SIOUX CITY, Iowa — It's something we do, tens of thousands of times a day. Taking a breath. But for some, taking that breath can be difficult. That's where respiratory therapists come in.
They have been taking care of some of the sickest patients nationwide. Respiratory Therapists are the unsung heroes of COVID-19.
During this time of COVID-19, respiratory therapists have been helping some of the sickest patients.
Siouxland News visited the Respiratory Care Program at St. Luke's College as students learned about ventilators.
"Respiratory Therapy is its own specialty. You don't have to be a nurse or anything like that. St. Luke's College, we are the only respiratory care program in the area that provides specialized training to take care of those patients," said program director Cindy Duncan.
Student Brooke Venema says this program is giving her the hands-on experience she needs ahead of starting her career.
"That is why I love St. Luke's College is because we get this experience," Venema said. "We get to see test lungs. We get to intubate and extubate patients that aren't real. So we get comfortable with it and then we go to clinical."
Right now, students are doing a semester just on ventilators.
"We don't just have to know what the ventilator is doing, we have to know what is going on in those patients' lungs. That is why respiratory therapy is a very specified career," Venema said as she showed us how the test lungs work.
This two-year program gives students the knowledge to take care of patients big and small.
"St. Luke's College is my favorite college because you are studying in the lab and you are going to clinical and you are studying in the classroom, all at the same time. So you aren't just learning in the classroom, you aren't just learning in a lab, you are getting every aspect of your studies."
For more on the Respiratory Care Program and St. Luke's College, visit their website here.
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