WMC respiratory therapists visit the SciGirls of Casper
By Valerie Hess Feb 7, 2014
On Jan. 22, two respiratory therapists from Wyoming Medical Center (WMC) went to CY Middle School to present to the SciGirls of Casper. SciGirls offers fun and educational activities that promote interest and exposure to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). This free after school program for 9-15 year olds meets twice a week after school.
Equipped with their tools of the respiratory trade, Tosha Evans and Jamie Rosacker talked with the girls about their education and their job at Wyoming Medical Center. They offered the girls hands-on time with the respiratory equipment they brought including a ventilator, spirometer and other commonly used tools.
Jamie knew she wanted to work in the medical field from a very young age. She has family that works in the medical industry, so she began talking with family and friends about their positions. After talking with a respiratory therapist she knew, Jamie decided to pursue respiratory therapy.
Tosha became interested in respiratory therapy while working at the coffee shop located inside WMC. She became friends with respiratory therapists and started to think about making that her career. When Tosha’s grandmother became very ill and was in the ICU, Tosha saw the role respiratory therapy played in her grandmother’s recovery. Later while job shadowing respiratory therapy in the Emergency Room, a respiratory therapist spoke up when a physician was going to intubate a patient and suggested putting the patient on BiPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure) instead. The BiPAP worked and the patient didn’t have to be intubated. That experience solidified Tosha’s decision.Becoming a respiratory therapist takes about three to four years of school to obtain an Associates in Applied Science degree from Casper College. The job demand in Casper is steady. Jamie’s and Tosha’s peers from college all have jobs either in an acute care setting, like the hospital, or in another respiratory therapy field, like home health.
When asked about her favorite part of being a respiratory therapist at WMC, Tosha responded “the autonomy and collaborative team.” Physicians and other caregivers often ask input from respiratory therapists because they know very specific details of the respiratory system. Jamie enjoys getting to know her patients, seeing them get better watching them leave WMC.
A typical day-in-the-life of a respiratory therapist at WMC is influenced by the season. There are different treatments during the winter compared to the summer. Right now the flu is something that respiratory therapy is seeing a lot of. The patient’s diagnosis determines if the patient is given breathing treatments or something more complex, like a bronchoscopy to obtain specimens for testing.
“You have to be a little weird, you are dealing with boogers, sputum and sucking noises all day,” said Jamie.
In conjunction with The Science Zone; SciGirls is a free after school program for girls ages 9 to 15 that meets at CY Middle School on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3-5:30pm. Girls from other schools are welcome and are encouraged to come and have great time! SciGirls offers fun and educational activities that promote interest and exposure to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Visit The Science Zone website or their Facebook page for more information.