Employee Spotlight

Misty HeadEMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT:
MISTY HEAD
RESPIRATORY THERAPIST
Emergency Hospital Systems

 
 

Can you tell us about your journey to become a respiratory therapist?
I was a veterinary technician for 14 years before going to respiratory school. My family makes fun of me and says I went from four-legged to two-legged patients. I have been a respiratory therapist for 13 years and truly love my work.

What does a typical day look like for you as a respiratory therapist?

This can vary depending on the setting they work in, whether it’s a hospital, clinic, home care, or Other healthcare facility. However, here’s a general overview of what a day might look like:

Based on patient assessments, we help develop treatment plans that can include administering
medications like oxygen therapy, bronchodilators, or steroids, performing chest physiotherapy, collecting arterial blood gases, or setting up and monitoring mechanical ventilators for patients in critical condition. We play a vital role on the code team and respond to medical emergencies, especially respiratory distress or failure.

Could you share a memorable experience or patient interaction that impacted your career?

Traveling to another state and hospitals for months on end to help during COVID crisis assignments and all that was endured will forever change the impact I had as a respiratory therapist, both good and not so good.

What is most rewarding about working as a respiratory therapist?

Being able to directly improve someone’s ability to breathe and quality of life is immensely fulfilling. We are often involved in critical care situations where our interventions can make a life saving difference and directly impact a patient’s outcome, which is a powerful motivator and incredibly gratifying.

What advice would you give someone considering a respiratory therapy career?

Take the time to learn about what respiratory therapists do, their work settings, and the patients they care for. If possible, shadow a respiratory therapist in various healthcare settings to look at the profession firsthand. This experience can provide valuable insights into the job’s challenges, rewards, and dynamics. You can embark on a rewarding career that allows you to make a meaningful difference in patients’ lives.

What are some of the biggest challenges faced by respiratory therapists, and how do you navigate them?

Workload and patient volume, shortages of Respiratory Therapists, and the increase in facing new challenges related to emerging respiratory health issues, such as vaping-related lung injuries, air pollution, and new infectious respiratory diseases like COVID-19 and the unknown damage they will cause to the heart and lungs. Staying informed, continuing education, and adhering to infection control protocols are crucial for effectively navigating these challenges.

What hobbies or interests do you enjoy outside of work?

I enjoy spending time with my family and pets. I also enjoy crafting, puzzles, and decorating
Christmas trees.

Misty Head

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