During stressful times we tend to focus on the challenges and the struggles. It is important to not lose sight of the positive in our lives and to give gratitude.

Over the past few weeks, I have witnessed many amazing people stepping up to help everyone.  Thank you, Sue Jones and Kelly Hassall, for your ongoing dedication and leadership to help RTs through Respiratory Therapy Society of Ontario (RTSO).  Thank you, Gino Luigi De Pinto and Sue A., for keeping the RTSO website up to date with the latest resources.

   Thank you, Thomas Piraino, for putting together the great resource on your website, and answering questions live on social media. 

Also, a big thank you to Carolyn McCoyAndrew WestCarole Hamp and Kevin Taylor for your ongoing hard work in the background.

  Thank you to RT programs for lending your ventilator to hospitals, and taking your third-year students out of clinical rotations to keep them safe.

Farzad Refahi
March 23, 2020

Thank You.

  Respiratory Therapy Week is here, and I would like to take a quick moment to thank few individuals who have helped me in my growth and practice in this field.

  A quick thank you to my parents, Sherry and Mohsen, for believing in me and their ongoing support in my life.  They have given me values and guidelines that continue to drive me to be a  patient focused and knowledgeable clinician.

  I am lucky to have had many quality instructors and preceptors that taught  and motivated me in this journey:

  • Bernie Ho.  A registered technologist who taught me about PFTs while I was receiving my PFT clinical rotation at Women’s College.  He is genuinely a kind person, a caring clinician, a skillful technologist and an effective preceptor.  His years of experience, his drive to continue to learn, and his passion to teach students make him a great preceptor.  He has always been open and willing to answer my questions and concerns.  Thanks Bernie.
  • Paul Smith. An instructor at Michener Institute. He treats students as adults, doesn’t look down at them, and holds them accountable for their performance and growth. He has a positive attitude and great sense of humour.  In the field of respiratory therapy instructors/academics, he is a role model.   Thanks Paul.
  • Andrea W. Markham provided ongoing support during my CRE certification process.  She has years of experience as an educator, and is open and ready to help students/clinicians. Thanks Andrea.
  • Sunnybrook’s Sandra Said, Gary Ackerman and Rob Boudah. These preceptors stand out by having a positive and respectful attitude toward students, and having a willingness to teach their students.  They create a supportive environment to challenge and teach SRTs, new RRTs and even experienced RRTs. Thanks Sandra, Gary and Rob.

  I would like to also thank, my fellow RRTs,  Katherine Tran, Mieke Fraser, and Dilshad Moosa.  Katherine has been a very supportive friend.  She pushes me to grow by suggesting different continuing education events, articles and resources.  Dilshad Moosa has been a great resource for me as she is open and willing to share her thoughts and advice about RT networking and career pathways.  Thank you Mieke for your ongoing support and motivation.

  I would like to extend my thank you to Dr. A. Amaral (Sunnybrook), Dr. Y. Shukla (Sunnybrook and Toronto Lung Clinic), and Dr. A. Born (North York General Hospital and Universal Pulmonary Lab).  These individuals have a positive and respectful attitude toward students and new staff.  They have and continue to put aside time from their busy schedules to help me grow in diagnostics and acute care. Thanks.
As an RT I have worked with more nurses than respiratory therapists.  Thanks to all the supportive nurses who taught,helped and supported to become a better clinician and a more effective interprofessional team member.

Respiratory Therapy is a specialized field as there are different subcategories/groups.  The evolving nature of this field can make learning and understanding of the RT career pathways challenging at times. My involvement in social media began with a goal of helping student RTs and recent RTs in their growth.  I had watched educational Youtube videos of Thomas Pirano in class as part of our ventilation physiology lesson.  It was inspiring to watch a dedicated and motivated individual share his knowledge with the world.  I became motivated to be an active RT-blogger (around two years ago).  A big thank you to John Meloche, the CEO of Melotel Inc, who became a big supporter of my online presence.  He is always ready to answer my technical and social media questions.   Also, a thank you to Andrina Stan who educated me about social media and suggested ways that I could improve my blog.  A big thank you to CSRT and Katherine Nollet for their support and encouragement of my social media presence.

I encourage everyone to be respectful and supportive of new student/new RTs.   Invest in RTs who lack the knowledge and experience. By improving our clinicians, we can further empower our field.  Quality respiratory therapists will have a great impact in patient care and outcomes.

Happy Respiratory Therapy Week!

Farzad ‘Raffi’ Refahi