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Latest Prize Winners Share Common Bond

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August 15, 2014

Cool new tablet devices have just arrived at the homes of two lucky members. Thanks to our ongoing Membership Drive Contest, Kyrie Zimmerman, RRT, is enjoying a brand new iPad while Adnan Sutkovic, BS, RRT, is checking out a new Kindle Fire.

Turns out these two members have something else in common too. They both got into the profession of respiratory care due to having asthma as a child.

Kyrie Zimmerman

RTs make a difference

Zimmerman, who works as a staff therapist at St. Joseph Medical Center in Bernville, PA, says she was sick a lot as a kid but wasn’t correctly diagnosed with asthma till her senior year of high school when her doctor finally recommended pulmonary function testing, including a methacholine challenge. “I failed miserably,” she says now. “My undiagnosed asthma had been causing my ‘respiratory illnesses’ all those years!”

She remembers being “in awe” of the woman who did her test, thinking, “finally someone figured out what is wrong with my breathing!” She started asking her questions about her job and the schooling it required, and by the time she left the office had chosen her career path. “I called the college I was already set up to attend to tell them I’d changed my mind and started applying to respiratory programs that day.”

Sutkovic, who has been in the profession for five years now, was considerably more fortunate in that his asthma was diagnosed much earlier in life. But the experiences he had with respiratory therapists over the years also made the difference in his decision to become an RT. “I wanted to help patients like they helped me,” says the lead respiratory therapist at West Valley Hospital in Goodyear, AZ.

Membership is a must

A member of the AARC since 2008, Zimmerman says she joined up right out of college and particularly appreciates the continuing education offered by the Association. “I’ve done a few online CEUs through the AARC and I do almost all of the webcasts — the webcast series works great for my schedule, and now that they have an app I’ll even be able to watch them on my new iPad.”

A new member this year, Sutkovic says he enjoys keeping up with the profession through AARC Times, but one of the main reasons he joined was to make more connections with people in the profession. At the time of this interview he was actually at the Arizona Society for Respiratory Care conference, busy meeting new people and learning more about the practice of the profession in his home state.

Belonging to their professional organization is a must for both of these RTs. Says Zimmerman, “I think it’s important to keep up with the latest information, whether it be in the AARC science journal, online continuing education, webcasts, or the latest government affairs concerning respiratory therapy. AARC covers all of that and more — and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love getting a discount at a conference?”

Sutkovic again points squarely to the networking opportunities membership affords. “It is very important to be a member because it will introduce you to so much information and members who can help with the advancement of your career.”

Third quarter winners ahead!

Our Membership Drive Contest will continue throughout the rest of this year, with the next iPad and Kindle Fire to be awarded to a renewing and new member, respectively, in the third quarter. So be sure to get those renewals in on time – and encourage your non-member friends and colleagues to join today so they’ll get in the running for the next drawing!