Respiratory Care Week 2023

Banner for Respiratory care week.

Respiratory Care Week is an annual event that recognizes the essential work and dedication of respiratory care professionals around the globe—from clinicians and pulmonologists to nurses, respiratory therapists (RTs), and home caregivers. 

This year, respiratory care week runs from October 22 through the 28th, 2023. Coinciding with this event is Healthy Lung Month, which—as you may have guessed—is no coincidence.

Banner for healthy lung monthWhat Is Healthy Lung Month?

Recognized by the American Lung Association, Healthy Lung Month is when healthcare professionals, patients, and community members come together to share and learn new information about respiratory medicine and health.

Want to Be an Advocate This October?

Breathing is not something we should take for granted. Yet, experiencing shortness of breath, wheezing, chronic cough, or mucus buildup can make it challenging to live independently. 

Therefore, in addition to celebrating the incredible individuals who dedicate their lives to helping patients find relief from chronic lung diseases, we also have the unique opportunity to do our part by spreading awareness about respiratory health.

Sharing resources on protecting our lungs while educating our friends and family on effective ways to manage their symptoms allows us to make a significant impact and help others live a better quality of life.

Banner for Respiratory Care week in October.How To Get Involved 

Whether you’re a patient or prescriber or know someone living with a lung condition, there are many ways you can get involved and show support for lung health and respiratory therapists in your community. 

The American Association for Respiratory Care provides a community-based platform and guide for sharing stories, showing gratitude, and finding resources to post on social media. 

Visit their website for more ideas, and remember to follow their hashtag, #RCWEEK23, to stay connected to news and events this week. 

SmartVest Lung Health Resources

We want to do our part in helping spread awareness this month. Therefore, we’ve compiled a few resources below for you to read and share with others!

SmartVest Videos and Tutorials

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for videos on using SmartVest in a hospital setting or home. In addition, our “Ask a Pulmonologist” video series walks you through how to talk to your clinician about starting airway clearance therapy. 

Breathing Exercises & Techniques

Did you know that specific breathing techniques can help strengthen the muscles needed for your lungs to function? Learn 3 practical breathing exercises that help address shortness of breath symptoms related to your condition.

Patient Care Advocates

With so many online resources available, sometimes, you’d rather speak with an actual person. For example, you may have questions about finding relief from your chronic lung condition or want to learn more about the benefits of using SmartVest. We invite you to chat with one of our Patient Care Advocates, who are also Respiratory Therapists. You can call them directly at 1.855.528.5690 for questions and guidance on breathing easier.

Graphic icon of person contacting a respiratory therapist.

Supporting Our Respiratory Care Professionals

At Electromed, our dedicated teams offer unrivaled support and are committed to helping patients and providers. From prescription support and reimbursement to at-home training, our teams work closely to help you navigate airway clearance therapy.

DID YOU KNOW…Some of our outstanding employees are also registered respiratory therapists? This means they play a vital role in the success of all SmartVest users.

What Is Respiratory Care?

Respiratory care is a specialized healthcare field that focuses on diagnosing, treating, and managing patients with respiratory issues, such as:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Lung cancer

Respiratory therapists work closely with physicians to develop treatment plans, monitor patients’ progress, and educate and support patients and their families. 

They may use various techniques and equipment, including inhalers, oxygen therapy, mechanical ventilation, and chest physiotherapy, to help patients breathe more efficiently and improve their overall respiratory health.

What Is a Respiratory Practitioner?

Practitioners who specialize in respiratory care are commonly referred to as pulmonologists. Their main responsibility is to diagnose and treat conditions that affect the airways, lungs, and respiratory muscles. 

While they are equipped to address all types of breathing problems, respiratory care practitioners generally focus on patients with chronic, life-threatening, or challenging health issues.

What Is a Respiratory Therapist?

A registered respiratory therapist (RRT) is a healthcare professional with advanced training in pulmonary medicine. RRTs help patients manage their lung conditions while providing supportive care.

What Do Respiratory Therapists Do?

The responsibilities of RRTs include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Helping patients learn and perform breathing exercises
  • Training patients on therapy techniques
  • Assisting patients in managing airway clearance devices

At Electromed, for example, our respiratory therapists provide SmartVest users with one-on-one training, guidance, and ongoing support as they learn how to use their SmartVest therapy at home.

By extending their vast knowledge and expertise, they work efficiently with clinicians and give patients and caregivers peace of mind knowing their father, mother, or child is in the best, most caring hands possible. 

Let’s hear a few words form our team

Pull quote by Lori Jessico, RRT.“It is not only an honor but a privilege to be educated and licensed in the field of Respiratory Care. After working in direct patient care in a hospital for many years, teaching Respiratory for a local college and then transitioning to DME and being able to focus patients on a specific therapy like the SmartVest is rewarding. All of this combined has helped me to better educate patients virtually when it comes to their lung health and how they will most certainly benefit from the SmartVest. I am proud to be in a field that is continually progressing and making people’s lives better.”

Lori Jessico, RRT
Patient Care Specialist

Pull quote by Christina Nicklaus, MHA, BS, RRT.“I worked in patient care for years and, like many respiratory therapists, got to know my frequent fliers very well. I was even with many of them when they lost their battle to their pulmonary diseases. As a result, I wish that I knew then what I know now about the prevalence of bronchiectasis, especially within our COPD population. As an Electromed employee, my mission as a respiratory therapist has shifted. Rather than saving lives in the hospital, I am helping to change lives by keeping patients at home, reduce exacerbations, and improve their quality of life.” 

Christina Nicklaus, MHA, BS, RRT
Clinical Education Manager

Now Hear from SmartVest Users

Our team takes great pride in being an advocate for patients living with bronchiectasis or other chronic lung conditions. Here’s what a few patients had to say about working with our team:

“I cannot speak highly enough of the company AND the positive improvement to my health and day to day life. Call them. Their generosity with me moved me to tears. And I am not a crier. So in a nutshell, call them. My life improved significantly with this machine. The SmartVest has kept me out of the hospital as well.” -Pamela

“The person who helped me get set up [with SmartVest] was a Respiratory Therapist. He spent time explaining every facet and setting up a program my doctor had prescribed as to how often and how many times a day to use it. My SmartVest has been a huge factor in staying well. Thanks, SmartVest, for improving my quality of life!” -Joyce

Happy Respiratory Care Week

We invite you to join us this week in honoring the individuals who help patients manage their chronic lung conditions! Get involved and make a difference!

Discover more ways to get involved and make a difference!