Community Corner – Meet Brittany
Brittany Wilson, RRT decided to become an RT in 2011. She was a stay at home mom for 4 years prior to that and decided to head back to the work field. Attending Midlands Technical College in Columbia, SC. for her studies, she enjoyed their awesome program and wonderful instructors. She started her career in Respiratory as a student therapist her freshmen year at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. Since then, she has gathered experience in sleep labs and the home health setting. She has worked with everyone from neonates to elderly patients and has enjoyed every minute.
Brittany’s first experience with an RT was in 2007 when her son was born. He had a brief stay in the NICU and that was her first time witnessing an RT in action. At that moment, Brittany decided that she wanted to help people breath as well. After all, not many things are more important than that, right?
Within her job duties, she works with COPD patients on a daily basis. She goes out to their homes to educate them on their disease and offer them knowledge and tools to better manage their symptoms.
The RT program is extremely tough and time consuming. There were many times where she felt discouraged. Her advice for anyone working to become an RT is to not give up...stick with it. Also, your classmates will become like family. Take advantage of that and form study groups. Remember to work hard and stay focused. There are quite a few RT groups on facebook that offer encouragement and tons of knowledge. Also, join the AARC.
For those who currently have COPD, make sure you learn your medications! A lot of hospital admission are due to not knowing what medications to take and when to take them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Pay attention to your body and know what your normal is. Peak flow meters are very good at allowing you to see changes in your lungs even before you even feel sick.
When caring for someone with COPD, learn as much as you can about COPD. Allow your loved one or patient to vent without chastising them. A lot of COPD patients experience depression due to not having a support system. Things can get tough but you are very much appreciated!
Things that Brittany feels would assist the RT field would be improvements in educating caregivers and patients. Making sure they understand the disease, medications, and treatment options. Sometimes in the hospital they are discharged without that complete understanding and end up being readmitted fairly quickly.
When asked if she believes an app that monitors her concentrator/breathing machine monitoring the oxygen levels, the battery level, the location of the machine, etc. would help RT’s? She responds, “Definitely! An app would be very useful and give insight into changes with the patient. Also, it could make troubleshooting easier.”
Fun Facts about Brittany: When she is not working she enjoys the outdoors, reading, Netflix binges, and spending time with my family.
Brittany, words cannot explain how appreciative we are. Thank you for taking the time to share your story and advice, this will help those dealing with COPD and those caring for them in more ways than you know.