I Am UnityPoint Health: Kari Nauman

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It’s been said that variety is the spice of life. For UnityPoint Health – Finley Hospital’s Kari Nauman RRT, it’s what drew her to a career as a respiratory therapist.

“Every day is different, and patients every day are different” she says. “It’s always something new and we learn something new every day.”

Before joining UnityPoint Health about a dozen years ago, Nauman worked in a much more monotonous setting…in the office of a furniture store. A lack of satisfaction with that career and conversations with friends and family led her to a different path.

“When I was thinking of going back to school, I was kind of thinking about health care,” Nauman remembers. “I talked to some family members who are nurses, but wasn’t really sure that’s what I wanted to do. But one asked if I had heard of respiratory therapy and she told me what they did. So that’s where I learned that it would be a good fit for me.”

Nauman is continually impressed by the teamwork within her department.

“I feel like we all have each other’s backs,” she says. “If there’s a code and one person is in it, we always know we have somebody that will go help and see our patients for us while we’re busy.”

Nauman spent the first few years of her health care career at a UnityPoint Health facility in the Quad Cities before moving to Finley Hospital about five years ago. She says that sense of collaboration has been consistent across both locations.

“I’ve always had a great group of people – whether it be other RTs or nurses or doctors – who are always willing to help,” Nauman says.

Away from the respiratory therapy unit, Nauman helps operate a family farm north of Dubuque with her husband and two children. She says her co-workers often joke that she doesn’t exactly take it easy when she gets off the clock.

“They say I probably work harder when I’m not here than when I am,” she laughs. “I help my husband with everything, and our kids are right there with us. I’m just a total farm girl.”

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