According to the BC government, approximately 1,000 respiratory therapists (RTs) are currently working in the province, mostly in hospital settings such as ERs, neonatal and intensive care units, as well as in outpatient programs and community health centres. As well as providing acute care, they may assist in the diagnosis, treatment and management of lung disease. Thompson Rivers Universitys (TRU) Diploma program is the only postsecondary program in British Columbia training qualified Registered Respiratory Therapists, (usually 80 students are admitted per year.)
Since 1982, the BC Lung Association has awarded bursaries to promising students who have been nominated by program faculty. Lauren Jacklin was one of three bursary awardees in 2018.
Inspired by a poster on a wall in her high school about health sciences, Lauren Jacklin thought perhaps medical school would be the path for her. Lauren completed her BSc at UBC with a major in Biology and soon realized post-secondary education today is has become really expensive. It was at this time that she learned about the three-year program in Respiratory Therapy at Thompson Rivers University (TRU), the only program of its kind in BC. This university was close to home and with the help from family, friends, and a bursary from the BC Lung Association, Lauren could realize her dreams of working in health sciences and helping people with lung conditions breathe better and improve the quality of their lives.
Now a second-year student in the TRU Respiratory Therapy Program, Lauren feels solid on our chosen path. She has met people from all over Canada who are also enjoying this phenomenal program with instructors that truly want each and every one of them to succeed.
Lauren believes the amazing component of her second year is her time spent in the student-run Thompson Rivers'University (TRU) Sleep Clinic, a clinic that serves adults; individuals with chronic lung conditions; and children. Lauren says, “It is so rewarding to help a child who may have trouble with asthma or create sleep hygiene strategies to make life easier on families.”
Lauren is looking forward to her practicum in her third and final year where she will have the opportunity to spend time helping young people at BC Children’s Hospital.
We wish Lauren the best of luck in her future endeavors!