Between the crisp, cold air that turns your breath to ice and short days with little sun, the winter months can be harsh to our bodies. Not to mention the fact that the chilly weather is the perfect environment for the common cold, influenza, respiratory infections, and other illnesses to thrive.
The Demand for Cardiopulmonary and Respiratory Care Travelers
Experts say that we may be more likely to get sick during winter, not only because we spend more time together indoors, but also because viruses tend to live longer in colder temperatures. And you know what that means—more viruses inevitably lead to more sick patients, which creates a surge in demand for lung and heart health experts. And that’s where cardiopulmonary specialists and respiratory care workers enter as the true winter warriors.
Who are these winter warriors?
Now you may be wondering, “Who are these mysterious winter warriors?” Cardiopulmonary and respiratory care med workers know the ins and outs of heart and lung health. Although they work year-round, they’re wildly in demand during the winter months when cold, flu, and other respiratory viruses start to run rampant.
If you’ve ever had bronchitis, then congratulations, you’ve probably met a cardiopulmonary specialist. These super cool allied med workers treat patients who have been diagnosed with bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, chronic pulmonary disease (COPD), angina, heart attack, and other heart or lung conditions. It’s up to these respiratory specialists to help patients understand their conditions so that they can accomplish and manage a healthy lifestyle that allows them to live their lives to the fullest.
In addition to treating heart or lung diseases, cardiopulmonary travelers may also:
- Explain the condition and medical regimen to patients to help assist them with safely resuming daily activities
- Identify risk factors for each patient that could contribute to their health problems
- Suggest interventions, medical treatment, and lifestyle changes to help reduce health risks
- Educate and support patients in making key changes like eating healthier, quitting smoking, or increasing their amount of exercise
- Design and monitor a patient’s healthy living and exercise program
- Keep patients motivated and supported through their health journey
So, yeah—they’re pretty great. And the best part is there’s a wide variety of cardiopulmonary specialties out there that are in demand—registered respiratory therapist, perfusionist, dietitian, oh my. You really can’t go wrong with what cardiopulmonary specialty you choose!
The rising demand for heart and lung specialists
Now that you know who these winter warriors are, let’s take a look at why they’re so important, especially during the winter months.
“The winter season is the time of the year when we have more respiratory infections,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University. “Respiratory infections are transferred more readily in the winter for two reasons. The first is we spend more time in enclosed spaces, close to each other, so that we have more prolonged face-to-face contact. The second has to do with humidity. When we’re in a time of low humidity such as we have in the wintertime, it appears that little bit of moisture that surrounds the virus evaporates, so the virus remains in the air for a sufficiently prolonged time so that the person who is sufficiently close to me can breathe it in.”
Every year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there are millions of cases of the common cold with the average adult contracting at least two colds a year, and even more for kiddos. The CDC even says that the common cold is the “main reason that children miss school and adults miss work,” so it makes sense that respiratory care medical workers would see more patients during December, January, and February—aka the peak of winter.
But these winter warriors aren’t just in demand during the coldest season. In fact, they’re in demand year-round. You’ve heard of the nursing shortage? Well, that also applies to allied and other medical professions outside of nursing, including respiratory care workers. By 2030, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates a 23 percent growth rate, creating the need for 100,000 cardiopulmonary professionals across the country.
States that need cardiopulmonary professionals the most
It’s no surprise that every U.S. state has the need for more cardiopulmonary specialists, but since we don’t have time to go through all 50, let’s look at the top three states most in need:
- California. With nearly 40 million citizens in the state, California is the nation’s most populated state, so there are plenty of patients to go around. According to the state’s Employment Development Department (EDD), the number of respiratory therapists in California will surpass 20,000 by 2026.
“Much of the increased demand will come from substantial growth in the middle-aged and elderly population—a development that will heighten the incidence of cardiopulmonary disease,” said the EDD. “Job growth will also result from the expanding role of respiratory therapists in case management, disease prevention, emergency care, and the early detection of pulmonary disorders.”
Search for California cardiopulmonary travel jobs.
- Maine. Maine is commonly known for beautiful scenery and delicious lobster, but did you know that the winters are particularly gross? It’s true! Winters are cold and snowfall is plenty, ranging on average between 50 and 110 inches depending on where you are in the state. So, yeah, you can say respiratory workers are needed.
Search for Maine cardiopulmonary travel jobs.
- New York. Crowded subways. Long shopping lines. Close quarters with strangers. New York provides plenty of opportunities for germs to spread. You know what that means—the more germs there are, the more cardiopulmonary experts are needed.
Search for New York cardiopulmonary jobs.
Ranging from coast to coast, nearly every state in the U.S. is faced with a need for respiratory and cardiopulmonary care specialists—these are just the top three places.
Prepare yourself for a wintertime of the ages. With the common cold, influenza, coronavirus, and other respiratory diseases running rampant throughout the country, we’re going to need more talented heart and lung experts than ever before. So, why wait? Embark on the journey of a lifetime and start traveling with Fusion Medical Staffing.