Amanda Lentz is a Respiratory Therapy Manager at Mercyhealth Hosptial – Rockton Avenue . She started her professional medical career at Mercyhealth’s Janesville campus while still a student at Rock Valley Community College. After working for other health care organizations, Amanda returned to Mercyhealth because she knew the value Mercyhealth places on respect, autonomy, and dedication in the field respiratory field, among others. Below, Amanda discusses these critical aspects of quality patient care and how Mercyhealth empowers respiratory therapists to be active participants in helping to make lives better each and every day.
On creating lasting, diverse patient relationships
We get to see a lot of patients and we get to work with all different kinds of patient populations. Kids to the elderly, or critical care and emergency room to more of a clinical setting where you see patients by appointment. All of these different patient populations need different kinds of expertise. Respiratory therapy gives you the opportunity to be an expert in one of these areas or an expert in all of these areas. You have the chance to move around the hospital, but you also have the chance to work closely with a small group of patients who you might see multiple times per day. You get to develop strong relationships with these patients. Respiratory therapy is this really great mix where you serve a large variety of patients but you see the same patients enough to build a rapport with them.
On the value of collaboration and autonomy in treating and serving patients
Mercyhealth gives respiratory therapists the opportunity to work closely with physicians; they know who you are and our physicians have a strong relationship with our respiratory therapists. Our therapists are treated like the experts they are, not just someone who can turn knobs on a ventilator. You voice your recommendation on treatment and you collaborate with physicians on implementing that treatment. In other health care organizations, it’s more like: Here’s the order and you follow it. But at Mercyhealth you have a lot of autonomy to make decisions based on your professional experience and carry those decisions out. That’s pretty unique in the health care industry.
On the importance of career longevity at Mercyhealth
I started at Mercyhealth in Janesville while I was still a student. It was a small department and it seemed so much like a family. Everyone knew everyone else, everyone was eager and willing to help others, and everyone had been there quite a long time. A lot of partners I worked with had spent a majority of their careers with Mercyhealth. To me, that says a lot about how Mercyhealth treats their employees. I started at Mercyhealth as a student, left to work in other health care organizations, and then came back. A lot of partners have followed the same path – they leave and then return because they know how much we care and how dedicated our partners are. I also think that says a lot about the environment and culture of Mercyhealth.