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Thursday, July 07, 2022

SFCC respiratory programs recruits students

Whether it's managing hospital ventilators or giving breathing therapy, respiratory care practitioners are in high demand locally.

SFCC will hold an open house today and Wednesday for its Respiratory Care Program from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at its Northwest Campus in Room W-50.

Program Director Paul Stephan said while UF has pharmacy and nursing schools, some of SFCC's health care programs, like the respiratory one, are unusual and the public may not know they exist.

About eight stations will be set up to allow visitors to practice respiratory procedures on a mannequin and practice drawing fake blood, Stephan said.

The program, which lasts 18 months, is composed of classroom lectures, laboratory skills training and hospital vocation training. Graduates have a 100 percent job placement rate and have a starting salary of $38,000 to $44,000, Stephan said.

Applications for the program, which starts spring 2009, are due Nov. 1.

The program scheduled an early open house because they wanted to let students know what prerequisites they need in time for summer class registration, Stephan said. Out of about 65 applicants, 30 will be selected.

About 25 students end up completing the program, Stephan said.

Will Winkler, 41, graduated from the program in 2003, and he said he remembers being anxious during his first hospital visit.

"You're excited, but at the same time you're nervous because you don't want to do anything wrong," Winkler said. He is now a full-time respiratory care practitioner at Shands at UF and a part-time teacher at SFCC.

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