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6 May 2020

Nursing and Health Sciences Faculty at Naugatuck Valley Community College Respond to Pandemic

Nursing and Health Sciences Faculty at Naugatuck Valley Community College Respond to Pandemic

Margaret Guerrera, RRT, MS; Program Director Respiratory Care at Naugatuck Valley Community College and President of the Connecticut Society for Respiratory Care spoke with WFSB Channel 3.  Guerrera explained the importance of respiratory care therapists, especially during the corona virus crisis. They operate respirators and support patients in ICU who are on ventilators.

Guerrera underscored the need for Respiratory Care Therapists has been heightened by the current pandemic. “Before the crisis, we had a shortage of Respiratory Care Therapists because many have reached retirement-age and also because they also work in other environments like doctors’ offices, and home care settings; therapists are spread out over many more environments.”

https://www.wfsb.com/news/video-respiratory-therapists-needed-during-covid-19-outbreak/video_790d82bd-1d17-5600-8eca-23f642619326.html

In a subsequent article with the Republican American, Guerrera talked about the “Science Behind the Medicine.”  Explaining the science of respirators that are operated by the therapists in treating the coronavirus. She explained “the virus is a respiratory illness that moves through the mucus membranes eventually attacking the lungs. It starts off as a serious oxygen problem. The virus for whatever reason, is attacking the lung tissue. The alveoli fill up with fluid and start to collapse, which means air cannot get through to the blood, which will lead to damage to the organs.”

The present crisis, caused by a respiratory virus, highlights the importance and relevance of respiratory care therapists. This is one of the major academic disciplines in the Center for Health Sciences at NVCC. President Daisy Cocco De Filippis commented that the College is keenly aware of the need for respiratory care therapists and has adapted to the online modality so that the academic schedule and rigor of this program is unaffected. “It is a time to stay focused on moving the program forward as we support one another and facilitate the course completion process using a new modality for our students.  We remain focused on a healthy and successful completion of this academic semester, and to the healing that needs to take place and continue to take place even after this dark period is over.”

Associate Dean for Health Sciences & Director of Nursing, Dr. Carol Gabriele commented on the culture in the Allied Health disciplines at the College. “Nursing faculty are committed to providing the nursing students with the experiences they need to meet finish their education. Faculty have embraced technology and are teaching nursing using multiple modes of delivery such as simulated or virtual clinical experiences, unfolding case studies, audio recordings, video demonstrations of clinical skills, and face-to face conferences with the instructor and classmates using WEB-EX or TEAMS. These nursing graduates have been prepared to start their nursing careers during one of the most challenging public health crises in history.”

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