Student Perspective: Alicia Thomas

student perspective graphic

Alicia Thomas, RTS, from the University of Missouri, says it’s her goal to spread awareness of the respiratory therapy profession and ultimately help the profession grow. As she approaches graduation, Thomas took a moment to reflect on the opportunities she’s received as an AARC student member, helping her develop skills and connections.

Gaining Experience, Promoting the Profession

By Alicia Thomas, RTS

photo of alicia thomas at the house of delegates
Alicia Thomas (second from left) at the House of Delegates meeting.

Being a part of the AARC has provided me with many opportunities. I was able to gain the position as a student liaison for the state of Missouri and be an advocate for future respiratory therapists. I was able to attend the state meetings at the Lake of the Ozarks and the House of Delegates and Board of Directors meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Going to these events gave me the liberty to network with many respiratory therapists at different mile marks in their life. I was able to meet many directors of different hospitals and prospecting employers that I would have otherwise never been able to connect with. Attending these meetings and conferences made me appreciate how much hard work, time, and effort the AARC gives to the community.

photo of alicia thomas with classmates at school
Alicia Thomas with her classmates at school.

Whether at state or national meetings, I am greatly appreciative of the connections I have made and the new learning experiences I gain from being a member and a liaison. Meeting other students and sharing experiences with their RT programs really made me see how vast and well rounded the profession can be. It has given me insight to the profession that I proudly express to my classmates and other prospecting health care students.

The AARC has made me more involved just in the past two years I have been a member. I plan to keep being involved and am eager to see what else the profession brings me in the future. My goal is to keep spreading awareness of respiratory therapy as a profession so that more prospecting health care workers know how immensely satisfying the profession can be.

Currently, Alicia Thomas, RTS, is a senior respiratory therapy student at the University of Missouri and will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in May 2018. After graduation, she plans to move to Chicago to work in the PICU and NICU departments. After gaining clinical experience, she hopes to become part of the transport team and pursue a master’s degree.