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OTC Students Salute Respiratory Therapists During National Respiratory Care Week

National Respiratory Care Week, an annual event that recognizes the work of respiratory therapists and the importance of lung health, is October 25-31, 2009. Sponsored by the American Association for Respiratory Care, this year’s theme is Respiratory Care: There When You Need Us and will focus on the fact that respiratory therapists work in a wide variety of places.Photo 1

Respiratory therapists are sometimes referred to as “The Lung Health Experts.” They provide the hands-on care that helps people recover from a wide range of medical conditions. Whenever breathing is an issue, they are there.
Respiratory therapists work in a variety of health care settings, including:

  • hospitals giving breathing treatments to people with asthma and other respiratory conditions
    intensive care units managing ventilators that keep the critically ill alive.
  • emergency rooms delivering life-saving treatments.
  • newborn and pediatric units helping kids with conditions ranging from premature birth to cystic fibrosis.
  • operating rooms working with anesthesiologists to monitor patients’ breathing during surgery.
  • patients’ homes providing regular check-ups and making sure people have what they need to stay out of the hospital.
  • sleep laboratories helping to diagnose disorders like sleep apnea.
  • skilled nursing facilities and pulmonary rehabilitation programs helping older people breathe easier and get more out of life.
  • doctor’s offices conducting pulmonary function tests and providing patient education.
  • asthma education programs helping kids and adults alike learn how to cope with the condition.
  • smoking cessation programs assisting those who want to kick the habit for good.
  • air transport and ambulance programs rushing to rescue people in need of immediate medical attention.
  • case management programs helping devise long-term care plans for patients. Photo 2

The OTC Respiratory Care Technology AAS degree program prepares graduates for the highest level of respiratory therapy licensure exam, the Certified Respiratory Therapy (CRT) exam and the Registered Respiratory Therapy (RRT) exam. Just 15 respiratory programs in Georgia are accredited, according to the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs. The OTC respiratory program is accredited with the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) and is listed among accredited programs at http://www.caahep.org.

For more information about the respiratory care technology program at Okefenokee Technical College, call Faye Mathis at (912) 287-6515 or Mandy Lee at (912) 287-5821. For more information about respiratory week, go online to www.aarc.org.

Photo 1:
Faye Mathis, program chair of the OTC Respiratory Care program, Mandy Lee, lead clinical instructor, and the junior respiratory class encourage everyone to get educated about lung diseases like COPD and, when recommended, get tested to know your lung “numbers.” Junior class members are (Front to Back, L to R) Amy Hires, Jessica Steedley, Jennifer McGhin, Ashlie Hennesy, Jonna Wright, Amy Mosley, Cara Lynn, Brittney Nipper, Megan Baladez, Jim Todd, Jonathan Daniels, and Chantelle McNeal.

Photo 2:
 Please join the respiratory care technology senior class at Okefenokee Technical College in recognizing and thanking respiratory care professionals for their contributions to our health. October 25-31, 2009, is National Respiratory Care Week.  Faye Mathis, program chair of the OTC Respiratory Care program (second from left), and Mandy Lee, (left) lead clinical instructor, are pictured with senior class members: Monica Herrin (Top, L to R), Trevin Simmons, and Sky Long; Lee (standing L to R), Mathis, Miranda Rodriguez, Breezi hill, Brittany James, Jami Pearson, Jill Smith, Tina Brue, and Gary Mikel; Lindsey Clark (kneeling L to R), Sandy Coe, Carla Deal, and Patty Smith.

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