Community Corner – Meet Karla
Earning her Bachelor's Degree at the University of Arkansas in the college of health and medical sciences, Karla is a current Respiratory Therapist, who started her career as a trauma therapist. Learning quickly that she was interested in the emergency room and the intensive care unit, she became intrigued with the heart and lungs and how the two work together.
Karla currently works with Veterans who suffer from COPD, and stated that being a Respiratory Therapist is very important simply because if you cannot breathe you cannot do anything else.
Respiratory Therapy is sometimes discounted and only brought to the table until it is a huge problem. She advises those who aim to enter the respiratory field that you may feel like your work is undervalued, but the practice is starting to be taken more seriously, and is extremely important. The Respiratory therapy field is opening up, and since COPD is the third leading killer in the United States, many are starting to focus and apply more energy on this as it concerns so many.
Although the younger generation does not smoke as much as the older generation did, there are still a lot of environmental factors and even those who had to grow up with second hand smoke that contribute to COPD. Education can make a difference and many do not understand the severity of the environmental impacts surrounding them.
Karla is thrilled that more light is shining on Respiratory Therapy, but there are a few things that can be improved. Such as, oxygen concentrators, and to create more options for them to be portable and easier to move.
Many patients when diagnosed believe once they are told they have COPD, they feel their life has ended and they are going to be confined. You have to qualify for portable oxygen. Education is key and working to change the perspective that this is a reset button and a new life can begin, because now you can breathe and be more active to enjoy life. Keeping people mobile would be a great change.
Karla believes home care is a game changer. And, education is key in changing patients perspective on a treatment for a particular respiratory diseases. Being placed on home oxygen should be looked at as a reset button and a new start to life. Patients will be able to breathe and therefore can be more active and enjoy their lives! Keeping people mobile is the best possible thing we can do.
Karla says an app that monitors the effectiveness of a concentrator would be great! Many of her patients do not have the best memory or hearing. Many times a patient would forget the levels they need to be at or cannot hear the machine beeping when there is a problem. Many of her patients come in with the wrong concentration/oxygen levels.
Once she sits down with them and explains how to use an inhaler and other machines, her patients come back so happy and hopeful. If education was more regularly enforced and available, this could make a huge impact.
We here at SynsorMed appreciate individuals like Karla, as she makes a huge difference in the lives of many. Trekking through new territory with limited resources can be difficult, but with passionate individuals much information can be readily available for the next generation. Thank you so much Karla for your insight and advice for those aiming to perform well in this industry!