The Respiratory Therapy program held their first open house April 30 in the Health Sciences Annex. The program’s current students initiated the idea of an open house so that applicants, pre-program students and family members could see what a respiratory therapist does everyday.
Attendees had the opportunity to watch various procedures and talk to the program director, professors, and students.
Katie Johnston, one of many applicants in attendance, watched current students perform an intubation on a manikin and then jumped in and tried the task herself. She was successful on her first attempt and delighted in her accomplishment.
When asked why she chose the respiratory therapy program, she answered, “I had asthma as a kid and went to school for physical education to help people like me, but I don’t want to be a P.E. teacher and I still want to help people.”
Although Katie outgrew her asthma when she was 19 years old, her six-year-old son has respiratory problems that require a nebulizer. She said helping people breathe and enjoy their life are issues very close to her heart.
Lisa Mace, a current student in the program, entered the program for an entirely different reason.
“I was an English major and I wanted something to challenge myself,” she said. Her mom suggested a health sciences career. After eliminating nursing, Lisa decided on respiratory therapy. “I love working with patients and getting the feeling that I’m really helping somebody.”
Respiratory Therapy is one of the fastest growing health related occupations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a growth rate of 28% from 2010-2020, which is twice the 14% average growth rate expected for all occupations.
This year, 24 applicants will be accepted into the two-year degree program that starts in August. Currently more than thirty people have applied for those positions. For program advisement, call 405-733-7361.