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Maryland should recognize respiratory therapists | READER COMMENTARY

An artificial respiratory equipment pictured at the intensive care unit at the Klinikum Bad Hersfeld hospital on March 20, 2020 in Bad Hersfeld, Germany.
An artificial respiratory equipment pictured at the intensive care unit at the Klinikum Bad Hersfeld hospital on March 20, 2020 in Bad Hersfeld, Germany.(Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

I am a lifelong resident of the wonderful state of Maryland. I am a proud voter and I am also proud to have chosen Maryland to raise my four children alongside my husband Eric. We are called to serve in a number of ways, as I’m sure Gov. Larry Hogan can relate as a public servant. Both Eric and myself are registered respiratory therapists. This field is seldom recognized as a whole alongside our nurse and physician partners for the work we do with patients from the tiniest neonate all the way through our patients at end of life.

We are experts in cardiopulmonary medicine, particularly trained in the management of patients requiring mechanical ventilation. As you can imagine, we are treating many patients from all walks of life that are affected by COVID-19. We work in many hospitals and other institutions as an important member of the interdisciplinary team, many of us acting with broad autonomy in treatment plans. I am proud to be a respiratory therapist. I don’t seek personal recognition for the difficult work I do every day. I would like to see Gov. Hogan’s administration recognize our field as we continuously educate the public on our important role and treat the patients that need us so badly.

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Most of the interventions, therapeutic modalities and treatment strategies we implement involve the aerosolization of medications and, indeed, upper and lower respiratory tract secretions and material. I insist that I will utilize the personal protective equipment made available to keep myself and my family safe and I appreciate the governor’s efforts to ensure my, and their, safety.

Most will not know what a respiratory therapist does — until they need one. Thanks to Mr. Hogan for considering our cause and I know he will continue to work hard for the citizens of Maryland and the United States.

Angie Kriner, Ellicott City

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