Breathing Life, and Confidence, Into Patients’ Lives
Employee Spotlight Series: An Interview with Karen Welsh, respiratory therapist
Tell us a little about your role with Reliable.
I work in home care, so I spend most of my time on the road. I work as a respiratory therapist, and I educate and set up patients with equipment ranging from ventilators, to oxygen, to CPAPs and BIPAPs, to cough assist and suction.
My role is as much about educating the patient on their disease as it is about using their new device. Our patients are often unfamiliar with their newly diagnosed conditions like sleep apnea, ALS, or COPD, and I spend a lot of time making sure they understand how to care for themselves.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Most of my day is spent on the road visiting patients. I’m based out of Western Massachusetts, but I can travel to anywhere a patient needs me.
Why did you decide to become a respiratory therapist?
I chose to work in the healthcare profession because I wanted to do something meaningful with my life, and I knew I wanted to work with people. I put myself through college and chose respiratory therapy as a specialty. I’ve been a respiratory therapist for 11 years and have been working at Reliable for about a year and a half.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Many patients are overwhelmed and anxious about their condition and their device and I’m here to educate them and make them feel more at ease. It’s really all about showing them compassion and taking the time to show them that someone cares and understands what they’re going through.
It would be easier to go in and simply set them up. What makes the difference to the patient is going the extra step to both assist and advocate for them. It’s a nice feeling knowing that after I leave they feel more confident about their health.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I enjoy playing women’s softball, spending time outdoors, participating in Crossfit, and hanging out with my fiancée and my mastiff, Harley.
What’s the best part of working at Reliable?
I really can’t say enough about Reliable. It’s a great feeling to work for a company that believes in you and trusts you to do your job. Even though I work remotely, my supervisors are always there for me and make sure to check in and say hi.
Karen’s Fun Fact:
I love to cook – especially when I’m whipping up traditional Polish family recipes!