The role of RTs and Nurses is evolving and growing. Historically their place to shine has been in hospital and notably in critical care. Although this is still absolutely true, and remains relevant, a broadening scope within these professions is emerging. Standing on the shoulders of home care and with the Extra Mural Program (the hospital without walls that provides health care in the home), we are seeing greater expansion of their role in the community. RTs and Nurses are in asthma and COPD clinics, community-based pulmonary rehab, and community health centers.
The health care system is broken, and it has been broken for a long time. There is an emerging trend for multidisciplinary teams to deliver primary health care (PHC). This novel approach PHC is proving to be advantageous. Respiratory Therapists (RTs) and Nurses are working collaboratively within multidisciplinary teams, infusing the health care system with focusing on disease prevention and health promotion versus the dated practice of waiting until the client is at their worst health to intervene. People deserve to live their best life with their illness, RTs and Nurses can contribute to making that possible.