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Hospital Week Feature: ICU Nurse and Respiratory Therapist

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 5:36 AM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - May 9 through 14 is National Hospital Week. This week we will be sharing the stories of employees at Banner Health Wyoming Medical Center in Casper.

Lindsay is an ICU Nurse and Duane works in Respiratory Therapy.

“I’m an ICU nurse, my actual current title is RN Operations Support Specialist, so I have more of a leadership role within the ICU Department. I’ve been in ICU for over 10 years,” said Lindsay.

“In Respiratory Therapy we go throughout the hospital and help people with their breathing issues, in ICU particularly, taking care of those patients that might have a tube in their throat to help breathe for them, and we help to manage those machines with the help of the nurse and the doctor,” said Duane.

They both found their love for helping others in their roles while they were in college.

“For me, I did the Brand Nursing Program through the University of Wyoming and did all of my clinicals here at this hospital, so my last semester my capstone was in ICU and it seemed to be a great fit, and I’ve been here ever since,” said Lindsay.

“I was at Casper College not really knowing what I was gonna do with my life, and I remember being in anatomy and physiology class and the program director came in and started talking about respiratory and I thought that might be something I should give a look into. And I did and it really just felt like the right fit for me so I jumped in the program and been at Wyoming Medical Center ever since,” said Duane.

Duane and Lindsay are married, but have worked together to make sure they maintain boundaries when they’re working.

“I would say it’s not really anything different. Most of the time people have no idea that we’re married, which I think is good because we are professional we can do our jobs and get through a day without anybody knowing that we have been married,” said Lindsay.

“It’s just been really important and we established that from the get go that it was important to separate work and family life, and we’ve done a pretty good job of doing that,” said Duane.

Their roles are different, but both agree that being able to help people are their favorite parts of the work they do.

“I would say the favorite part of my positions is getting to see those success stories. When we actually get to see a patient walk out of the ICU, especially some of the long-term stayers that we’ve had. It’s kind of a fun event for them to leave the ICU and graduate to the floor. We’ve had times where we’ve lined the halls and everybody’s given that patient a round of applause because it’s a huge feat for them and it’s a huge success for us,” said Lindsay.

“Yeah I’d have to agree with that I think when you see people get better because that’s what we’re here for just to help them get better that’s the most rewarding part of this,” said Duane.

Working in the ICU means that patients can be going through a variety of health struggles, but Lindsay says that even the challenges of the job can be rewarding.

“Sometimes it’s really hard, you can see the fear and panic in their eyes and they definitely look to you for help, but I think you get a sense of comfort and so do the patients when they realize that you are there to help them and they start to feel better. It’s a rewarding thing, but it can be challenging especially the situations that people are in, you know, you have to have a lot of empathy for what people are going through, and some days are better than others and we struggle with how patients do and how they don’t do, and so you just kind of take it day by day. I think at least both of our philosophies I’d say is probably we treat our patients like we would if it was someone that was our family how would we want them to be taken care of,” said Lindsay.

Both agree that while now is a difficult time for health care professionals, if someone’s heart is in the job, they can focus on the positives to continue helping their community.

“That’s a... it’s a tough question because right now getting into health care is it’s a rough time to get into health care. I think you you really have to look at the reason of why you want to get into health care. You don’t do it for the money, you don’t do it for the recognition, you do it because you genuinely want to take care of people. It’s a grueling job and there’s really hard days, but there’s really great days, and I think just knowing you can focus on those really great days makes it all worth it,” said Lindsay.

“I think when you see people get better and you’re here to make them better it’s rewarding enough that all those challenges that you face along the way, I mean it’s really worth it at the end of the day when you know you’ve helped someone and they get to go home and be with their family again,” said Duane.

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