Respiratory Therapist Feels a Calling to His Field


Summary: Respiratory therapist Rick Rubinstein specializes in neonatal and pediatric care, giving the tiniest patients the treatment they need in the most critical situations. In this Q&A, learn how he decided to pursue respiratory therapy, and how Eko's stethoscope technology helps him hear more clearly in noisy environments. 
Respiratory Therapist Feels a Calling to His Field
"I feel particularly gifted in this area and I consider it my calling – a type of ministry to patients and their families in time of great physical and emotional need."  
What do you do?

I'm a respiratory therapist in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, specializing in neonatal and pediatrics.

Why a career in healthcare?

I chose a career specifically in respiratory care because it seemed challenging, exciting, and useful. I was introduced to it years ago while in the recovery room for a minor operation when I was about 16 years old, in which I had two nodules removed from my vocal cords. 

While in the recovery room I had a conversation with a nurse, telling her how I thought it would be cool to work in a place like this. She told me about respiratory therapy, and how it was a very technical field. A few years later while combing through a college catalog to choose potential majors I came across Respiratory Therapy and the coursework it required. When I saw the course requirement for Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology, my heart started beating quickly and I said to myself, “That’s what I’m going to be.” And I never wavered.

What inspires you?

I feel particularly gifted in [respiratory therapy] and I consider it my calling – a type of ministry to patients and their families in time of great physical and emotional need.

How does Eko help you care for your patients?

I have the Eko CORE™ Digital Attachment. With the Attachment and my own neonatal headpiece, it's so much easier for me to clearly hear the a premie’s heartbeat during CPR, which is certainly a lifesaving feature.

I often connect the CORE™ Attachment to a Bluetooth speaker which allows me to share auscultations with students, orienteers, and sometimes even family members. This can help establish expertise and build trust. My own hearing has become somewhat impaired, and using an amplified stethoscope has helped tremendously. This has been especially helpful in noisy environments such as transporting patients in an ambulance, helicopter, or Learjet.

What's one of your most meaningful professional experiences?

One day in the NICU I was assigned to a patient whose parents were extremely apprehensive about who took care of their premie. They had a very short list of nurses, and only one respiratory therapist, that were acceptable. So when I came in, they were initially apprehensive and watching VERY closely.

"I let them listen via Bluetooth through my Eko stethoscope to their baby’s breath sounds." 

I immediately engaged them, showed them the previous day’s chest x-ray with complete left-sided atelectasis and let them listen via Bluetooth through my Eko stethoscope to their baby’s breath sounds, which were markedly decreased in the left. After administering pulmozyme and CPT, we listened again and heard significant improvement on the left. Then I had them help me position their baby with her left side up. Later that shift the nurse manager told me I had “made the list,” and we both had a good laugh!

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