Internship spotlight: Respiratory care

photo of NDSU respiratory care student

Coursework followed by a 15-month hands-on internship provides students with a wide range of experience in Respiratory Care. The program at NDSU includes two or more years of academic coursework and a full-time professional-level internship at Sanford Medical Center Fargo. Respiratory care student Hedaya says her first-hand experience during her internship clarified her future career path.

Specialty Area:

As a student who has been allowed to learn and gain experience in every area of Respiratory Care, it is hard to choose just one area to specialize in; when they are all unique in their ways. However, if I had to choose an area to specialize in at this time in the program, it would be PICU and NICU.

I chose these areas because when infants, toddlers, and children are involved, different rules and cares are applied; it is a whole different world that is designed. I enjoy the concept of teamwork and effort in PICU/NICU, where care has to be aligned with different departments of health care.

As Respiratory Therapists, we get to be involved in every step of care from the start to the end. Also, the idea of providing care at early ages of life and then watching them bloom into adults is a gratifying and hopeful feeling.

Favorite part of the Internship:

As much as I enjoyed clinicals and the hands-on experience of applying everything I have learned in class, I would say my favorite part of the internship is the nine new friends that I have gained and the four excellent teachers and mentors that will always be available to help, support and guide.

This internship brings together diverse students with different stories with the same goal to achieve (becoming RRTs). It was amazing that we all started the journey at the same point and grew in knowledge to achieve our goal.

We were able to stress, vent, be energetic, and share joy. We created unforgettable memories during class, lunch breaks, and labs. Honestly, my classmates made this internship less stressful and, dare I say, more fun because we were all in the same boat.

Also, not to forget our four outstanding teachers who have been there for 15 months and have taught us everything we have to know to become great RRTs. They are always available for us 24/7 and want us to succeed. I will end this by saying, this internship creates a small trustworthy RT Family for every student!

To learn more:

Find more information about the Respiratory Care program at NDSU. The average growth rate for this occupation is projected to increase 19 percent from 2019-2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Median annual salary for a respiratory therapist is listed at $62,810, as of May 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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