Category Archives: Health & Wellness

Breathe in the Exciting Field of Respiratory Therapy

Looking to begin a health career? There’s a special member of the interdisciplinary team of heath care professionals you may not be aware of…until now.

On Friday, April 10, the Parkland Respiratory Therapy Program invites you to discover the exciting and fulfilling field of respiratory care. During their Poster Session, from 9 a.m. to noon in the Flag Lounge, Respiratory Therapy students will showcase their profession and training, with posters focusing on respiratory disease and various treatment modalities.

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Also known as “the lung specialists”,  respiratory therapists are an important part of the team that treats and manages the health of acutely ill patients experiencing breathing problems as well as patients living with chronic lung disease. You will find respiratory therapists working in hospitals as well as outpatient health care settings such as home care, pulmonary clinics, sleep labs, pulmonary rehabs, and extended care facilities.

The job outlook for respiratory therapists is good and is expected to have greater than average growth over the next decade. Visit http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/respiratory-therapists.htm to learn more about the occupational outlook for this valuable field.

Parkland’s Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care and prepares you to become an expert in assessing, treating, and educating patients who have acute and/or chronic lung disease. As a student, you will find our program engages you with classroom, online, lab, and clinical activities.  You will attend hospital clinical rotations that introduce you to the role and duties of the respiratory therapist in areas such as intensive care, neonatal care, and emergency care.

Besides hospitals, you will rotate through several ‘care’ areas of respiratory therapy, including home care, pulmonary rehabilitation, sleep lab, cardiac interventions, pulmonary function testing, and pulmonary physician rotations. You will also earn certificates of completion for Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Life Support while in the program. Upon graduation, you will earn an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) and be registry-eligible to sit for national board exams that authorize you as a certified or registered respiratory therapist.

Drop by our poster presentation; students and instructors of the program will be happy to educate and advise you on this interesting career. Application procedures and up-to-date information are available at here or by contacting Program Director Midge Seim at 217/351-2296 or mseim@parkland.edu.

 

Sexual Assault: “It’s On Us” to Start Talking

College is a place to learn, right? Well, what if the topics we begin to learn about make us feel uncomfortable? Is it okay to ignore those topics? Or should we press on and educate ourselves by learning why those topics make us uncomfortable?

Like many colleges across the United States, Parkland College has decided that the topic of sexual assault is one we can no longer ignore—in our classrooms or other social places. Last September, President Obama and the White House launched the It’s On Us campaign, asking Americans to pledge the following:

To RECOGNIZE that non-consensual sex is sexual assault.
To IDENTIFY situations in which sexual assault may occur.
To INTERVENE in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.
To CREATE an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.

This pledge is a call to action for men and women at Parkland not to be bystanders to sexual assault in our community.

On January 28 at noon, Student Life is bringing a free, interactive improv show to the Parkland Theatre. Sex Signals uses humor and audience participation to educate us on what can lead to sexual assault and how our actions can improve our relationships.

Sex-Signals-Flyer-e1380055525101-294x300Please plan on attending the show to begin this important conversation at Parkland College. If you would like to sign the pledge, go to: http://itsonus.org

Boot Camp with Parkland College Community Education

Boot Camp with Community Education
Boot Camp with Community Education

I love to work out early in the morning. The best thing about it is that anything can happen during the day, and it is not going to get in the way of you getting your daily dose of exercise because you have already done it.

Parkland College offers a Boot Camp class through Community Education. It meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 6 to 7 a.m. with instructor Peg Olson. I have had the opportunity to fill in for Peg on occasion, and it is a great group of people who are very welcoming to newcomers.

Student Lynda Ramirez has taken many exercise classes with Parkland College, and she loves Boot Camp. Here’s what Lynda had to say about the Boot Camp class:

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Boot Camp had always intrigued me, but I didn’t think I was good enough to try it out. I met someone who was taking the class and found the courage to try it. That was more than a year ago! I regret that it took so long to find the courage, and wish that I had started a long time ago.

Boot Camp has something to offer everyone, no matter what the age, gender, fitness level or lack of fitness. Each person can work at their own ability level and put as much or as little into as they want; however, Peg Olson is able to bring out the best in everyone. The class is challenging for everyone, from the P90X guy to the person working out for the first time. Peg teaches modifications for every activity so that everyone can participate.

Boot Camp covers all types of fitness activities, both strength and cardio. Peg focuses on activities that incorporate as many muscle groups as possible. We don’t just do squats and lunges; we do them with a body bar held out in front of us. We don’t just run around the gym; we do it holding a weight over our heads. We don’t just do sit-ups; we do them with our feet up in the air holding a ball between our ankles. Peg never fails to find a way to make an activity more challenging!

