“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
“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
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.’”