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2010 Keynote Speaker Cites RTs in Consumer Article

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November 27, 2012

As respiratory therapists, we often lament the fact that health officials and others sum up the universe of health care clinicians as “doctors and nurses,” even when other providers have clearly played a major role in whatever initiative is being discussed.

That’s why the AARC strives to bring leaders in health care to the AARC Congress, and in 2010 we accomplished that goal by having Carolyn Clancy, MD, as our keynote speaker. As director of the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, Dr. Clancy has a major impact on health care decision-making in this country, and she also has a “bully pulpit” from which to educate the public.

She did just that in a recent article titled Teamwork a Key Feature of Patient Safety Improvement Program and we were happy to see that her experience as a keynote speaker at our meeting paid off with an expansion of that “doctors and nurses” mantra we are all so familiar with.

In her article explaining the Comprehensive Unit-Based Safety Program to reduce central line infections in the ICU, Dr. Clancy cited the experience of a hypothetical patient, noting that “Laura‚Äôs doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and others make sure the head of her bed is raised to the right level, check that hands are always washed properly before all exams, and follow all other infection-control steps.”

Clearly, Dr. Clancy’s exposure to respiratory therapists at AARC Congress 2010 gave her a lasting impression of the vital role we play in the nation’s health care system.