On October 27, the Respiratory Care Program in collaboration with UCSF Hospital, hosted the first Skyline College-UCSF conference. The head coordinators for this conference were Ramona “Mona” Burke, Professional Development Specialist at UCSF, Heather Esparza, Director of Respiratory Care and Allied Health, and Nadia Tariq, Respiratory Care Program Service Coordinator at Skyline College. Their teamwork organized an amazing conference that explored various lecture topics: Opportunities of AI in Respiratory Care, Expanding the Scope of Respiratory Care Practitioners, Precision Nutrition in Critical Care, Pediatric Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, and the Principles of Chest Radiographs. We also had the pleasure of representatives from Fisher and Paykel and Mallinckrodt who discussed their respiratory equipment and the benefits they have in the clinical environment. The presentations and the respiratory care equipment were enlightening for the students and practicing Respiratory Care Practitioners.

Four current Respiratory Care Sophomore students, Shaun Aurea, Alexis Boac, Mario Ochoa, and Valaria Vital, and Alumni from the Skyline College Respiratory Care Program, Samantha Scott-Marquina, William Sanchez, Amanda Shelton, and Andrew Marcelo presented at the conference, and highlighted a need for quality hospital clinical rotations. Both the current students and alumni discussed the importance of clinical experience and the valuable role that Respiratory Care Practitioners play in creating an engaging learning environment within the clinical setting. During the pandemic, students struggled to obtain their clinical hours due to the hospital infection control restriction policies, therefore many of them lacked real-life patient experiences post-graduation. Currently, the Respiratory Care sophomore students have had the opportunity to participate in clinical rotations and acknowledge how the clinical environment prepares them for the profession. Shaun, Alexis, Mario, and Valeria’s presentation emphasized the importance of collaboration between a community college healthcare program and their local clinical affiliates. The relationship the Skyline College Respiratory Care Program has with its clinical affiliates is a vital educational component that contributes to the success of each Respiratory Care student.

Having an annual Skyline College/UCSF conference will be instrumental in maintaining a long-lasting relationship between the Respiratory Care Program and the clinical community. In addition, the conference provides a professional development opportunity for current Respiratory Care Practitioners, students, nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. Moreover, the conference promotes networking and collaboration between various disciplines. We are thankful to all the presenters for sharing their evidence-based research during the conference. The Respiratory Care Program faculty are extremely proud of their students and Alumni for coming forward to discuss the necessity of clinical rotations and how those experiences help transform students into Respiratory Care Practitioners.

Pictures by Nadia Tariq

Article written by Sara Morrison, Sophomore Year Respiratory Care Student and Heather Esparza, Allied Health/Respiratory Care Program Director

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