Q&A: Sarah Brundidge brings RT to the forefront

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Monday, July 1, 2019

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Many people don’t know what respiratory therapy is, and that’s what Sarah Brundidge, who was voted president-elect of the Wisconsin Society for Respiratory Care (WSRC), wants to change. HME News recently spoke to Brundidge, a respiratory therapist and clinical educator with St. Paul, Minn.-based Pediatric Home Service, about advocacy and the importance of raising awareness about the profession. 

HME News: How did you get involved with WSRC?

Sarah Brundidge: As a student I was really involved with the Illinois Society for Respiratory Care, so I knew when I moved back to Wisconsin I wanted to (join WSRC). A few older respiratory therapists took me under their wing and I got really involved with legislative issues and lobbying, and before this past election I was one of their legislative co-chairs. So I’ve been doing that for the past four years.

HME: What are the main challenges respiratory therapists face now?

Brundidge: Raising awareness about our profession. We’ve been pushing telehealth and telemedicine because we haven't been recognized as approved telehealth providers by CMS. Also, as a whole—but also in Wisconsin—we've been fighting legislature that has the potential to de-license respiratory therapists. That means that anybody off the street could come in and deliver care that respiratory therapists train for years to do and give. It opens it up to "on the job training" which we know is not great. 

HME: How do you plan to raise awareness?

Brundidge: There are seven respiratory schools throughout the state of Wisconsin and we've been trying to get the students heavily involved. We’re also working to get other healthcare professionals, like nurses, involved in any legislative efforts.