What are respiratory therapists, and why have they taken over Indianapolis?

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AARC Congress 2017 respiratory therapists

Starting today, a huge gathering of respiratory therapists (RTs) known as the AARC* Congress meets in Indianapolis through Saturday. This national conference provides thousands of RTs with access to the most current evidence-based research in respiratory health. They will also learn professional tips and techniques for maintaining best practices and preview all that’s new in the industry. 

What are respiratory therapists (RTs)?

These specialized healthcare professionals are trained in pulmonary medicine to help those suffering from pulmonary and respiratory diseases. They work in a variety of healthcare environments, from operating rooms and intensive care units to outpatient clinics and home health contracts. 
RTs have special knowledge about upper airway management. They serve a critical function during procedures related to trauma, anesthesia, life support, and emergency medicine. Respiratory therapists treat people of all ages who have all kinds of breathing disorders, as well as cardiovascular problems. They are a key part of any sleep medicine team.

A shout out to RTs: Come see the ASAA at the AARC Congress!

Attendees of this year’s Congress are highly encouraged to visit booth #860. That’s where the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) will showcase ResMed’s S8 series CPAP machine as well as a variety of PAP mask samples.

Those who visit our booth, who let Val scan their badge, will be entered to win a brand-new ResMed S+We are giving away one free S+ for every 250 visitors!

Who’s Val?

valerie danielson head shotVal Danielson is our dedicated CAP and A.W.A.K.E. program manager. She runs our CAP fulfillment center in Tracy, MN and assists patients and medical professionals with both key programs.

The CAP (CPAP Assistance Program) seeks to serve the needs of those patients who cannot afford their PAP therapy. CAP was instrumental in bringing machines and equipment to patients evacuated from hurricane-damaged areas in the south just last month.

A.W.A.K.E. (Alert, Well, and Keeping Energetic) groups are a long-time offering from the ASAA. These communities provide localized one-on-one support to people with sleep disorders across the United States and beyond. Chances are you know of one in your area.

Val can share important details about how both CAP and A.W.A.K.E. work and how you can make use of these tremendous resources for your own patients. If you’re interested in volunteering for either program, or in contributing gently used equipment for the CAP program, she can help you get started there, too.

What’s the S+ about? ResMed S product image

This device is the world’s first non-contact sleep tracking system. Manufactured by ResMed, the S+ helps users analyze and improve sleep by recording light, noise, and temperature readings. It syncs with a smartphone and provides tailored feedback and suggestions for how to improve one’s sleep and sleeping environment.

What the ASAA has in common with RTs

We all care about healthy breathing during sleep

Chances are, patients who work with sleep technologists may also be working with respiratory therapists. Many pulmonary clinics employ RTs to run in-lab sleep studies. Considering how so many pulmonary patients are likely to suffer from a sleep-breathing disorder like obstructive sleep apnea, it makes sense.

We all care about research to better understand, diagnose, and treat sleep-disordered breathing

The ASAA launched its widely successful, free-to-use SleepHealthApp in 2016 with the hopes of developing an ongoing cohort of sleep health participants (both with and without sleep disorders) for the purposes of patient-centered research. What we can learn from clinical trials and data sets gathered through this app can be extremely useful for the world of respiratory therapy.

The ASAA encourages respiratory therapists to download the app and become a participant. Users do not need to have a sleep disorder; healthy subjects also welcome! Your inclusion will help us to continue to grow and expand this major research effort.

RTs: See you in Indianapolis!

Don’t forget to visit Val at booth #860 and enter to win a new ResMed S+ sleep tracking system!

 *AARC stands for American Association for Respiratory Care