Respiratory Therapy Alumni Spotlight: Lindsey Junstrom
Respiratory Therapy is one of the less well-known programs among the ones we offer at Pittsburgh Career Institute (PCI). This month we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing one of our respiratory therapy alumni, Lindsey Junstrom. She is a bright and enthusiastic young woman that had a great deal of insight to share with us!
Lindsey knew in high school that she wanted a career where she could be helping people. She had considered other similar medical careers like nursing or physical therapy, but someone at PCI recommended that she look into respiratory therapy. She admitted at first that the research made respiratory therapy look a little intimidating, but as she began her education those fears quickly evaporated!
A Typical Day as a Respiratory Therapist
One thing that Lindsey loves about being a respiratory therapist is that no two days are the same! Each day she comes into the hospital and is assigned a different part of the hospital to work in. Some days she works in the emergency room, other days in urgent care. Respiratory therapists rotate their way through all parts of hospitals they work in!
On the job Lindsey does anything and everything that has to do with helping patients breathe better. Sometimes this includes fast-paced things like performing CPR or helping people having asthmatic difficulty. Other times she works more with ongoing therapy with patients who are working on improving their breathing over many sessions.
It’s also important to mention that respiratory therapists work in many other places besides hospitals. Some work in retirement homes, pulmonary rehabilitation centers, with pediatricians, or even sales! They have the flexibility of working in a multitude of different work environments. Lindsey mentioned that she loves that she has options of working somewhere besides the hospital if the fast-paced environment wears her out one day.
What You Can Do With a Respiratory Therapy Education
The Respiratory Therapy Program at PCI is a fully inclusive program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) [http://www.coarc.com/] that awards an associates degree to those who earn it. With that education, graduates have many different options available to them. PCI has partnered with La Roche College, Point Park University, and Carlow University, all of which allow program credits to transfer, enabling a PCI graduate to apply their education toward a bachelor’s degree. If you’re planning on getting a bachelor’s degree, this program is a good way to get a career-ready set of skills while you’re at it!
If you’re wanting to be done with school after graduating from PCI, you can go straight to the workforce! The respiratory therapy program is designed to equip students with all the tools they need to be successful entry level respiratory therapists. Either way, an education in respiratory therapy can equip you to be successful after graduation!
Is Respiratory Therapy Right for You?
When asked about how to know if respiratory therapy is right for you, Lindsey said the most important thing to know is why you want to pursue it. She explained that the best respiratory therapists are those that have a love for helping other people and a passion for the medical industry. You shouldn’t choose this program if you are simply looking for an easy career after a two year program. If you are hardworking and passionate about helping other people, then this could be the right program for you!
Lindsey mentioned many things that she loves about being a respiratory therapist. Most importantly, she loves helping other people, getting to know them, and assisting in their recovery. The job can be hard at times, but there is so much satisfaction from helping other people to heal. Being a light to people in dark times provides a very unique sense of satisfaction that is hard to get anywhere else.
Lindsey was asked why she chose respiratory therapy over something else, like a nursing program. She responded that “nursing deals with stuff below the belt, and respiratory therapy deals with stuff above the belt. For me that made it a no-brainer!” For some people, this could be the difference they need to be able to pursue their dream of working in the medical industry!