Parkland to highlight respiratory care program next week

Zach Trueblood

Staff Writer

The respiratory care program, one of Parkland’s health professions, is a clinical based program that makes sure the pulmonary system is functioning properly. The Respiratory Care Club has a number of events planned for Respiratory Care Week the week of Oct. 25.

In observance of Respiratory Care Week October 25-31, the respiratory care program will host an open house on Thursday, Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in room L241.  All students and staff are encouraged to come by and learn about the exciting field of respiratory care,

Respiratory Care Club advisor Molly Martin said the club will be using this week to show their gratitude to their clinical sites for their mentoring of respiratory care students.

Photo courtesy of Molly Martin | Parkland College Parkland students (left to right) Suzi Somers, Allison Smith, Jamie Buck, Lindsay Eggers and Kris McClain stand at the Respiratory Therapy Club during Parkland College’s Auto Show on May 2, 2015.

Photo courtesy of Molly Martin | Parkland College
Parkland students (left to right) Suzi Somers, Allison Smith, Jamie Buck, Lindsay Eggers and Kris McClain stand at the Respiratory Therapy Club during Parkland College’s Auto Show on May 2, 2015.

Gurvinder Rakalla is the vice president of the Respiratory Care Club. A few of Rakalla’s duties as vice president include informing the class about the Respiratory Care Club and upcoming events, recording minutes of IOC meetings, being a strong advocate of the respiratory care program, and attending leadership conferences.

“This upcoming Respiratory Week is very important to the respiratory care program at Parkland College because it recognizes the importance of the respiratory care profession and promotes awareness of lung health issues and practices,” Rakalla said. “It will allow us to motivate and encourage patients and their families in their battles against lung disease, educate by taking awareness of lung diseases such as asthma and COPD to the community, inspire others by building the desire in others to enter the respiratory care profession.”

Rakalla works alongside Respiratory Care Club president Mitch Corlas. This is Corlas’ first semester as president but he was previously vice president. Both plan to obtain an Associate of Applied Science degree in the respiratory care program.

Corlas has plans to engage alumni from the program and keep students, faculty, and staff educated about the program throughout the semester. Respiratory Care Week is just the start of some of Corlas’ plans.

“Teaching people about our profession gives others a chance to review their own pulmonary health and evaluate their own health regardless of what their current health situation is,” Corlas said.

This sentiment reinforces the statement that respiratory care program director Midge Seim made. Seim believes that respiratory care is “one of the best kept secrets in healthcare.”

“The respiratory care program goals are to prepare the graduates to have the knowledge, clinical skills, and professional behaviors that are essential for a graduate to enter into the practice of respiratory care in a clinical setting,” Seim stated.

Seim explained that respiratory therapists see those patients that have difficulty breathing. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the number three killer in the United States. Other diseases like asthma lead to the highest number of missed school days.

“The respiratory therapist is there quietly to make sure the patient has the best quality of life they can have, in spite of having a chronic illness. Even though there is relatively little that a respiratory therapist can cure, we’re there for the rough times while another form of intervention can be implemented,” Seim said.

Seim teaches a full course load alongside Martin. Seim has been working on the reaccreditation process as the program must show that it has been meeting certain requirements. Martin provides support to the Respiratory Care Club in the form of direction and development of certain leadership skills.

Photo courtesy of Molly Martin | Parkland College Student Jamie Buck displays her poster on Aerosol Therapy in Parkland’s College Center.

Photo courtesy of Molly Martin | Parkland College
Student Jamie Buck displays her poster on Aerosol Therapy in Parkland’s College Center.

Photo courtesy of Molly Martin | Parkland College Students Hayley Briggs (left) and Ashlyn Gregory (right) stand at a smoking cessation table in Parkland’s cafeteria.

Photo courtesy of Molly Martin | Parkland College
Students Hayley Briggs (left) and Ashlyn Gregory (right) stand at a smoking cessation table in Parkland’s cafeteria.

Photo courtesy of Molly Martin | Parkland College Parkland Student Mitch Corlas stands at the Respiratory Club’s booth during Parkland’s open house.

Photo courtesy of Molly Martin | Parkland College
Parkland Student Mitch Corlas stands at the Respiratory Club’s booth during Parkland’s open house.

“The purpose of the Respiratory Care Club is to provide community support in the awareness, and prevention of lung disease,” Martin said. “This also allows for the increased awareness of the respiratory care profession. While participating in club activities students develop important leadership skills for their future career path.”

Corlas explained that membership in the club has helped him meet many new people and have fun at the same time. He believed that the course load for the respiratory care program was manageable with a good deal of preparation each semester for the consecutive semester.

For those interested in joining the respiratory care program, a health professions application must be submitted by the March 1 deadline for acceptance in the fall semester. Every respiratory care student is automatically a member of the Respiratory Care Club but membership is open to all students. The club will have future events this semester as November is COPD Awareness Month and Nov. 19 is the Great American Smoke Out.

For more information contact Midge Seim at mseim@parkland.edu or Molly Martin at mmartin@parkland.edu.