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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Respiratory Therapy Students attend hospital NICU’s 26th reunion

October 26, 2015

NICU ReunionEleven Respiratory Therapy students on the Rancho Cordova campus joined about 350 other celebrants for Mercy San Juan Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit’s 26th reunion.

This annual reunion is a time for children who began their tentative lives in the hospital’s NICU to celebrate each other with their parents, siblings and caregivers. “Staff and parents get to see each other outside of a very stressful situation,” says Jodilee Prophet, Respiratory Therapy instructor and event attendee. “Because, when they were in the NICU, it was a very stressful situation.”

The event took place on September 12th from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Carmichael Park in Carmichael. Children enjoyed face-painting, temporary tattoos, ball games and lots of fun food. Cinderella was there, too, to entertain and delight all the little ones running about.

“It was a feel-good and community outreach event put together by Mercy San Juan and Dignity Health to celebrate all of the babies who have come through the NICU and graduated,” says Ms. Prophet. “Our students were happy to have been there and a part of it.”

Respiratory Therapy students from the Rancho Cordova campus who attended include:

            Miranda Rasband                   Gina Berger                Leysa Wagner

            Mark Quimbo                          Gina Brandau             Donald Roberts

            Michael Colvin                       Lacy Morelli                Letha Durham

            JJ Varghese                            Megan Staff                 Jodilee Prophet (instructor)

“All NICU staff, graduates and families of graduates are invited to come together again and celebrate the lives fought for by all,” says Miranda Rasband, Respiratory Therapy student. “Many hugs and a few happy tears of appreciation were shared between staff and graduate families, spanning the full 26-years of this annual gathering.”

It was a fun, emotional and educational experience for SJVC students. “In classes we talk about very premature babies, but many of our students have not actually seen them,” says Prophet. “This event puts all the pieces together for them.”

These kinds of community activities enrich students’ lives on many levels. “These experiences make the Respiratory Therapy program more encompassing,” says Prophet. “Community outreach expands classroom and clinical education.”

SJVC will be there again next year to celebrate life and give Respiratory Therapy students a deeper feeling of community in their chosen profession.

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