For Bryson Gilchrist, transferring to Newman University and starting the respiratory care program was the “best decision I could have made.”
Gilchrist originally transferred from Butler Community College with an interest in Newman’s occupation therapy assistant program. When the program was discontinued, the respiratory care program piqued his interest.
“I looked at Newman’s graduation rates and passing rates for the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) exam, and they were really good,” Gilchrist said. “Around 98% of Newman students pass the exam on the first try. So I figured it’d be worth the money.”
The Gilchrist family has a history of working within the helping profession; his mother is a nurse and his father worked as an emergency medical technician. For Gilchrist, the adrenaline-packed job motivates him to help others in a similar setting.
“With respiratory care, you’re the first ones if there’s a code or a rapid response in the hospital to help intubate,” Gilchrist explained. “I’m interested in the field because I can relate to people, help them through it and I know I can work well under pressure.”
Gilchrist, a self-proclaimed visual learner, is grateful for his knowledgeable professors, one-on-one teaching and hands-on experience in a lab setting.
As Newman students, Gilchrist and three others have the opportunity to attain real-world experience together through their current internships at Ascension Via Christi. They work on patient assessments, charting and breathing treatments with bronchodilators — all of which bring textbook concepts to life.
Classmate Sataizha White said working with Gilchrist at Ascension Via Christi has been “extremely helpful.”
“As first-year respiratory therapy students and health care workers, it can be difficult to adjust and get a nice feel for everything,” White said. “We have been able to help each other tremendously with any questions about treatments or medications we have to complete.”
One observation that stands out for Gilchrist is the level of preparedness Newman students have in the hospital setting versus students from other colleges.
“We work with a lot of other students and I have noticed a difference. We take eight practice exams for the NBRC in our final semester whereas other students might not take any and just have to wing it,” he said.
Gilchrist will graduate with his associate’s degree in respiratory therapy in December 2024 with plans to earn his bachelor’s followed by a master’s.
“If you’re thinking about Newman, I definitely recommend it,” Gilchrist said. “You hear all these stories about working in a hospital, but you can’t correlate it to real life until you experience it and have seen it for yourself. Newman prepares you for working with patients and our professors teach us everything we need to know.”
Earn a respiratory care degree at Newman University
With numerous networking opportunities and a 2:1 or 1:1 student-clinical preceptor ratio, our respiratory care students are given the tools and attention necessary to succeed.