar Thekkinkattil, MD (India); Claudia Oliveira, CT (Portugal); Jose Landeros, PT (Chile); Akira Tamaki, PT (Japan); and Ronald Taylor, RT (England).
Respiratory therapists want their voice to be heard on Capitol Hill, and the AARC’s annual Political Action Committee fundraiser, taking place at the Congress this week, is making that job easier.
Meeting attendees will have the great opportunity to participate in a raffle for jewelry and gift bags, with the proceeds going to support key legislators who are working on behalf of our profession and our patients on legislation like HR 3968, the AARC’s Medicare Respiratory Initiative, and HR 552 and S 329, the pulmonary rehabilitation bills.
During 2007, members contributed more than $5,000 to support legislators in voicing respiratory therapy concerns in Congress.
Attendees of the International Respiratory Congress who have marked their 25th anniversary as a member of the AARC will gather Saturday morning at 7:30 in Crystal M-N-P of the Orlando World Center Marriott for an appreciation breakfast.
AARC members all over the country are taking advantage of the Ventilator 5-K, a new program sponsored by the American Respiratory Care Foundation to raise funds for local lung health concerns.
All it takes is a simple race course, teams to push the vents, and some creative thinking.
Weber State University
At Weber State University in Ogden, UT, advanced level students competed against entry level students. “The advanced level students started with a Puritan Bennett 740,” says faculty member Janelle Gardiner, BS, RRT. “With some felt, cardboard, construction paper, a few other embellishments, and a lot of creativity it became a chicken in a car or ‘10 of AutoPEEP.’”
The entry level students countered with a Bennett AP-5, which they transformed into a “commando” type character they nicknamed “Guenter.” Since they used a wheelchair for mobility, they bested their opponents, easily crossing the finish line first.
Alvin Community College
First- and second-year students at Alvin Community College in Alvin, TX, competed against each other as well, each pushing Bear 3 ventilators. “Our first-year students decorated their vent as Rosie, the maid from ‘The Jetsons,’” says Marby McKinney, MEd, RRT-NPS, AE-C, the program’s director of clinical education. “The second-year students decorated theirs as a Las Vegas slot machine.”
At Retreat Hospital in Richmond, VA, Sarah Mays, RRT-NPS, and her team—dubbed the Vortran Vapors—decked “Victor Vortran” out in hazmat gear and paraded him around a simple course set up near the hospital. “He was quite the attention grabber,” says Mays. “Those who could not see enough from their car windows circled the block, parked, and came over just to see what was happening.”
A good time was had by all these therapists—and they all raised between $500 and $2,000 for area lung health needs.
The Foundation has been assigning points in various categories to all the Vent 5-K participants and will be presenting the Best in Show group with a brand new VIASYS ventilator at the Congress later this week.
Many brave Americans are serving their country in harm’s way, and among them are RTs who are caring for the wounded and performing other services with their units. The AARC supports these dedicated clinicians and provides them with free registration to the Congress. The Association is also providing special yellow ribbons for attendees to wear along with the other ribbons on their Congress badges.
The Congress is a great place to earn CRCEs. But AARC members can earn them all year long too, though our Webcast program. Best of all, members who participate in the live sessions earn them for FREE.
More than 15 AARC webcasts were presented in 2007, on topics such as protocols, benchmarking, rapid response teams, HFOV, and high flow nasal cannulas—and we have another great lineup planned for next year. The 2008 schedule will be up on Webcast Central soon.
“I am planning to go to the class on depression in COPD. Our clientele here is made up mostly of lower income patients, and this issue is a huge problem for us. I hope to bring home a lot of information on turning that around and getting our patients to take a bigger positive approach to their health.”
“I’ve been an AARC member since 1973. Attending the national conference is like taking a strong dose of ‘professionalism.’ It’s a renewal of commitment.”
“I am planning to attend a number of lectures centered on COPD and asthma management. I am collecting information to help our health system and community plan a strategy to develop an integrated approach beyond pulmonary rehab. ”