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The Student Guardians Among Us

March, 2020
  • QCC Respiratory Therapy students from left: Jaclyn Banach, Kiara Still, Allison Foskett and Tiffany “Tiff” Wayland.
    QCC Respiratory Therapy students from left: Jaclyn Banach, Kiara Still, Allison Foskett and Tiffany “Tiff” Wayland.

Quinsigamond Community College Respiratory Therapy students are in the thick of things these days, and while they have all dedicated themselves to caring for others, the Coronavirus pandemic has changed the scope of what they do. In the coming weeks we will be featuring our amazing Respiratory Therapy students, who each day are on the front lines, working in area hospitals to help save lives. These amazing students are the embodiment of the QCC guardians and our Wyvern mascot - a mythical, winged dragon that was viewed as the ancient protector of Worcestershire, England. As the Wyvern protected Worcestershire, England, QCC's students and alumni protect our communities. Below are four Respiratory Therapy students who are making a difference one patient at a time. They are protecting our communities each and every day, selflessly putting their lives on the line for others. 

Meet some of our amazing QCC students:

  • Kiara Still is a QCC Respiratory Therapy sophomore who will graduate in May. She’s joining the team at Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester next week because she wants to make a difference during this uncertain, unprecedented time. Ms. Still lives with her boyfriend who is considered high-risk, but has made the decision to put her nerves aside and jump right into the front lines.

    "I am grateful for the Quinsigamond Respiratory Care program and as scary as it is, I am ready! We are the Quinsigamond Community College Class of 2020, and we are ready,” she said. Ms. Stills is one very special guardian.
  • Tiffany “Tiff” Wayland is a QCC student who is on her second week as a student respiratory therapist at Harrington Hospital. She is taking care of COVID-19 pending patients, running ventilators and checking blood gases. She will also be wearing two pairs of gloves and two masks, along with everything else that goes into keeping herself and her patients safe. As scary as it is, Tiff says loves helping out. Tiff was a student just two weeks ago...now she is working to save lives.
  • Jaclyn Banach is a QCC Respiratory Therapy student who has been on the front lines for five years, working overnight at Marlborough Hospital in Emergency Registration. She is in the process of having her license expedited by the Board of Respiratory Care. As soon as she gets it, she said she is ready to jump in and work directly with those suffering from Coronavirus/COVID-19. Thank you for being a QCC student and protecting our community.
  • Allison Foskett is on her second degree at QCC. Currently she is a Respiratory Therapy student who has been working at UMass Memorial on the University campus since last fall in a student position as a Respiratory Therapist I. She said the experience and lessons she has learned during the time she has been there have been "significant" and says she has loved every minute of it. Today, her world has turned upside down due to the pandemic crisis.

    "I don’t think any of us could have predicted what is happening now, it’s surreal. I have to say that I am in awe of my coworkers, they are amazing! Under stress and uncertainty, they are still taking the time to teach me. That speaks volumes about the respiratory department at UMass, she said. "I am doing the best I can through this trying to balance working through a pandemic, completing school work, studying for the boards, and raising my four children."

    Ms. Foskett said she is grateful that all the people she loves and cares about are healthy at the moment, which is really all that matters. Her message to others is a simple one, "Stay safe and stay home." Thank you, Ms. Foskett for taking care of our community and helping keep us all safe. You are a true hero.

Do you know someone who is helping during this time of great need? Please send an email to Marketing Manager Gina Cone at gcone [at] qcc.mass.edu and let her know so that we can tell the world about their incredible feats.

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