Jeremy Feldman a two-time graduate from Pima Medical Institute, from both our Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy, as well as our associate degree Respiratory Therapy program, has continued to connect with us via email to let us know what he is experiencing in his New York hospital. He was kind enough to do a Q&A with us. Check it out below.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your day to day?
A: “It’s been crazy! Today my shift was caring for 17 vented patients on one of the new COVID-19 floors that we opened. One other therapist and myself were responsible for all 17 patients.”
Q: What are you doing to keep you and your family safe?
A: “When I get home I wipe down all my stuff from work, ID badge, shoes, car door, steering wheel, etc. I go through the garage and take off all my clothes and throw them in the washing machine and run to take a shower before I have any interaction with my wife. I am monitoring my temperature twice a day and making sure my house is clean, wiping down door knobs and counters, etc.”
Q: What has been the biggest surprise about the COVID-19 pandemic in NY and what are the issues you would say the rest of the country needs to know regarding this crisis?
A: “The biggest surprise is that this virus is going after EVERYONE – healthy, young, old, athletes. We do see more patients with a history of cardiac that seem to be affected the most. People still don’t know how bad this is and how they need to stay home.”
Q: Do you have a different or renewed perspective on being a Respiratory Therapist?
A; “I don’t. We are still doing the same job but are needed more and more as so many are sick that need ventilators. These are not just surgery patients that need a ventilator, they are really sick patients, literally on the edge of dying. I really hope this gives our profession some well- deserved credit. Not everyone knows who we are and what we do. Even the news media talks about nurses, doctors, police officers, EMT’s. But, what about the respiratory therapists who are running the vents?”
Q: What would you say to anyone contemplating being a Respiratory Therapist today?
A: “I think it is a good field to get into and very rewarding! I also would recommend getting your bachelor’s degree. If you like trouble shooting and being challenged, it’s the field for you.”
Q: Any special words you would like to say to your Pima Medical instructors?
A: “I want to say Thank You to ALL who helped me! I miss you guys and hope everyone is doing well and safe!”
For those interested in learning more about Jeremy’s journey with Pima Medical, here is his original story, in his own words.
“My mother, who worked as a nurse, influenced my decision to step into the medical field when I was discharged from the military, and I was fortunate to have the GI bill, affording me an opportunity to focus totally on my education. I heard Pima Medical Institute had a great Respiratory Therapy program, although I was somewhat skeptical when they also told me the job market for RT’s in California was “tough.” That proved to be true!
After completing over 100 applications, I realized I would need to relocate to find work. I had family in New York, so I applied there and got a position at a small rural hospital just two hours from the Canadian border. Because we only had four therapists, I was often called into the ER in the middle of the night, but I got terrific experience working closely with the doctors. Currently, I’m working at Stony Brook Medicine, a part of Stony Brook University, just outside of New York City. We just bought our first home and are making our roots here.
I decided to continue my education with Pima Medical and have recently completed my Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy program online. This experience has been great, with instructors available and helpful, and I was able to handle the workload and my fulltime job.
I am definitely using the skills I learned in class at my current position and it makes me so thankful for my instructors!”
Is Respiratory Therapy something you might be interested in? Check out pmi.edu/all-programs to see the campuses where we offer the associate degree program, and how you can continue your education through our online bachelor’s degree option.