A photo of medical equipment that respiratory therapists use to treat patients.

Lourdes Hospital Respiratory Therapist Treats Patients Like Family

Jun 15 2020

Tara Rowell has been a respiratory therapist at Mercy Health – Lourdes Hospital for 17 years. Throughout her nearly two decades of service, Tara has made it her mission to ensure her patients have the best possible care.

“I just want the best possible outcomes for my patients and while they are here, feel like they get the best care that they possibly can and care that I would want my family to be given,” says Tara.

Respiratory therapists play an important role in our ministry, as they help keep our patients breathing. These caregivers work with patients with chronic illnesses like asthma and COPD to help them with breathing treatments.

When patients cannot breathe on their own, respiratory therapists often intubate patients and put them on ventilators. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, our respiratory therapists have become even more integral as they work with patients diagnosed with the virus.

No matter the illness, Tara always treats her patients like family because she understands what it’s like to be in their shoes. Three years ago, Tara lost her father to lung cancer, and as a teenager, the loss of her grandfather to the same disease led her to her profession.

“When I was 14 years old, my grandfather was diagnosed with lung cancer. Unfortunately, he passed away due to complications in surgery. At that time, I felt helpless but by going into this field I thought maybe I could help others like him,” shares Tara.

She continues, “A lot of our chronic lung patients do become family because we see them so often. You get to know them and their story and when you’re like me and have lost a lot of family to cancer and don’t have much family left, these patients become your family. You become invested in them and they become invested in you.”

During this uncertain time, Tara has leaned on her faith to remain focused and ready to care for her patients. She has always relied on her family and faith to help her make it through challenging times.

“I pray every day on the way to work. I pray for my coworkers, their families and my family to keep everybody safe. I pray for my patients and their families and if I know if any of my particular patients aren’t doing so well, I pray for them specifically.”

Tara, thank you for your commitment to your patients and service to our ministry.

Learn about the health care services offered at Mercy Health.

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