SJR STATE ALUMNI SPOTLIGHTS
Amanda Owens – (2010)
Each month, St. Johns River State College will honor one of its own in an alumni salute, celebrating the career milestones, community contributions and personal reflections of those who began their collegiate journey as SJR State Vikings.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A RESPIRATORY THERAPIST?
My Grandpa Bob inspired me to become a respiratory therapist due to his history of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). He was a very compliant patient, but I saw his struggle, especially over the last few years he was alive. He passed away in January 2018.
WHY DID YOU SELECT SJR STATE FOR YOUR TRAINING?
I was already enrolled at SJR State to receive my A.A. degree. My initial enrollment choice was due to location and great experiences from family and friends.
WHAT DID YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT THE RESPIRATORY CARE PROGRAM?
I enjoyed clinicals at different hospitals the most. Being able to learn in the hospital setting was critical to my success as a respiratory therapist.
WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN THE PROGRAM?
I was a single mom and I had to cut down my work hours to be able to attend school and take care of my daughter.
WHAT WAS THE MOST VALUABLE THING YOU LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF WHILE ENROLLED IN THE PROGRAM?
I needed certain experiences in clinicals to be taken out of my comfort zone. I was able to experience certain situations that I was not sure how I would deal with mentally and emotionally. My preceptors helped me deal with this and were very important for my success.
HOW DID YOUR TRAINING BEST PREPARE YOU FOR THE WORKFORCE?
It prepared me well, along with clinicals in the hospital setting. I was working in critical care units upon being hired. I was employed immediately at Flagler Hospital. We graduated in August, and I started at Flagler in October. I have been at Flagler Hospital for 10 years.
PLEASE SHARE A BIT ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORK AND WHAT YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB.
I have been trained in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) for many years now and I love being at deliveries. I love being able to work hand-in-hand with the nurses and doctors in the NICU to help these babies go home to their parents and siblings.
IS THERE ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR YOU DISCOVERED ABOUT YOURSELF AFTER YOU BEGAN WORKING AS A RESPIRATORY THERAPIST?
Being a respiratory therapist helped me understand the dynamics of working together as a team with nurses, x-ray techs, transporters, lab techs, doctors, and others. It showed me that we are an essential part of the team and we help facilitate patients getting well enough to go home.
WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE THE PUBLIC AND POTENTIAL STUDENTS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE RESPIRATORY CARE FIELD?
It is a great field to choose; we deal with the lung and cardiac issues. We don’t just give breathing treatments. We have a long list of things we get to do to help patients overcome their sickness. We help intubate, place arterial lines, draw blood, assist with bronchoscopies and many more duties.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU'D LIKE TO SAY ABOUT THE PANDEMIC AS IT RELATES TO YOUR WORK, ETC.?
The pandemic has helped bring us all together even more. We work as a team, and we get the job done. Our goal is to get these patients well enough to go home to their families. We have seen a very busy time and, thankfully, it has slowed down a little for us recently. The pandemic has made me appreciate being a respiratory therapist even more. We have been on the front line and witnessing the effects of COVID.
ARE YOU AN SJR STATE ALUMNUS?
Click on the link below to share your recent accomplishments and join the SJR State Alumni Association today - we'd love to hear from you! SJRstate.edu/alumni.html
Director of Public Relations and Publications