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PHS RT Scholarships Support Students Preparing to Enter the Workforce

Since 2012, PHS has been offering RT scholarships each spring to three students or recent graduates enrolled in a respiratory therapy program. This year, as scholarship winners are announced for the 9th time, it’s during a pandemic that has brought the importance of respiratory professionals and proper healthcare to the forefront of our nation and the world.

PHS is honored to grant three scholarships to students in Minnesota and Wisconsin who are preparing to enter the workforce at a time when they’re needed most.

changing healthcare environment 

A “day in the life” of a respiratory therapist likely looks very different today than it did a year, or even six months, ago – but that doesn’t mean these future respiratory therapists are backing down.  

“During this unprecedented time in healthcare, we’re even more in need of respiratory therapists, said Amanda Wise, winner of a $500 scholarship.  “The education we’ll receive to be able to help others and bring awareness to preventing the spread is a big part of fighting this virus.”  

Wise noted that while she is currently scheduled to have clinicals in July and August, they are waiting for a final decision from local hospitals by the end of May.  

Abigail Clark, the winner of the $1,000 scholarship, also reflected on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted her perspective of working in healthcare. 

“As a healthcare worker, you’re there to care for people and this virus has shown that it’s really our time,” said Clark. “Every provider is in it together – it’s our responsibility to step up and give patients the quality care they need.” 

Support for all respiratory patients 

PHS has been dedicated to promoting the education and hiring of exceptional respiratory therapists for numerous years, recognizing the vast array of needs they’re able to provide care for in patients ranging from infancy through adulthood.  

Respiratory therapists play a vital role in the care of our patient population, which is why PHS looks for ways to support those preparing to enter the field,” said Derek Hustvet, director of respiratory therapy at Pediatric Home Service. “The passion that these students have for their chosen career path was clear, and we look forward to them providing care in our communities in the near future.” 

Offering financial support to outstanding candidates helps alleviate the stresses of not only going to school, but also the board exams and licensing costs that comes at the end of education for future respiratory therapists. PHS knows how critical it is to have quality respiratory therapists caring for patients in the community – and looks forward to the impact these winners will make. 

“I have recently found a passion for community education,” says Sarah Vang, winner of a $500 scholarship. “I want to be able to have as positive of an impact as possible. By working with underrepresented populations and finding better ways to communicate with them, I look forward to educating and inspiring patients to better their health.”

Delivering Awards, Quarantine-Style

PHS has traditionally honored winners of the scholarship by awarding them the scholarship at the NRRC Conference each April. However, in light of the conference being cancelled due to COVID-19, we decided to recognize them in quarantine fashion through a package sent to their home.

While we have always been proud to support respiratory therapists coming into the field, this year feels particularly meaningful as we see the impact they are having in the midst of a global pandemic. Congratulations to Abigail, Sarah, and Amanda!

Originally published: May 18, 2020