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December 18, 2020

Respiratory Care instructor is also an essential healthcare worker

History teaches us that pandemics occur, but they also end. Tony Randall, Adjunct Instructor in JCCC’s Respiratory Care program, believes this. He was already training much-needed healthcare workers when the pandemic hit the U.S. early in 2020. But that wasn’t all. He was also a respiratory therapist on the critical care transport team at Children's Mercy Kansas City. Throughout the pandemic, Randall has cared for critical pediatric patients and women with pregnancy-related health issues, including complications related to COVID-19. 

"I am very fortunate to work with amazing people here at JCCC and Children's Mercy Kansas City, which keeps me motivated." — Tony R.

“One challenge with working on a neonatal and pediatric interfacility transport team during the pandemic is navigating different hospitals' various personal protective equipment practices,” Randall said. “The transport team utilizes the highest personal protective equipment to be prepared for anything that might occur during transport between hospitals.”

Despite the grueling work, Randall hasn’t let it affect his teaching. Chad Sanner, Director of JCCC’s Respiratory Care program, has been impressed with Randall’s dedication to his students.

“He goes the extra mile helping in the program,” Sanner said. “He volunteers many hours outside his scheduled time.”

Prepping the Future

Working in a healthcare setting, Randall has experienced firsthand the changes and challenges that will soon impact his students. But he has also watched people work together like never before.

“Witnessing people going above and beyond for others gives me hope,” he said. “One of the best things to happen during this time is the amount of flexibility and teamwork everyone in the healthcare industry has displayed. Everyone works together to ensure everything is clean and decontaminated.”

"Witnessing people going above and beyond for others gives me hope." — Tony R.

The pandemic has also provided Randall with teachable moments for his students.

“The increased focus on the role of respiratory therapists during this pandemic has provided an opportunity to motivate students to engage and learn,” he said. “All the faculty in the respiratory care program can discuss current news about the treatment and care of a patient with COVID, as the students are learning about oxygen delivery devices and non-invasive ventilation.”

The Dream Team

Randall’s coworkers both at the College and on the transport team have been a great support system.

“I am very fortunate to work with amazing people here at JCCC and Children's Mercy Kansas City, which keeps me motivated,” he said. “My colleagues are also friends; we check in on each other often.”

Working on the front lines of the pandemic may seem discouraging, but Randall knows better days are on the horizon.

“Together we will make it through this challenging time.”