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CHANCE ENCOUNTER LEADS TO REWARDING CAREER AS RESPIRATORY THERAPIST

Megan Wells, 22, of Hyden, graduated from the Respiratory Therapy program at Big Sandy Community and Technical College in May 2013.  She currently is employed at the Lexington Clinic and the Salyersville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Like many teenagers, Megan Wells struggled with the decision of what to do beyond high school. A chance encounter with a respiratory therapist while visiting her great-grandmother in hospital changed the course of her career.

Megan Wells, 22, of Hyden, earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Respiratory Therapy in May 2013 from Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC). She currently works as a respiratory therapist at the Salyersville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and the Lexington Clinic.

When I watched the respiratory therapist work with my great-grandmother, I thought about how that person felt when they went home each night, said Wells. Something just clicked and I knew that was what I wanted to be.

Entering the Respiratory Therapy program at BSCTC was a leap of faith. It was a more than 150-mile roundtrip from Hyden to Paintsville, so Wells rented an apartment while taking classes.

I knew it would be worth it in the end, Wells added. It was a sacrifice, but it has and will continue to pay off.

Missy Skeens, program coordinator of BSCTCs respiratory therapy program, said Wells demonstrated an unwavering commitment to patient care during her studies.

You get in this profession to make a difference, said Skeens. Megan always had such a great rapport with her classmates and her patients.

Wells said the personal attention she received at BSCTC helped guide her through the program.

The faculty and staff made me feel that my success was their top priority, she said.

Actually, Wells heard of the position at Salyersville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center through an email from Skeens.

You are part of a family at Big Sandy, she continued, and family always looks out for one another. Missy and her staff still connect with us and are there to help us find employment and earn additional certifications.

The old adage If you love your job, youll never work a day in your life applies to Wells.

Its such a rewarding and fulfilling career, said Wells. To have the ability to help someone and know your work is meaningful is a great gift.

To learn more about the Respiratory Therapy program at BSCTC, contact Skeens at (606) 788-2822 or email melissa.skeens@kctcs.edu.