Joshua’s Journey from Patient Care Tech to Respiratory Therapy

G3 Joshua Blog

We love having the opportunity to speak with students who are currently enrolled or have recently completed a G3 program. One of those students is Joshua who is studying respiratory therapy at Tidewater Community College and plans on graduating in May. Here’s his story.

Tell Us a Little About Yourself

I’m originally from Columbus, Ohio and I moved to Virginia about four years ago. My mom and two brothers didn’t finish college and honestly, I don’t think I would have had plans to go back to school if it wasn’t for the educator I had working as a patient care technician at Norfolk General. She kind of pushed me to go back to school. Because I grew up poor, we just did what we had to do to pay our bills. But one day she pulled me into her office and asked me why I wasn’t in school, and that there were ways to help pay for it.

Why Did You Choose Respiratory Therapy?

It started with my mother, she’s a cancer survivor. Learning about respiratory therapy when she was diagnosed was what initially caught my interest. After she recovered, she suggested I go into the medical field and focus on respiratory care. Life kind of got in the way for most of my 20s but in my later 20s I went back to school and I’ve loved it. I’m so glad I chose this career path and that I went back to school.

How Has G3 Affected You and Your Journey?

Before I started this program, I was taking general education. I took out loans to pay for those classes, then COVID hit. I realized there were other programs out there to help students pay for school because they were pushing for people to go back to school for health programs. Once I got into the respiratory care, I was concerned about having to take on more loans, but then I learned that G3 was going to help with that, and it left me with nothing to worry about except scheduling my classes and making sure I was doing well academically. Thanks to G3, I’ve been able to just focus on my studies.

How Has Tidewater Helped You Navigate Your Education?

Unlike any other college I’ve been to, it’s been really easy to get in touch with my advisor. She is very responsive when I reach out with questions, and when I started at TCC, I had a lot of questions. I didn’t know how to schedule classes or even pay for anything if I had to.

What Do You Want to Do After G3?

I finish the respiratory therapy program in May 2024, then I’ll have my associate degree. My plan is to pursue my bachelor’s degree in respiratory care. I’m really interested in cardiovascular perfusion, so I think that’s where I’m headed for my master’s degree.