A Day in the Life of an RT, Annie B, RRT
There is never a “typical” day in the life for healthcare professionals. They are faced with different situations left and right, some emergency, some procedural. The life of a respiratory therapist (RT)is no exception. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the hiring of RTs is growing faster than the national average for all occupations; and by 2026, BLS expects the demand for RTs to increase by 23%. As we shine a spotlight on respiratory care during Respiratory Care Week, we wanted to learn more about a day in the life of an RT; so, we talked to one of our RT travelers, Annie B, RRT, who was able to fill us in.
The Early Riser & Morning Reports
Daytime shifts for nurses generally start at 7am. Annie starts off her day getting up at 5:30am to be to work at 6:30am. She explains, “usually our day starts with getting reports for the patients we are taking. Some days you may not have much of a report and you must jump in immediately with patients.”
“We do three rounds on all our patients throughout the day where we do a full assessment; listening to breath sounds, checking our ventilators, making sure the endotracheal tubes are in the correct placement, running ABG’s, making ventilator changes based on blood work, recognizing if a patient is getting worse, etc.”
Responding Throughout the Hospital
Being an RT and RRT, Annie is working across all departments at the facility. “Throughout the day we are responding to code blues and rapid responses in all parts of the hospital. I think the coolest part about being a respiratory therapist is being apart of anything major or critical that is going on throughout the hospital.” This is all too familiar for Annie since she was an EMT for three years prior to becoming an RT.
“Some days you’re running all day long and some days we’ll do our three rounds and that’s about it. At the end of the shift, we submit a report about all of our patients to the on-coming therapist and end our day around 7:00pm.”
Regardless of the assignment or specialty, nursing is a high-demand job, both physically and mentally. The high expectations are why burnout is a common concern. Read about how to mitigate your risk of burnout here.
Traveling Provides Flexibility
Annie’s home base is in Denver, Colorado where she was born and raised. She is currently on assignment in Medford, Oregon, and it is her first time living in southern Oregon. “I love being a travel RRT because I like to move around and try something new all the time and be able to stay in places I’ve never been to”, explains Annie.
She has been taking advantage of the new location. “Since I’ve been in Oregon on my days off, I’ve gone zip-lining, seen crater lake, been on hikes, and meet other travelers that I’ve become good friends with.”
If you’re interested in traveling adventures like Annie’s, learn more about becoming a travel respiratory therapist with AMN Healthcare.