The respiratory care program at Jackson State Community College will hold information sessions for those interested in learning about the program curriculum, admissions, and respiratory care as a profession. There will be a session on Wednesday, November 1 from 12 to 1 p.m. and a session on Thursday, November 2 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Both sessions will be held in room 134 of the Jim and Janet Ayers Center for Health Sciences on the JSCC campus.
The college is launching a Respiratory Care program to fill a growing demand for respiratory therapists in West Tennessee and provide a new alternative for students pursuing a career in health care. The five-semester program is undergoing the accreditation process and will begin classes in the spring. Graduates will receive an associate degree in applied science.
Jackson’s growing health care presence, along with the number of respiratory therapists approaching retirement, has created a need for more students to pursue the profession, said Respiratory Care Program Director Cathy Garner. The growing elderly population with long-term respiratory care needs is also driving demand.
Respiratory therapists focus on patients with breathing difficulties, from newborns with underdeveloped lungs to elderly patients with a chronic disease like emphysema. There are many specialties respiratory therapists can pursue, such as critical care, home care, case management, pulmonary rehabilitation, pulmonary diagnostics, sleep medicine, and surface and air transport. The work environment is often fast and fluid, Garner said.
“We work under the direction of a physician, and we provide an assessment of a patient to determine the kind of therapy a patient needs,” Garner said. “We focus on the cardiopulmonary system – any patient having any difficulties related to the lungs.”
“If someone is interested in bedside patient care but doesn’t want to be a nurse, this is the field they should really investigate.”
Jackson State Community College provides accessible learning opportunities that enhance the lives of individuals, strengthen the workforce and empower the diverse communities of West Tennessee. The institution offers traditional and contemporary associate degrees, certificates, continuing education and enrichment, and college-readiness programs. For more information, visit jscc.edu.