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Does smoking drive our profession?

Posted Aug 26 2008 12:56pm

Is it possible that smoking drives out profession? Is it also possible that the patient load of our profession could be decreasing significantly in the future?

This is just maybe a theory I have thought about but let me explain myself. If you look at the patients who we give nebulizer tx's to on a regular basis the majority of them are COPDer's and Asthmatics in trouble. Now say we cut out the COPDers and notice how much our census will drop because to me it seems that I see more COPDers than I do asthmatics so if we see less of them our census goes down right, also with more education and better use of medications there can be less of the admitted in the hospital. Here is a article showing this.

Self-Management Education for COPD Patients Cuts Hospital Admissions

There are a couple of sites that have shown that study that I have found, but I'm only going to post one for now.

Another way to look at my thoughts on how our census will decrease in the future goes like this: The majority of COPDers in the world are of a older age. Now here is where my thinking comes in so stay with me, but it shouldn't be that hard. Due to the fact that the COPDers are older and there wasn't a whole lot of education on the harmful effects of cigarette smoking at that time versus the education there is now (seriously the military packages cigarettes with the soldiers meals in WW2) and the perception of smoking has in the United States in today's day and age. It's getting banned everywhere, the price is increasing, there are warnings everywhere, you have to be a certain age, and it's almost getting to the point where it is illegal to smoke anywhere anymore. All of this in my opinion equals less COPDers in the future which will in turn should decrease the census for nebulizer treatments with COPD patients.

Lets look a little deeper now also. In the past there was asbestosis which caused respiratory problems and this is now outlawed. Different jobs that have fumes that can be inhaled are not required by OSHA for the personnel that do these jobs to wear a mask that filters out these fumes which can cause respiratory issues for example automobile painters which have the paint that can be inhaled. These precautions can cause a decrease of people with lung problem due to inhaled fumes, particles or whatever is able to be inhaled at certain jobs.

Well there you have it my ideas on how our job census will decrease in the future, basically when the current population over 65 passes on there is a possibility of a decrease in patients due to education and studies of smoking and harmful inhalants. According to this study Half of elderly patients discharged from hospital following a first admission for COPD are dead within 3 to 7 years. So that right there could show that it really might not take to long.

Remember this is in no way a scientific study but just a thought I have had, but I would love to hear anybody e lse's opinion on these ideas. Of course there are also the studies about air pollutants causing COPD like symptoms in people also, so maybe if we don't get green enough as a country it will stay the same but the cause will be different.

Drive on RT's
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