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Spotlight on Healthcare

Ève Routhier, CF clinical nurse at the adult CF clinic at the University Institute of Cardiology and Respiratory Medicine in Quebec City (IUCPQ)

Could you please introduce yourself?

My name is Ève Routhier and I am a clinical nurse. I have been the nurse in charge of the adult CF clinic at the University Institute of Cardiology and Respiratory Medicine in Quebec City (IUCPQ) since 2009. In 2008, I helped found the clinic for adult clients who had been receiving care at the Laval University Hospital Centre (CHUL) for a number of years. The adult clinic moved from the CHUL to the IUCPQ in November 2009. I then helped develop clinical and educational tools and secure multidisciplinary services for people living with cystic fibrosis (CF), which requires specialized care. 


Why did you choose to work in a CF clinic?

I became interested in this health condition during my university program, when we had to examine a case history in our “Biological Principles” course. I was intrigued by the disease’s behavioural characteristics, which reduce the quality of life and life expectancy of young children. I remember being particularly interested in its physiopathology and therapies, which focused exclusively on controlling the symptoms of CF at that time. 

Once I finally had the opportunity to work directly with CF patients in my career, I threw myself into it. The special relationships and partnerships that I have developed over the years with these patients are one of the driving forces behind my commitment to them. It is gratifying to help them get through their daily challenges, which I have come to understand and have observed throughout all the changes of the last 14 years. The major advances in research have kept me interested. We have now reached a point where new therapies are revolutionizing the way this disease is treated, which is quite promising for people living with CF. 


What is a typical day like? 

My work varies a lot from day to day. I often have to reshuffle priorities based on the urgency of incoming requests, follow-ups with patients in the outpatient clinic, and requisitions that have been sent to us, in both the hospital and the outpatient clinic. We also have to follow up on prescribed examinations and manage exceptional medication access forms. Clinical nurses are also responsible for reviewing clinical and educational tools and training new staff members. I would describe my role as that of a nurse navigator, a resource person for both the people who live with cystic fibrosis and the professionals who work with them. 


What has been the greatest highlight of working with people living with CF for you?

The greatest highlight of my career was when the CFTR modulators arrived. I now feel like I am providing an alternative therapy that makes a real difference in CF patients quality of life. My work often consists in helping users get through the hard times caused by the disease and the moments of hopelessness. These new drugs have created a wind of change in the last few months and years in terms of how CF is treated. We will definitely need to adapt the care we provide based on the new challenges that lie ahead, but this is an exciting time for the entire CF community. 


What does receiving the Taylor Nursing Award mean to you? 

I am honoured that I was selected. Thanks to this award, I was able to improve my knowledge and discuss clinical questions with my peers at the annual North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference in November 2022 in Philadelphia. We have reached a turning point in the healthcare provided to CF patients. For me, it is essential to stay up to date on the latest advances so that I can practice in line with the new standards for quality care. 


Why do you think it is important to support CF Canada? 

Cystic Fibrosis Canada is the Canadian authority on research, service and care for those who are affected by the disease across the country. By supporting this charity, you make a tangible contribution to improving the quality of life of people living with cystic fibrosis.