With National Respiratory Care Week 2001 just around the corner, respiratory care departments might want to consider using RC Week as a way to promote the field.

By Tony Ramos

With the basketball and hockey seasons behind them, one would think that these professional sports teams would settle into enjoying summer vacation and trying to forget about this past season, unless, of course, they are the Los Angeles Lakers or Colorado Avalanche. Now is when the real work begins for attracting new talent for the 2001-2002 season. As all good sports teams and businesses know, keeping and recruiting talent is crucial, and those who master the art of attracting the best employees have the best chance of achieving success.

With National Respiratory Care (RC) Week just around the corner (October 21-27), respiratory care departments might want to consider using RC Week as a way to promote the field. For many young people entering college or graduating from high school, the opportunity to hear from a practicing therapist just might be the push that they need to enter the field of respiratory care. However, with many areas of business, including the health care system, reaching out to attract the brightest and hardest-working individuals, the respiratory care profession is just as much in competition for these individuals as are the Lakers and 76ers when it comes to selecting and attracting a shooting point guard.

Shopping malls are one of the best arenas for reaching a broad range of people. Setting up a kiosk in a major mall and having it staffed by RCPs will certainly get the message out to hundreds if not thousands of people about a career in respiratory care. At the same time, it can educate them on respiratory diseases and help promote lung health. According to the American Association for Respiratory Care, there are at least 15 million people in the United States with undiagnosed lung disease.

As for staffing the kiosk, offer your staff therapists comp time for working the kiosk during their time off, and if you are a director, supervisor, or department head, make certain that you spend at least some time manning the kiosk as a way to show your staff support for the endeavor. You do not need to spend a lot of money on the kiosk or display—a simple table with chairs, drapes with a graphic display, or poster boards will suffice. Department brochures, published case reports, and career information serve nicely as handouts. The key is to use RC Week as a way to promote the profession and attract talent. Who knows? One person you speak to during RC Week might just end up being the next Kobe of the respiratory care field.


Tony Ramos is the former publisher of RT. For more information, contact [email protected].