Through the ARCF International Fellowship Program, non-U.S. health care professionals visit the U.S. to observe respiratory care. This program fosters communication and fellowship among respiratory care professionals worldwide through the cooperation, dialogue, and educational exchanges made during the visits. We recently connected with the 2022 ARCF Fellows and Host City representatives, to learn about their visit and experience with the program.
Happy to Host
The ARCF Fellowship Program could not exist without the generosity of our members stepping in as Host Cities. To provide the visiting Fellows with a quality educational experience and give them the opportunity to observe respiratory care in a wide variety of settings.
Felix Khusid, BSRT, RRT, RRT-ACCS, RRT-NPS, RPFT, is no stranger to the Fellowship Program, having volunteered as a Host for three consecutive years, he provides plenty of insight on the program.
“The most rewarding part of being a Host is knowing that shared knowledge with my Fellows will likely improve elements of respiratory care delivery in their native country,” Khusid said.
Felix encourages future participants to remember the bigger picture of the program and why it is so important to respiratory care internationally.
“If we as a profession want to have an impact on the development and delivery of respiratory care throughout the world while helping to improve cardiopulmonary health in other countries, I think that it’s essential for many others to participate,” Khusid said. “Sharing knowledge is the best way to promote information internationally.”
John Emberger, RRT-ACCS, FAARC, CPHQ, decided to be a host to gain a better understanding of respiratory care outside of the United States and to share what it’s like here.
“It’s a great experience to connect with a Fellow who will be a peer in another country that you’ll always have a connection with,” Emberger said.
Jose Rojas, PhD, RRT, RPFT, said he was hesitant at first, but in the end was thankful he said yes to the opportunity to host.
“Without a doubt, we will participate again,” Rojas said. “The best part of the opportunity was meeting two very dynamic and engaging Fellows willing to share their experiences with respiratory from their home countries. We hope the forded friendships will last a lifetime and allow for future collaboration. The experience also motivated our students and revealed a potential for personal and professional growth.”
Host in 2023
To those interested in supporting the 2023 ARCF Fellowship program, both Rojas and Emberger suggest to start early with your planning.
“If you are considering participating, start early. Getting clearance for the visit with affiliates can be bumpy,” Rojas said.
Emberger went on to add, “Plan ahead and make sure you are communicating with the Fellow.” This will help you know your Fellow’s needs and be able to appropriately plan for them while they are visiting, Emberger explained.
If you are interested in volunteering as a Host City for the 2023 Fellowship Program, take a look at the guidelines and apply.
Several countries were represented in the 2022 program including, Ghana, India, Egypt, Singapore, and more.
Dorothy Honny, RRT, traveled all the way from Ghana. During her time in the U.S., Dorothy enjoyed visiting Oklahoma and Utah.
“I received hands-on sessions with respiratory care equipment as well as clinical observation in the ICU,” Honny said. “I observed how respiratory therapists manage various patients and conditions in the ICU. I have learned cultural diversity and how to relate and appreciate people from different backgrounds through interactions and socializing.”
Through the International Fellowship Program participants earn experience and education that will last a lifetime and help them to succeed in their own careers abroad.
“I have gained confidence in my work as a respiratory therapist, especially in patient care and teaching students,” Honny said. “Through the fellowship experience, I am inspired to enhance the respiratory care profession in Ghana and throughout Africa through organizing professional development workshops, involving stakeholders, and respiratory care advocacy.”
Ghada Saleh traveled from Egypt for a chance to bring back knowledge and explore a new country.
“I applied for many reasons,” Saleh said. “The most official one is I was looking for answers for the respiratory care in my NICU. For personal reasons, I wanted to visit the U.S. and know more about the people and country.”
As a perk of participating in the Fellowship, participants attend AARC Congress where they can meet thousands of colleagues in the profession.
“This was a great end to the Fellowship,” Saleh said. “The best part was presenting our experience at the business meeting and dinner. We also got a chance to meet all the Fellows who participated and hear their experiences in the program.”
The ARCF and AARC strive to create a meaningful experience for all involved in the program.
“The communication and the organization were outstanding,” Saleh said. “People were very keen for us to learn.”
Applications to be a 2023 International Fellow are currently open. You can learn more and apply on the ARCF website.