As the demand for medical care increases, Midland College Respiratory Therapy grad answers the callDecember 02, 2019

The image to use for this article. Listing image managed through RSS tab. Jordan Middleton

“Respiratory Therapy is one of the most effective and interesting ways to be a member of the healthcare profession and on the front lines of saving lives,” said Jordan Middleton, Midland College (MC) graduate. “MC’s program teaches the skills necessary to break into the field.”

For Middleton, who now works full-time at Odessa Medical Center, respiratory therapy runs in the family. His parents, Stan and Margaret Middleton, are also both respiratory therapists.

“There is quite a bit of family experience in this field,” said Middleton. “My father teaches respiratory therapy at MC, and my mother ran pulmonary function tests in Odessa. So I have had exposure to all things lungs and breathing for most of my life, but I am also just very interested in health and medicine. At MC I was known as the student who read the textbook. I could not have studied that way without being fiercely interested in the material. When deciding on a major in college, students need to find something that excites them. I personally think respiratory therapy is a very exciting field.”

Middleton described the respiratory therapy profession as being a nurse for the lungs.

“Working with orders from a doctor, I administer medications specifically for lungs,” said Middleton. “I deal with a lot of patients who have asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. We get the medical permission to administer medications and tests from doctors, but through my classes at MC and my work experience, I have the evaluation skills to make suggestions to the doctor.”

Middleton recognizes that like most medical specialties, respiratory therapy is constantly evolving. He wants to stay current and change with the times.

“I keep telling everyone at Odessa Medical Center that I want to do everything in the respiratory therapist specialty,” Middleton said. “I think I may settle in the adult critical care specialty; however, once I get more experience, I also want to work in the newborn intensive care unit.”

MC’s Respiratory Therapy Program exposes students to scenarios and tools they will encounter working in the field. That exposure includes using state-of-the-art manikins to run real-life simulations for students from a control room in the F. Marie Hall SimLife Center at Midland College.

“The life support scenarios on the manikins were some of my favorite class activities,” Middleton said. “One of the best things about Respiratory Therapy at MC is that students get to jump right into the practice. As a student I was exposed to the hospital floor rotations beginning in the sixth week of class while completing my clinicals. Those experiences continued every semester, and the skills I learned were carefully tracked.

“It means a lot to me that every class I attended I was able to talk to the professor and get their opinion or ask them with a question. They treated me like an individual and helped me learn.”

“Jordan was an excellent student among other excellent students,” said Robert Weidmann, MC Respiratory Care department chair and professor. “He stood out in that sense, but he was also the only man in a class full of women. Respiratory Care requires compassion and dedication, as well as knowledge and skills. We try to nurture that within our students as they work to improve the breathing of individuals, which may include life support.”

After graduation, Middleton passed two challenging exams to become a certified respiratory therapist and a registered respiratory therapist. He says MC helped him prepare.

“There is a whole class in the last semester of Respiratory Therapy at MC dedicated to preparing for these exams,” explained Middleton. “There are two textbooks we use, and we are quizzed on them every week. I also studied all the notes I took in class.”

Middleton came to MC intending to go straight to medical school.

“The Respiratory Therapy Program became my solid intermediate,” said Middleton. “I will take all this experience with me as I continue my journey in medicine. My mentality is ‘with MC’s help I am going to do this now, and with MC’s education I am going to do something even bigger later.’”

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