Above and Beyond | Recruiting Future RTs

 Published: February 26, 2020

By: Addie Schiefer


image of kathleen with pig lungs
Kimberlee with a pair of healthy and damaged pig lungs.

Respiratory therapists are the lung experts in their separate communities, but many RTs have a passion to share their expertise outside of their everyday job. There are many great opportunities within communities to share the world of respiratory care and career fairs are one of the best.

AARC member Kimberlee L. Harvey MS, RRT, RRT-NPS, is the director of clinical education for respiratory care at Valencia College. Harvey also spends time at career fairs to help introduce respiratory therapy to the next generation. She includes fun activities to help her audiences get hands-on and excited about the world of respiratory therapy.

“It’s important to educate and share with the community about the respiratory care profession,” Harvey said. “RTs should be able to answer questions about recruitment and pathways for those who are interested.”

Reach the next generation

Harvey recently spent time at Apopka Middle School, which has a STEM program, to give an overview of respiratory therapy. She even brought in a pair of healthy pig lungs and damaged lungs, which she says are always a big hit.

“The highlight of going to Apopka was engaging with the middle school students through hands-on learning and being able to bring a positive attitude to the classroom,” Harvey said. “The majority of the students had never heard of a respiratory therapist. They were excited to hear that we worked with mainly the lungs and hearts of patients.”

Tips for you

Harvey encourages other RTs to reach out to their communities and help spread awareness for the profession. She gave the AARC a few tips to share for anyone interested in taking part in career fair events.

  1. Educate your community by simply visiting a school full of possible future RTs.
  2. Enjoy your time with students.
  3. Listen to their questions, as they are very knowledgeable at a very young age.

Keep the conversation going

How are you educating your community on the RT profession? Share your ideas with your colleagues on AARConnect. Plus, check out the new Be An RT website for resources to help you promote the profession.

Email newsroom@aarc.org with questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you.

Addie Schiefer

Addie Schiefer is the Content Manager for the AARC where she creates engaging content for the association via the AARC website, newsletters, and social media. Connect with her about potential stories by email, AARConnect, or LinkedIn. When she’s not working, you can find her listening to a true crime podcast, traveling to new places with her husband, hanging out with her dog JoJo, or browsing the aisles of the nearest Target.

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