By Kate Hunger
Carolyn Adams, RRT-NPS, is a full-time senior respiratory therapist, but one day, she hopes to teach.
In addition to working nights at a pediatric hospital, Adams serves a clinical instructor for one of the technical schools in Madison, Wisconsin, where she lives. She is also a student in the Division of Respiratory Care’s online degree advancement master’s program, which is designed to help working professionals reach their career goals.
Adams started the six-semester online master’s program in the fall. Even though the program is online, she has been pleasantly surprised by the opportunity to connect with other students in ways that bridge the digital divide.
“Every other week you are recording a video response to a question and responding to others’ videos,” she said. “You still build a little bit of a rapport, which is nice. I really appreciate it that it’s not only on the computer where no one ever sees what you look like.”
The program’s course design takes into account the demanding schedules of working respiratory therapists, she said.
“I very much enjoy the way her classes have been set up,” Adams said of director of online education, Assistant Professor Tabatha Dragonberry, DHSc, MBA-H, MEd, RRT-NPS, RRT-ACCS, AE-C, CPFT, C-NPT. “They are very well laid out and engaging. You don’t feel overwhelmed by the amount of work.”
With six years of practice and a love for clinical instruction, Adams chose the program to help her steer her career toward education.
“I just love the constant aspect of learning,” she said.
Adams is applying what she is learning to her practice, and her coursework has inspired conversations in her workplace.
“I’ve taken some of the discussions I’ve had with other classmates and some of the topics we’ve had to discuss as optional things to talk about in our own department,” she said. “That got us talking about policies and procedures at different hospitals. It’s nice to hear what other people have to say.”