Suzy's Respiratory Care Story

Hello, my name is Suzy. I was born here in Rochester, MN and I have lived here all of my life. I am an only child, but if you consider the family pets at home, then I do have a big family. For family pets, my family has cats, tropical fish, and goldfish. I attended John Marshall High School before coming to the University of Minnesota Rochester. I played sports during many of my school years. I played basketball from fifth grade through tenth grade and I played softball from seventh grade through tenth grade. I started working part-time as a cashier for a local pet store during my junior year in high school, and I am still working there. Although, I have been involved in many activities and opportunities, I have always had an interest in a health sciences career. I officially discovered Respiratory Care, when two respiratory therapists came and spoke one day to one of my classes during my senior year in high school.

Upon entering the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) program at the University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR), I had aspirations of becoming a respiratory therapist. I was fairly certain that I could make my way into a Respiratory Care program, through the BSHS program. The main question was just how I would be able to get all the pre-requisites completed. From the get-go I brought my plan to become a respiratory therapist to my student coach, Parry Telander, during our meetings about which classes I should take next.

I did some research regarding Respiratory Care programs within the University of Minnesota system online. I found a person to contact here on the Rochester campus about the Respiratory Care program, Holly Renn. I do not remember exactly which day it was. One day during my freshman year at UMR I walked to Holly Renn's office and met with her about the Respiratory Care program. Little did I know that she was working on a new program called Bachelor of Science in Health Professions. In this new program I will have the opportunity to be in a Respiratory Care program and be able to earn a Bachelor Degree, while simultaneously being a UMR student and a Mayo School of Health Sciences student. I remember during one meeting while trying to plan out my courses to take with Parry Telander and Holly Renn, she said it was possible for me to get the BSHP-Respiratory Care pre-requisites completed within two years at UMR. It all would depend on which classes were going to be available my sophomore year, such as Microbiology and Physics. In order for me to complete the pre-requisite courses within two years in the BSHS, I took twelve credits of science courses during the Spring Semester of my sophomore year at UMR. Through working to make sure that I will have the pre-requisite courses completed by the end of my sophomore year in the BSHS program, I was able to complete the application for the Respiratory Care program for admission Fall of 2011.

Holly Renn (UMR) sent me an email in January inviting to complete the Respiratory Care application. Most of my time spent on the application was spent on completing the application essay. I completed and submitted the Respiratory Care application by the priority deadline of February 1st, and waited to hear back if I was invited for the Respiratory Care program interview at the Mayo School of Health Sciences.

Approximately ten days after I submitted the application, I received invitation to the program interview. There were two dates in March to interview on, and I registered for the date during Spring Break, so that I wouldn't miss any classes. After completing the interview, I waited to hear if I was appointed admission to the program. I was notified about two weeks later that I was appointed admission into the program, pending completion of the pre-requisite courses. Now, I have to be sure to complete the pre-requisite courses, and complete any forms, etc. before officially entering the program August 16th, 2011.

I have some advice for those interested in the field of Respiratory Care. One piece of advice I have is to make sure to tell your student coach that you are interested in the field. Next, I recommend that if you are interested to take a Respiratory Care program tour to get a better understanding of the field, and see if you could see yourself there. I also recommend that you contact and speak with Holly Renn; she is the program director of the Health Professions program (Respiratory Care Track). Then, be sure to take any opportunities that you can to get to know the field of Respiratory Care, and make sure that this field is what you want to pursue. Another recommendation I have is to make sure that you get the pre-requisite courses completed as well as you can. When it comes time for the program application, be sure to spend plenty of quality time working on your application essay. The essay is a place where you can really let yourself shine through, and let the application reviewers know what makes you unique outside of grades and test scores. If you are given the opportunity for a program interview, I strongly suggest that you practice in some shape or form prior to the actual interview. Whether it means having two of your professors conduct a practice interview with you, going through questions on your own while video recording yourself to see where you make mistakes, or some other way to practice. For the program interview it is important to dress accordingly, do not wear your favorite jeans and t-shirt to the interview. Be prepared to be interviewed by more than one person at a single time, and be prepared to interview more than one time. The program interview is a way for the interviewers to get to know you better, above and beyond the information you're your transcript and program application. I know this may sound cliché, but remember to be yourself during the interview, think of it as a nice conversation, not an interrogation.

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