Mother and Daughter Motivate Each Other
Posted: May 4, 2016 by Elizabeth Baker
When Christina Crist’s mother became ill with interstitial lung disease, Christina helped take care of her and through the process, got to know the respiratory therapists who were providing care. At the time, she was thinking about going to nursing school, but after seeing first-hand what respiratory therapists do for patients, she decided to look into the career for herself.
Christina and Alexis pose for a photo in their medical scrubs.
Meanwhile, Christina’s daughter, Alexis Halverson, was thinking about studying pediatric neurosurgery, but she was also intrigued with the respiratory therapy career after seeing what they could do for patients.
So the mother-daughter duo decided to go into respiratory therapy together—at Pima Medical Institute’s Denver campus. They’ve been in the program since October of 2014 and will both graduate this July.
“We looked into a couple of different programs,” Christina said. “Pima Medical students are known to be some of the best. Hospitals here have a high opinion of Pima respiratory therapy students.”
The program has been tough, they admitted, but having each other to lean on made a real difference.
“We motivate each other,” Alexis said. “There have been times when we have a big project due, and she will tell me ‘you need to get your stuff done. We’re almost done with school,’” she said.
Christina agreed that being in classes together has been a rewarding experience for them. “I think it really helped us. After class, especially, if I’m not understanding something, she can explain it. She’s my study buddy. Plus, she’s only 21. Her brain is a lot younger,” Christina said with a laugh.
Both Christina and Alexis were on Denver Sputum Bowl teams last year, with Christina’s going to the national finals in Florida. They also both had the chance to work at several Denver-area hospitals during their clinical externships, which was an extremely positive experience for them, they said.
“I loved clinicals,” Christina said. “You really get a feel for how different hospitals work and find out which direction you want to go in.”
They’d like to work at the same location after they graduate, but they know realistically, they should go wherever they fit in best with a healthcare team.
“It would be awesome to work together,” Christina said. “She’s my best friend and we’re together often.”