A thirty plus year career as a Respiratory Therapist working mostly in acute care provided me with numerous unforgettable experiences, some of which I treasure and some of which I would just as soon forget. In this short book, I share the most memorable of those experiences in a way that I hope will be both interesting and entertaining for laypeople as well as health care professionals. This is a memoir rather than a text book. So my reflections are focused primarily on the human, social, and even spiritual nature of my life as a Respiratory Therapist, including some diversions beyond just the world of Health Care. But because Respiratory Therapy is at times a very technical profession, there is some technical discussion, which I have tried to make both appropriate for health care professionals and readily understandable by laypeople, hopefully without insulting the intelligence or stressing the patience of either.
Respiratory Therapy, like other helping professions, can provide both immense gratification and terrible sadness. You will find both here. And since dealing with such widely disparate emotions can cause health care professionals to adopt a sort of "laugh so that I don't cry" attitude, you might find my sense of humor to be occasionally a bit macabre. Also, because the business of Health Care has in some ways wandered rather far from the altruistic ideals I have tried to keep hold of, I allowed myself some admittedly biting, but not entirely inappropriate, commentary, which I have tried to temper with both appreciation and forgiveness.
I hope you will read and enjoy this little book. Thank you.