California-based Nellcor Puritan Bennett Inc. has donated a $4,250 pulse oximeter to Genesee Community College's Respiratory Care program. Students will use the device to learn how to measure the amount of oxygen carried by the blood. Pulse oximeters chart oxygenation through spectrophotometry - measuring the light waves passing through the skin. These devices also measure the heart rate.
The oximeter will be located in the College's third-floor Respiratory Care laboratory, which contains a wide range of equipment used in hospital emergency rooms and other health care settings.
Respiratory therapists provide both acute and ongoing services to individuals who have breathing difficulties, ranging from stroke-related illness to asthma. They work in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and other health care settings using a variety of sophisticated technology. Both New York State and the entire nation is currently suffering from a shortage of respiratory therapists.
Equipment like the pulse oximeter helps Genesee retain its reputation as one of the northeastern United States' best respiratory programs, according to Ronald M. Jacobs, Director of the program. "All respiratory care programs have classroom instruction and clinical internships, but the quality of respiratory care labs varies greatly," he said. "We are very proud of the fact that our lab contains the kind of state-of-the-art equipment that graduates will use when they join the staffs of hospitals or health care organizations."
Twenty-four students began respiratory care studies at Genesee this fall, Mr. Jacobs said, and when they are ready to graduate, they will all probably receive multiple job offers. "We receive calls from hospitals and other agencies seeking respiratory graduates all the time," he said. "Our students generally have several job offers in hand even before they finish their studies." The demand for respiratory therapists is expected to grow even further over the next decade, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics.
Individuals wishing to learn more about the respiratory care field or Genesee Community College s respiratory care program may contact Mr. Jacobs at (585) 343-0055, extension 6633.