A Riley Respiratory Therapist's Story
I graduated from IUPUI in 2005 with a Respiratory Therapy degree and have worked at Riley Hospital since then. I knew that I wanted to work in the medical field and help people, so I started to look into Respiratory Therapy and really enjoyed it. I didn't know that I would fall in love working with children, but as a Respiratory Therapy student, I quickly learned that Riley was where I wanted to be. Now I hold a position in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and I'm in love with what I do!
In my daily work, I collaborate with a team of doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners to help each patient on our unit to the best of our ability. I work with ventilators a lot, and helping babies who are unable to breathe on their own. I administer breathing treatments and help manage airways. I help find new ways to better our practices. I teach CPR to families that are ready to take their child home.
Working with babies who are requiring life support sometimes entails not being able to leave their bedside due to the severity of their current condition. I also help transfer babies to and from the OR, or off the unit to get diagnostic testing, and give breathing treatments to aid babies who need a little extra help.
I'm not only a Riley Respiratory Therapist, I am a Riley Mom. My youngest daughter has a heart defect and we've spent a lot of time here, especially the first year of her life. I was off work for about 9 months with her, and I felt like I'd changed when I came back to work. There are so many emotions being on the other side, and I really feel like I can relate to our families now. To be a mom or dad with a baby here, there is such desperation for them to heal. It's not always something that comes quickly and I feel like, at times, I've been able to give those families hope by sharing our story. I have been in their shoes, I have shared in their darkest of days, and have seen first-hand that babies are so resilient, and they have a real will to survive. My wish is that by sharing my daughter's story, I have helped a family or two realize that there is always hope.
What I love most about my job is getting to work with some of the most amazing, compassionate people that I've ever known. Everyone is here for a purpose and they all have a real desire to help the children here as best as they can. I've seen it first-hand with my own daughter as they cared for her, and I also see it as I work beside them day in and day out. It truly is remarkable!
To donors who support Riley Hospital, I want you to know that Riley is so amazing because of everyone who puts their heart and soul into it. Thank you for being a part of it! This place is special because of people, like you, who cherish what Riley stands for, and that is the children, their hopes and their futures.
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