I graduated in 2005 from Hons BSc in Human Kinetics.
I currently work in the Critical Care Unit at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto as a Respiratory Therapist. A Respiratory Therapist combines their knowledge of cardio-respiratory care to monitor, evaluate and treat patients with a variety of conditions. For example, we manage and treat patients requiring mechanical ventilation in the ICU, provide oxygen therapy and breathing treatments to patients in the emergency room, assist with the deliveries of newborn babies in labour and delivery, and assess sleep disorders in the sleep lab.
My job as a Respiratory Therapist at Sick Kids is rewarding in many ways. I am able to help care for and treat some of the sickest pediatric patients in Canada and at the end of the day know that I have helped make a difference in their lives. There are many educational opportunities available to us at Sick Kids and as we are a global teaching hospital, I have the opportunity on a daily basis to share my knowledge of pediatric respiratory care with health care professionals from around the world.
When I graduated from UofG, the Human Kinetics program had provided me with a great knowledge base in human anatomy and physiology that prepared me well for studying Respiratory Therapy. The courses I had at UofG increased my interest and desire to have a career in the healthcare field where you can apply the physiology you learn in class to the clinical setting at the bedside. The Human Anatomy course provided me with an excellent hands-on opportunity to visualize the human body from the inside out. I cannot describe how helpful this course was to me when studying Respiratory Therapy and now in my career. This is a truly unique experience, which graduates consider themselves lucky to have been able to participate in.
The experiences that I enjoyed the most at UofG were the friendships and relationships I made while attending there. I had a great group of friends in residence during first year that continued on into later years when moving off campus, and I still remain in contact with these friends today. As well, the small class sizes in the HK program in the third and fourth years allowed you to get to know many of your classmates and instructors better, and provided you with a more comfortable learning atmosphere. Growing up in a small community, my transition from high school to university was made much easier by the sense of community that the City of Guelph and UofG offers to its students.
My advice for current and future UofG grads would be to make the most of your time in university by enjoying what you are studying, and if not, then find your passion. Try joining a club or participating in a sport that you are interested in as this can allow you to make many friendships that can last for years to come. The network of people that you are exposed to is unlike any other place you will find yourself in and the relationships that it creates are priceless. Take the time to find out about careers that are out there that you might be interested in and not just the ones that you read about in the paper or see on T.V. If you are interested in healthcare, there are many rewarding jobs outside of the traditional roles of nurse and physician. For more information about becoming a Respiratory Therapist, visit www.csrt.com.