Tag Archives: respiratory care

Take a Deep Breath, Get a Great Job!

Are you thinking of pursuing a health-related career? Sit back, take a deep breath, and consider respiratory care.

Local starting salaries are upwards of $35,000, and jobs are abundant in our area and nationwide. You can earn your Associate in Applied Science degree in two years; Parkland graduates have achieved 100% job placement. This is a great career for returning adult students; classes and labs offered in a hybrid format means you are only on campus one full day per week.

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Why is respiratory care important? Breathing is so fundamental that most of us do not give it a second thought. Breathing just happens; the magic of the chemistry in our brains takes over, and we breathe. But for the 24 million people in the United States and the 52 million worldwide who live with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), taking a breath can be a struggle. It requires work. Activity often demands planning to accommodate for the time required to “let me catch my breath.”

Respiratory therapists are critical members of the interdisciplinary care team for patients experiencing difficulty breathing. Providing diagnostic testing, treatment, and patient and family education, the respiratory therapist has the knowledge and skills to help patients with chronic lung disease enjoy an improved quality of life. Respiratory therapists provide pulmonary function testing, oxygen and specialty gas therapies, inhaled medications, airway clearance, and mechanical ventilation. In a resuscitation or CPR situation, a respiratory therapist is at the head, providing an airway and breathing for the patient. Respiratory therapists also see patients in neonatal intensive care units that arrive too soon, too small, or too sick to survive without a little help breathing; the chronically ill with complicating acute illnesses; and the critically sick and injured of all ages.

Most respiratory therapists work in acute care hospitals, but therapists are also needed in home care, in out-patient diagnostics, in pulmonary rehabilitation programs, long-term ventilation facilities, and in medical equipment sales and support. 

Applications for fall 2016 admission to the Parkland College Respiratory Care program are due by March 1, 2016. For more information email mseim@parkland.edu or visit http://www.parkland.edu/academics/departments/health/rtt/.

 

[Parkland’s Respiratory Care 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.]

Cool Cars and Healthy Lungs: RT Had It Covered!

Parkland’s Respiratory Therapy Club showed up in fine fashion at the 16th Annual Car Show Saturday, teaching the public about lung health. The air we breathe is very important; exposing our lungs to noxious materials, chemicals, and gases can cause irreversible damage and may lead to lung disease.

Respiratory Therapy students at the annual car show pose with Cruella Deville and a few dalmatians.
Respiratory Therapy students at the annual car show pose with Cruella Deville and a few dalmatians.

Hundreds of spectators came out to the free Car Show, so it was a great venue to tell people how they can keep their lungs healthy–and we did this in fun ways! One team of students handed out fact sheets at our booth in front of the Parkhill Applied Technology Center. Another team conducted our Peak Flow Contest. Peak flow is a tool to measure how forcefully we can exhale while we’re breathing. Everyone who measured their “windiness” put their name in the drawing for great prizes donated by local businesses. (A third team of RT students had been responsible for finding those sponsors; they did a great job.) Finally, we sold soft drinks at the event to raise funds for the club.

RTserve at Car show
Students serve up soft drinks, snacks, and healthy lung education at Car Show.

Besides having a fun day at the auto show, our students were able to develop leadership and teamwork skills through the process. Most importantly, they learned the importance of service learning; they educated the public about lung disease in general, mostly concentrating on occupational hazards in our lives. These hazards can include exposures in certain workplaces (farming, welding, mining, even some factory workers may be at risk) as well as hobbies that introduce noxious substances into the lungs–hobbies using chemical solvents, different materials, and gases.

Please be aware of the air you’re breathing: Stay in well-ventilated areas, wear masks approved for the type of work that you’re doing (respirators), and stop to get fresh air when you feel lightheaded.

Repiratory Therapy students relax after giving lung health info to car show spectators.
Repiratory Therapy students relax after giving lung health info to car show spectators.

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.