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In 2020, after working 23 years for Schneider Electric in Peru, Indiana, Craig Johnson learned the company was moving operations to Mexico. After overcoming his initial feelings of “disbelief, shock and an overwhelming sense of insecurity,” he started planning for this unexpected future. Some people would view their employer outsourcing jobs to a foreign country as the end of the road; however, Craig saw it as an opportunity.
“I was offered retraining in the manufacturing sector, or I could choose pursue some form of education that would allow me to get back into the workforce,” Craig, who also lives in Peru, recalls. “I opted for continuing my education, but this time in the medical field. My son was a recent medical imaging grad from Ivy Tech and encouraged me to look into the programs they offer.”
Though reluctant to embark on this new journey, having been out of school for a while, Craig enrolled in Ivy Tech’s School of Respiratory Therapy at the Lafayette campus. He currently works at Logansport Memorial Hospital in a student role as a respiratory therapist assistant, providing care to those with respiratory or cardiopulmonary dysfunction. Thanks to Ivy Tech, he feels well-prepared for his new career. He hopes to go on to become an adult critical care specialist and transition into respiratory education.
“With my class-based education, lab simulations and clinical rotation experience, Ivy Tech has prepared me to qualify as a respiratory therapist assistant, which has helped me to be competent in the care I provide,” Craig says. “The classroom setting has attendance polices that closely mirror the medical field. The standards that my professor set for students are very high. This experience has prepared me to always thinks in terms of how to provide the highest standard of care to patients.”
Craig speaks and reads Spanish fluently, which he has found to be an advantage in his respiratory therapy position. “Because our society has become more diverse, language barriers have become a real challenge for many,” he explains. “This is also noted in healthcare when it comes to providing care for those whose first language is not English. This has helped me to assist physicians, nurses and other staff communicate their plan of care, as well address any concerns the patient and family may have.”
Craig volunteers with a local food distribution program and enjoys running mini marathons and spending time with family and friends. He remains glad he stuck it out with his education, even when times got tough. Craig stated, “I truly appreciate that Ivy Tech was willing to except me as a student and provided a welcoming environment.”
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