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Use Your Talents

While Amy Adams is a respiratory therapist by profession, she also knows the benefits of a different kind of therapy – music. The daughter of a preacher and a musically inclined mother, Amy grew up surrounded by singing and now shares her gift with her patients and coworkers, who aren’t surprised when they see Amy singing anything from hymns to “Kung Fu Fighting” in the hallway. “It’s just who I am,” she says.

Last year, one of Amy’s patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) – an elderly woman – was about to be taken off her ventilator. The patient was terrified of being awake and alert while the tube was removed. Her heart rate and blood pressure were increasing rapidly, and by the fear in the woman’s eyes, Amy could tell she was panicking. “Close your eyes,” Amy told her patient, and began to softly sing “Amazing Grace” to her. Eventually, the woman’s eyes teared, and she mouthed the words along with her therapist. Her blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate dropped back down, and later, after she had been extubated, the patient gave Amy a long hug. “She said I helped her calm down and get her through that rough period,” Amy remembers.

For Amy, singing is second nature, but she understands its power to benefit her patients. By combining her passion for music with her job as a respiratory therapist, she helps her patients relax and improve their mindset. “Sometimes just a smile and a different attitude can make such a difference,” she says.