CHI - Mercy Hospital Valley City

Summer 2015

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Karen always knew she wanted to be involved in health care. "I had thought of being a lab technician, but respiratory therapy was a fairly new field when I was in school," she says. "It was different, and I've since learned that it offers a lot of different opportunities." Respiratory therapists care for people with breathing problems brought on by a number of conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or congestive heart failure. Karen provides respiratory therapy in the hospital, conducts cardiac stress tests, performs pulmonary function tests for asthma, and works in the Emergency Department, which she says gives her the greatest satisfaction. Even when she's off the clock, Karen works to bring aid to people in distress—she's pursuing certification as a handler in canine search and rescue. "A few years ago, I attended a conference on search and rescue, and it really appealed to me," Karen says. "You get to be outside, work with dogs, and help people." A native of Valley City, Karen went to school in Arizona but returned so she and her husband could raise their four children here. She has been working at CHI Mercy Health since 1982. "I like the variety of what we do," she says. "I like helping different people, and I have great co-workers who are fun to work with." Karen Burchill, RRT, Supervisor of CHI Mercy Health's Respiratory Therapy Department, describes her love for her job. Imagine Better Health INSIGHTS MERCY Summer 2015 IN THE SPOTLIGHT: KAREN BURCHILL

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