Respiratory Therapist: From Patient to Provider

Summary: Respiratory therapist Hilary Every works in a hospital setting, specializing in critical and emergency care. Learn about her journey to become a respiratory therapist and how she uses Eko's stethoscope technology to hear more clearly while keeping infection control in mind.
Respiratory therapist holds Eko CORE™ Digital Attachment
"I was born with a cleft lip and palate and had numerous interventions with many healthcare professionals as a child … I knew one day I would definitely be a clinician of some sort."  
What type of clinician are you? What specialty do you practice? 

I'm a respiratory therapist (RT) specializing in critical and emergency care. After almost 30 years, I'm just as passionate about caring for patients as I've always been.

Why did you choose a career in healthcare and your particular specialty?

I was born with a cleft lip and palate and had numerous interventions with many healthcare professionals as a child. From speech therapy, orthodontics, audiology, to many plastic surgeries, I became very comfortable in hospital settings. I knew one day I would definitely be a clinician of some sort.

As I was preparing for next steps after my undergraduate program back in 1993, I was searching different healthcare programs. I came across respiratory therapy. As part of the application process, I had to meet an RT and write an essay on why I was interested in this profession. The RT I met completely sucked me in! He toured me around the hospital, explaining the RT role in all of the different areas, and showed me the tiniest of his patients (neonates). His passion clearly rubbed off on me!

What inspires you in your day-to-day practice?

There have been so many patient stories that impacted me. Working at a trauma center, with many of our patients being young, and the circumstances in which they arrive at our hospital is often tragic — each of those patients touch my heart. 

One evening I was called to the emergency department to assess a patient's respiratory status. Much to my dismay, my childhood best friend was behind the curtain. She had collapsed in the shower that morning, and had progressively lost most of her neuromuscular control that day. Within an hour, I had her moved up to our medical surgical ICU and she was intubated. I was able to be her advocate for immediate advanced care and, as well, be there for her family who I had known since we were 2 years old. It was definitely one of the hardest, most difficult days in my career!

Which stethoscope from Eko do you have? How does it help you provide better care for your patients?

I have the Eko CORE™ Digital Attachment. I wear hearing aids, and prior to getting this device, I would have to remove them and attempt to hear my patient’s lungs. From a clinical and infection control perspective, that way is less than ideal. Now I can maintain infection control standards and can actually assess patients properly! 

I just had a follow-up appointment with my audiologist and told her about my experience with Eko stethoscope technology. I shared that she could tell other patients that are healthcare workers to reach out to me if they are struggling with stethoscope use. I will definitely recommend Eko!

Providing clinicians like Hilary with tools to help enhance patient care is why Eko exists.  Learn how our digital stethoscope technology can make a difference in your practice.