There has been a longstanding desire in our community to receive greater recognition for the important work RTs do. As you have no doubt noticed over the past weeks, RTs are receiving much more attention in local and national media than as is typical. The terribly unfortunate circumstance being faced by people around the world has created an incredible appetite here in Canada, and internationally, for information on the equipment and devices RTs use to treat patients. In particular there is great concern amongst the public, a feeling shared by many RTs, that there we will face shortages of vital treatment tools such as ventilators.
The CSRT has been working diligently to support the hard work being done by all RTs in the fight against COVID-19. As I reported to you last week, we have been facilitating connections between RTs across the country, providing valuable practice resources to RTs, and directly advising governments and public health agencies on the needs of RTs.
The CSRT has also been working 24/7 over the last several weeks to engage all major media outlets across Canada in effort to help provide the public with the information they need. We have been directly involved in interviews, and in making connections between media and front-line RTs across Canada. Thank you to all the members who have been helping this effort by sharing their expertise in this way. As RTs continue to provideexceptional care in the face of this crisis, the country will continue to take notice.
This never before seen level of media engagement on the part of the CSRT has positioned respiratory therapists well to influence the public narrative. The work and expertise of RTs across Canada and beyond is being written about, and discussed on TV and in the streaming media.
Our recent media release and news items in which the CSRT and its members are featured are included on our website’s repository of information on COVID-19. This page also includes a wide range of resources that can help to inform your practice through this pandemic. Please do let us know if there are media features that you or someone you know has taken part in so that we can work to amplify these messages together.
When questioned in an interview this week on the possibility that there may be shortages on RTs in the near future, CSRT member Sapan Behar at Royal Columbian Hospital stated that “no matter how big or small the shortage is, RTs will get it done”. That’s exactly the compassion and grit everyone has come to expect from RTs.
We know that you are working exceptionally hard right now, and that there is great likelihood that more will be asked of you in the coming days and week. We want you to know that the CSRT will continue to do everything possible to support you in caring for Canadians through this challenge.
Take good care,
Dr. Andrew West, CEO
Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists