Breathing life into a new career

In 2008 after some personal life experience and a career in managing high end fashion, I decided it was time for a few changes in my life. One of the crucial changes would be forging a new career path, and after some research and soul searching I decided to go into the field of Respiratory Therapy. Once I completed my prerequisites I was accepted into the program here at Mt. Sac, which was the beginning of one of the biggest, yet rewarding challenges of my adult life.

I cannot even begin to say enough good things about the program and its director, Mary-Rose Wiesner. She is the heart and soul of the Respiratory Therapy program, and I am certain that my new career wouldn’t be what it is without having had her guidance and support every step of the way. After I passed my board exams and became a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT), I was hired at Keck Hospital of USC. I had completed my clinical rotation here, so this was truly a dream come true. The relationships that I had developed with my classmates, professors and clinical instructors were invaluable; they provided me with crucial skills that enabled me to communicate very well with physicians, nurses, patients and their families, as well as with other health care providers.

With each shift comes critical thinking challenges, which illustrate the need of keeping up to date on the latest studies and advances in the field. I am fortunate to be in a position of being able to teach others about the prevention and treatment of various pulmonary diseases and their manifestations.

One of the aspects I love most about this job is the fact
that no two shifts are alike. When I walk into work, I am handed my assignment for the day or evening. Since this hospital is known for its countless surgeries and transplants, one can never predict what the assignments will be. The unexpected critical moments are intense and often frightening, however, with each one comes more experience and something new learned. One day I may have four patients who are all on ventilators, and are struggling to make it through the night. The next I
may be extubating a patient who just had a lung transplant, or I may be giving someone their final breathing treatment before going home.

As a Respiratory Care Practitioner one of my primary goals is to focus on providing assistance with the utmost empathy and with a positive spirit.

I love not knowing what each day holds and even more, the
opportunity of meeting new patients all with a different story and
background. I wear my heart on my sleeve, so it is not uncommon for me to go through every emotion in one 12 hour shift. I wouldn’t change one minute of it for the world.

–Isabel Claudius

Isa Claudius pic

My two buddies and I winning the 2012 Sputum Bowl Competition for the California Society for Respiratory Care – South Coast Region

Leaders in capes

The Mt. San Antonio College alumni community is a collection of leaders and every day superheroes. But this is not an exclusive club; it’s an inclusive environment that operates on one idea supported by the College: everyone deserves an education. As a result we see graduates shaping our community every day. It’s the single-mom who earns her nursing license to provide for her children, and extends compassion to her patients and their families in times of need. A first-generation college student earning an Associate’s degree that propels them into lifelong learning and appreciation for the opportunities extended to them. A fire fighter taking personal risk every day to ensure the safety of their community.

Mt. SAC breeds a culture of gratitude, and it’s this sense of appreciation that promotes paying it forward. You are part of the fabric of this institution that cloaks itself around our community like a cape. You are the superheroes in your own life, leading productive lives that contribute to our society as a whole.

We want to celebrate you.

–MF