Take a Deep Breath… Let Me Listen

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Plusone Email


Readers are divided over which writer – Bessie Anderson Stanley or Ralph Waldo Emerson – penned the famous poem, “Success.”

Authorship aside, the closing verse of the work speaks to a universal truth about life, caring for others and achievement: “To know that one life has breathed easier because you have lived; this is to have succeeded.” These words inspire students in the Respiratory Care program at Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC), who are driven to help patients breathe easier, improve their cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, and enjoy lives more fully.

Graduates of the programs are prepared to treat patients with respiratory ailments, whether they are the acute symptoms of asthma or chronic conditions, such as emphysema, says Respiratory Care program director and instructor Amy Rausch.

“Students in the program take a Respiratory Therapy V course and work in the pulmonary rehab unit at Mercy Medical Center as part of their clinical education,” Rausch said. “Students help to educate patients who have long-term respiratory illnesses by teaching them better exercise habits, how to breathe when walking, gardening or other activities, and how to improve the quality of their lives.”

The Healthcare Simulation Lab at the Peosta campus gives students a value-added opportunity to treat patients in emergency care situations, such as during an asthma attack – an occurrence that students may not witness in a typical hospital setting.

“The students really enjoy the simulation lab because it puts them in real life situations where manikins display acute respiratory symptoms. We can recreate many of these situations in the lab for students,” Rausch added.

Effective respiratory therapy treatment requires more than just a stethoscope, of course. Students in the program study respiratory therapy techniques and science, pulmonary pathology, the care of infants and children, and innovations in the field to prepare for their future careers. Clinical site experiences with local healthcare providers and the Healthcare Simulation Lab offer students additional training to supplement classroom learning.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics Survey for Iowa Wages and Income, graduates of the program are earning $38,180 in the field.

Take a deep breath and jump right into the Respiratory Care program at NICC! For more information, visit www.nicc.edu/respiratorycare.

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Plusone Email