Coming into this experience I viewed respiratory therapy as any other medical profession and nothing other than a great career. I quickly learned in Las Vegas that respiratory therapy is one of the smaller professions in the medical field and we must have a strong backbone to bring our field to the front lines and advocate for our careers.
My first thoughts were simply confusion upon entering the House of Delegates meeting. This may sound ridiculous, but this is the exact reason I applied for this opportunity. To bring awareness to our current and future students as to what happens in these high-level meetings in our field.
I got to see the House of Delegates in action and spend valuable time networking with other delegates and students in attendance. This entire experience has shown me just how passionate other respiratory therapists are about the profession as well as what the AARC can offer members if we stay engaged in our professions. Not only did I meet incredibly passionate leaders in our community of respiratory therapy, I also took with me a new outlook on how I can become active and engaged in my state affiliate.
Along with the HOD meeting I also attended the AARC congress, a spectacular networking and educational event. I learned just how valuable the resources are that we have as respiratory therapists and how we can push forward in our careers with the amazing advancements in technology. Technology that I could not imagine was all in the vendor hall. Alongside the advancements in technology, there were multiple educational speakers presenting a variety of topics in the field of respiratory care.
Attending the 2018 HOD winter meeting was one of the highlights of my educational career. The AARC plays a major role in growing the field of respiratory care, they advocate for respiratory therapists on a daily basis and without advocates we may not have a future in respiratory care. It is my hope that this experience will lead other students to explore getting involved in state affiliates in our field so that they too can continuously promote and advance our field of study to continue to keep us competitive with other healthcare professions.
Students are the future of respiratory care and from what I have seen in Las Vegas, and here at the TN State Convention in Gatlinburg, TN, we have big shoes to fill. I will continually share my knowledge from what I have learned from my experience and will continually be grateful for this incredible opportunity the TSRC has given me. I will continue to advocate for my future along with all of yours with the hopes of one day being able to represent our state of Tennessee! Please enjoy the video I have put together to share my experience with you.