Working Together to Improve Respiratory and Sleep Medicine
I have mentioned before that I want to get involved with sleep and respiratory on a larger scale. Well, the opportunity hit me a couple of weeks ago when I was asked to attend the tri-county school board meeting. In attendance were representatives from the two community colleges, the area university, the local hospitals, a community member, students from the respiratory programs, and two private sleep labs. All in all, about 25 people were present.
This group was not about competition or figuring out who can one up the other. We came together to create a strong working environment for education of new respiratory therapists and sleep techs. We discussed what will happen to our BS in cardiopulmonary services now that the local university has closed it down. It appears the two community colleges will work together to keep the program going. This would create a strong funnel for the program to be filled by the current students. We also talked about how this program will work to create advanced practitioners for a field that is changing with the new needs in medicine.
The meeting also covered employment for new students. Although the field has slowed down, everyone is working to help students find a place where they fit.
In addition, we talked about some issues between respiratory and sleep. In the end, there was an agreement to join sleep with the respiratory program and perhaps eventually make it an independent program.
This meeting shows how well the community here is interlocked. It is really amazing to see such a large group of people work so well together to improve our field and the care in the area. It was a great way to get started working toward making the fields of sleep and respiratory care strong in central Florida.