By Laura Raines, Pulse editor
When a “code” (emergency situation) is called in a hospital, sometimes it’s a matter of life and breath. That’s when respiratory therapists — who possess the skills and tools to help patients breathe — step in.
With that in mind, Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville offers a two-year associate degree in respiratory care. It’s a challenging program, but it has to be, said Bob DeLorme, program director for respiratory care.
“Our students spend a lot of time in the lab learning critical competency skills. If they fail one competency, they aren’t allowed to continue with the program,” DeLorme said. “Our students have to know everything, because on any given day they may be called to any area of the hospital, and they never know what they’ll need to do.”
DeLorme, who has taught in the field for 25 years, first learned about respiratory therapy through his involvement with Explorer Scouting, a branch of the Boy Scouts of America.