Respiratory Therapy students and recent graduates were recognized during Conestoga’s thirteenth annual Stethoscope Ceremony, held virtually April 14. The event welcomed family, faculty and community partners to celebrate recent graduates and second-year students about to begin their clinical placements at hospitals throughout southwestern Ontario.
“I am tremendously honoured to participate in this significant event in your academic journey,” said Health Sciences chair Zach Weston. “This milestone is meaningful to mark the completion of your theory and lab preparation as you transition in the coming weeks to begin your clinical year. There is no doubt you will experience situations in the coming months where you will reflect on the experiences and conversations you've had with your peers and instructors to guide you towards success in the field."
During the ceremony, recent graduates now entering the workforce to fill respiratory therapy needs in hospitals in Ontario and across the country were recognized, and awards honouring student and graduate achievement were presented.
Award recipients included Amanpreet Nijjar who received the ProResp Clinical Excellence Award; Erica Roberge who was presented with the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists’ Award for Student Excellence; Rachel Aitchenson who was presented with the Respiratory Therapy Society of Ontario Student Award; Manjot Mangat who received the Ontario Home Respiratory Services Association Award; and second-year student Dylan Hawley who received the TD Award for Student Excellence in Interprofessional Practice.
As part of the ceremony, Miriam Freymond Turnbull, vice president and general manager of ProResp Inc., delivered a keynote address and welcomed Stacy Murphy and her son Kayne to share their story. Born in 2008 at barely two pounds, Kayne wasn’t expected to survive long after his birth.
“Many years ago, there were other classrooms in this college and other colleges filled with eager students, just like all of you. Those students became the awesome team of medical professionals who helped our family stay together and care for Kayne in the comfort of our own home,” said Murphy. “Respiratory therapists played a major role in his story … we hope that you can bring to your new careers the passion to love and care for your patients the way we have been loved and cared for all these years.”
The ceremony also celebrated the achievements of the Conestoga Respiratory Therapy Federation - a student club that recently directed donations to local non-profits. Through fundraisers held during the year, the federation was able to raise $680 for Lisaard & Innisfree Hospice and directed $320 to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.
Conestoga’s three-year Respiratory Therapy advanced diploma program is designed to satisfy the educational requirements for registration as a Registered Respiratory Therapist based on the National Competency Framework for Respiratory Therapy. Nationally accredited by Accreditation Canada, this fully integrated program provides a diverse learning environment that utilizes classroom education, laboratory sessions, clinically immersive simulation, e-learning, and early clinical exposure with continuous role modeling of the profession.