Respiratory Care and Nursing Students Get Early Graduation Notice

May 4, 2020

Second-year students in Hudson Valley Community College’s Respiratory Care program have been on the front lines of the COVID 19 pandemic the past month as they finished up their senior year internships in area hospitals.

All that extra work not only prepared them for their careers as a critical components in our health care system, it also allowed them to graduate a little early.

The college Registrar’s Office said last week it was able to graduate 11 Respiratory Care students with a degree conferral date of April 28, 2020. Respiratory Care graduates will have to wait to receive a special permit from the NYS Office of the Professions that will allow them to work as professional Respiratory Therapists. All of their work up to this point has been under the supervision of faculty supervisor.

The college’s 69 Nursing graduates are also getting that early diploma and will also work under a special permit to get in the field to help relieve their future colleagues.

“Local hospitals partnered with us in order to allow our graduates working as graduate nurses,” said Department Chairperson Jodi Dorrough. “We are all very proud of the hard work and dedication these students have put forth in order to get into the workforce to combat this pandemic.”

The Respiratory Care graduates had a special Zoom-based celebration on Friday, May 1, and the program’s medical director, Dr. Tom Smith, delivered a congratulatory speech. Here are some excerpts from the speech:

“It is odd that after 32 years of sitting down with respiratory therapists as they graduate, I find myself talking to my phone rather than to each of you. It is sad that we cannot be together to rejoice in what you have accomplished. What you have learned is the commitment you now have to serve others. Now you are ready. You are ready to enter the medical profession. You are ready to begin serving others who are in desperate need for your particular skills. Yes, Respiratory Therapists are really the heroes of today’s medical world.”

“We are extremely proud to be doing our part to combat the COVID 19 outbreak here in the Capital Region,” said President Roger A. Ramsammy. “Hudson Valley’s graduates have always been on the front line of health care, and this year the work of our graduates is more critical than ever.”

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