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Student flash mob promotes respiratory care (Video)

By Carolina Astrain
Oct. 21, 2013 at 5:21 a.m.
Updated Oct. 22, 2013 at 5:22 a.m.

Twenty-five members of Victoria College's Student Cardiopulmonary Organization Practicing Excellence were part of a flash mob at the college's Health Sciences Center.  Students carrying body dummies simultaneously performed CPR to the beat the song "Staying Alive" by the Bee Gees to on Monday morning.

IF YOU GO

• WHAT: World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Day, hosted by Student Cardiopulmonary Organization Practicing Excellence

• WHEN: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 20

• WHERE: Victoria Mall, 7800 N. Navarro St.

Students were on their way to class when "Stayin' Alive" started to play throughout the main lobby of the Health Sciences Center on the Victoria College campus.

A student dressed in disco clothing collapsed on the lobby floor and received cardiopulmonary resuscitation from another student.

Seconds later, the music started playing, and other members of Victoria College's Student Cardiopulmonary Organization Practicing Excellence joined the flash mob demonstration.

The student group started organizing the Monday morning flash mob last week in an effort to promote awareness of respiratory therapy as a profession.

This was group President Jim McCulloch's second year in the respiratory care program.

"I just got curious about it by flipping through a magazine, thought I could check it out," McCulloch, 28, said. "I ended up being very interested in it, and now I love it."

According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2010 median pay for a respiratory therapist averages $54,280 per year, and employment of respiratory therapists is expected to grow by 28 percent from 2010 to 2020.

For an in-county Victoria College student taking 12 credit hours, annual tuition averages $1,992 per year, according to the college's website.

In 2010, VC's respiratory care program was awarded with the Distinguished Registered Respiratory Care Therapist Credentialing Success Award by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.

Fellow club member Adrian Sustaita, 35, went through several different careers before making respiratory care his focus.

"Then everything got crazy with the oil field, but I decided to stick it out," Sustaita said.

Sustaita said respiratory therapists don't always receive the recognition deserved from the public - unlike doctors and nurses.

"We maintain the airways," Sustaita said. "It is our profession to make sure the patient is breathing in a crash kind of scenario."

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