Respiratory Therapy

Tom Pryor, RRT / RCP  is the Registered Respiratory Therapist at Oswego Community Hospital. He is also a Respiratory Care Practitioner with the State of Kansas. Tom began his medical carrier as a Navy Hospital Corpsmen (HM) in 1965.

Tom originally from Scammon, Kansas found himself in California where he became a Inhalation Therapist. Tom explained how the field has seen changes since the late sixties. "Over time we realized we not only treated patients who breathed in but who also breathed out. So they changed it to Respiratory care."

"I started my carrier in the military as a  Navy Hospital Corpsmen (HM) from 1965-1969. Then I was applying for a job in a emergency room and they said we need Inhalation Therapist. Since that was familiar to me from the military I started working at Los Animus General Hospital in 1969 as a Inhalation Therapist."

Tom shared how being a Respiratory Therapist has affected him and his family, "I have a great wife and six children. Five live in the Kansas City area and one in Columbus. I have a son that is a Respiratory Therapist and a daughter who is also a Respiratory Therapist and a Sleep Technologist.  I also have a daughter who works as a ICU Nurse at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City."

"Some of the most critical situations are when we would see a child who has been in a car accident or a drowning patient. But as a Respiratory Therapist you see people from all aspects of life. But one of the more rewarding times are when you are in a emergency child delivery and you can resuscitate a baby and see that child take a breath that is a tremendous moment. To see a baby in trouble and you know how to take care of them."

"Respiratory Therapy deals in every life situation. Any time a person is having a problem breathing we are the first people called."

"Technology has changed thru the years so much. When I started in this business everybody got as IPPB Treatment. Today nobody gives Intermittent positive pressure breathing (IPPB) as a respiratory therapy treatment. We would do maybe a hundred IPPB treatments a day. Today nobody does IPPB treatments. Today we use hand held aerosol treatments. "

Tom shared that, "Respiratory Therapy and in particular Respiratory Therapist are unique people in many ways. We enjoy what we do because we like the unexpected. And we like to react to that unexpected. We like to make things work. We are great at improvising. When I first started we didn't have the ventilators we have today. We actually built our own. We are problem solvers. When it comes to serious emergency situations having to do with someone's breathing, you want a Respiratory Therapist around."

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