Feb 05, 2013


Photo Caption: (left to right) Respiratory care students Erika Kunkel of Wheel, Tennessee; Solomon Titus from Rocky Mount, North Carolina; and Danielle Deloreto of Columbia, Tennessee demonstrate the Vest to students.

(Columbia, Tenn. - November 4, 2010) - - -
Columbia State Community College's Respiratory Care Program celebrated National Respiratory Care Week, October 24-30 in the Jones Student Center on the Columbia Campus. The week-long event featured several interactive booths for students in an effort to raise awareness of lung health, lung disease and the role of the respiratory therapist in caring for these individuals.

Several sets of human lungs were on display so that students could view the differences between normal lungs and those with emphysema. In addition, a set of inflatable pig lungs were on hand to provide an example of how lungs inflate and collapse during the breathing process.

Photo Caption: (left to right) Respiratory care students Vanessa Aldridge of Ethridge, Tennessee and Kara Harrington of Franklin, Tennessee provide students with a short tutorial of how the lungs function.

"My brother died of lung cancer at the age of 41," said Kara Harrington, Columbia State respiratory care student and resident of Franklin, Tennessee. "Returning to school to pursue a career in respiratory care is my way of honoring him." Before enrolling at Columbia State, Harrington had spent 14 years in the corporate world and had previously received a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and a Master's of Business Administration.

During the event, students were able to try on the Vest, a device which shakes the chest at a fast rate to help break up mucous and assist with coughing. The Vest represents one of many therapies involved in Respiratory Care.

"My son and I both have asthma," said Danielle Deloreto, Columbia State Respiratory Care student and graduate of Central High School in Columbia, Tennessee. "I chose to study Respiratory Care because I want to help my son with his breathing treatments and to help others."

Students competed daily in the peak flow and the carbon dioxide contests for a chance to win a calculator. Peak flow is a simple diagnostic test that helps medical professionals determine the extent of an asthma attack. The carbon dioxide test is a non-invasive test that measures the amount of carbon dioxide that an individual exhales. Another booth featured a heart monitor which allowed students the opportunity to measure their heart rate and rhythm.

The Respiratory Care program is designed to educate students in assessing, evaluating and treating people with breathing disorders. Respiratory therapists assist with high risk deliveries, work in neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, trauma intensive care units and emergency departments to name a few. Students in the Respiratory Care program have the opportunity to experience hands-on training at area Middle Tennessee healthcare facilities including Crockett Hospital, Maury Regional Medical Center, St. Thomas Hospital, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Williamson Medical Center.

"In addition to providing training at area hospitals, Columbia State's Respiratory Care program has an on-site lab that contains equipment found in many of the area hospital's intensive care units," said David Johnson, Program Director and Associate Professor of Respiratory Care. "This equipment allows for more effective skill development among our students."

The two-year program consists of approximately 40 students and is a limited enrollment program. The deadline to apply for the Fall 2011 cohort is May 1, 2011.

For more information on the Respiratory Care program contact R. David Johnson, Program Director and Associate Professor of Respiratory Care at (931) 540-2663 or email rjohnson@columbiastate.edu.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee's first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation. For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu.