09:37 AM

Student-Mother Pursues Respiratory Therapy Program

Student of the Week: Darian Salinas


Respiratory therapy student Darian Salinas will graduate this spring with her Associate of Applied Science along with 20 other students in the program.

Dairan Salinas, Student of the Week

For every patient I see throughout the day, I make sure to treat them as how I would like to see my family members treated. 

Dairan Salinas, Student of the Week

As a child Darian Salinas remembers being in and out of the hospital for respiratory treatments.

A longtime asthma sufferer, Salinas said she remembers vividly the feeling of nurses helping her breathe better which inspired her to seek a career in health care.

Now as a 26-year-old student and a single mother of one, Salinas is on the verge of graduating with her Associate of Applied Science in the Respiratory Therapy program.

“The program has taught me a lot, especially because we manage life support equipment,” said Salinas. “Every equipment has its distinct purpose, and we have to know how to operate it in order to improve a patient’s care.”

STC's Respiratory Therapy program is five semesters long and combines classroom, laboratory and clinical education experiences. The program prepares students’ knowledge, skills, and ethical attitude within professional settings. After graduation, students can become licensed respiratory therapists upon the passing of exit exams through the National Board for Respiratory Care.

Program requirements include clinical training in various hospitals. Salinas points out that due to COVID, respiratory therapists are needed now more than ever.

“COVID is a respiratory ailment. Even if COVID seems to dwindle down a bit, the aftereffects for patients who had it, are still there,” she said. “We see them come in trying to breathe the same as before, but the underlying issues COVID brought on will cause lasting problems in many patients.”

Salinas said her responsibilities as a respiratory therapist in training include intubating patients, maintaining ventilators and managing oxygen percentages.

Salinas will graduate with a class of 20 respiratory therapy students in May 2022 and she plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Salinas’ often refers back to the care she received as a child as inspiration to go above and beyond when she sees patients on her clinical rotations.

“Every patient I see throughout the day, I make sure to treat them as how I would like to see my family members treated. Being in a hospital can be scary sometimes for the patient, so making sure they are comfortable during the time I spend with them can make a big difference. Even with the patients that are sedated, and they don’t know what is happening, fixing their hair, or even placing extra pillows will show how much we care about the patient as a person.”

For more information about STC’s Respiratory Therapy program visit https://nah.southtexascollege.edu/resp/ .