I know that Boot Camp has made me a better person in many ways. I have made many friends and worked harder than I ever dreamed I could. At the age of almost 62, I can truly say that I am fitter and healthier than ever before. I have achieved goals that I didn’t think were possible. I will keep coming back every semester as long as I can. Fitness is important to every person, but I can attest that the older you get the more important it is. Exercise in the “second half” of life is no longer an option — it is a job. I want to be in the same wonderful shape as my mother who is 88 years old and walked eight miles with me last week.

Boot Camp is more than an exercise class. It is a family. The camaraderie is a major reason to keep coming back. New people are welcomed every semester and quickly made to feel part of the group. Everyone is encouraging and motivating. We celebrate each other’s successes. No one is more motivating and encouraging than Peg.

Boot Camp is a wonderful way to start the day. I feel like I accomplish more before 7 a.m. than a lot of people do in a day or even a week! I sometimes dread getting out of bed, but nothing beats the great feeling of making it through another class and the pride that I feel.

The next session of Boot Camp starts February 3, 2015. Registration is open now; call 217/353-2055.

Health Professions: A Career for You?

Have you ever considered a future in health professions? For that matter, do you even know what we mean by health professions here at Parkland? Sometimes we throw terms around and expect everyone to know what we are talking about—that is especially true in health professions! We offer so many opportunities here at Parkland to work in the health care field. Some programs take only one semester while others offer full two-year degrees.

For example, our Nurse Assistant program and our Emergency Medical Technician Basic program are each only one semester long! Both of these professions provide students a great opportunity to work in a health care field and decide if they want to proceed further or do something different—all while being paid!

Maybe your passion is for animals instead of people? I get phone calls on a regular basis from veterinary clinics asking about our Veterinary Technology students. Our program is nationally known for excellence, and many places want to hire our graduates. When you complete our two-year Vet Tech program, you will have earned an associate degree and be ready to take the national board exam.

Other Health Professions options here at Parkland include one-year certificate programs. So what can you complete in one year? You could become a Medical Office Assistant, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), a Massage Therapist, or a Paramedic.

What about other two-year degrees? We offer degrees in Dental Hygiene, Registered Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assisting, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Therapy, and Surgical Technology. Students may also receive two-year associate degrees in Massage Therapy and in Emergency Medical Services (Paramedic).

The healthcare industry continues to experience employment growth, and this growth is anticipated to continue for many more years. It is one of the fastest growing job sectors in the country. I’d love to tell you more about each of our programs…better yet, come our Open House this Friday, November 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. at our main campus and also at our H wing on Mattis Ave. You can learn more about each program and speak to the faculty and students for firsthand experience!

What Makes “SADHA” So Special?

[SADHA President Mary Liesse and members of the Parkland Dental Hygiene program would like to share with you a little about what they do at Parkland and for its communities.]

We love SADHA!

SADHA stands for the Student American Dental Hygiene Association. As Parkland College Dental Hygiene students and proud members of SADHA, we try to have active community involvement by volunteering with the Smile Healthy organization and Frances Nelson Dental Center and participating in community activities. What we do to help others is pretty rewarding.

SADHA raises money every year to host a free clinic day. This year, we raced in the Car X Crazy K, which consisted of a 5K obstacle course; we raised $6,300 and donated more than half of it to our charity of choice, the Smile Healthy/Frances Nelson Dental Center. Our next free clinic day will be held April 11, 2015, and treatment we offer to our Parkland patients includes, fillings, extractions, and some tooth replacement with mouth flippers. Many dentists, Carle Oral Surgery employees, nurses, Regal Dental Laboratory technicians, students, and dental hygienists also volunteer their time and skills to help during this event.

SADHA also sponsors a local family in need for Christmas. We help make their Christmas wishes come true by filling their Christmas list!

Our community involvement is just one real-world component in Parkland’s two-year Dental Hygiene program. The program also features a clinic on campus, where Dental Hygiene students fully assess and clean a patient’s mouth.  Cleanings are $10 and include an oral cancer screening, blood pressure screening, medical history review, full intra-oral and extra-oral assessment, caries detection, nutritional counseling, X-rays, deep and regular cleanings, and an exam by our dentist. We also sell professional strength Crest White Strips for $35 and electric toothbrushes ranging in price from $20 to $85. 

We are looking for patients who haven’t had their teeth cleaned in five years or more. Appointments are about three hours long, and some patients may require more than one appointment.  Our clinic phone number is 217/351-2221 to make an appointment for a cleaning.