In this edition of our “best career decision” series, Kathleen Deakins, MHA, RRT-NPS, FAARC, manager of women’s and children’s respiratory care, pediatric PFT, and infant monitoring at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, OH, and John Sabo, MS, RRT, FAARC, administrative director of respiratory care, sleep, and pulmonary at CHI Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston, TX, talk about the defining moments in their careers.
The best career decision I ever made was stepping outside my comfort zone and listening to those who encouraged me and taught me about respiratory care research. I took my inherent level of curiosity and turned it into research questions that produced answers. As time went on, those individuals who were so patient with me while I was walking down the path became my mentors and have given me support throughout my entire career.
Going above and beyond clinical care has not only strengthened my understanding about what we do as RTs and why we do it, but has also taught me about scientific writing, public speaking, and presentations. The single most important message I took home from this decision was to never give up on anything, regardless of how difficult or challenging it is. I have to say this has been responsible for boosting my confidence in following the quest to learn more at every level. I can only hope that I can be as effective as my mentors were with those who are curious like I am.
The best career decision I ever made was getting my master’s degree. At the time I didn’t know if would help my career, but I felt it may be advantageous to have it one day.
As it turned out, the master’s degree was instrumental in creating career opportunities. In 1987, I was hired at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston. At the time associate’s and bachelor’s degrees were common, and while there were many very qualified candidates, the master’s degree set me apart from most with similar experience. The opportunity at St. Luke’s, which is now CHI Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, created employment and professional growth I would have never imagined — the involvement in and recognition by the AARC being among the most important.