Faculty Spotlight: Kelley Braxton
For the past three years Kelley Braxton has helped prepare students for careers as Respiratory Therapists as a faculty member at Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC) in Dublin. With years of in-field experience, Braxton brings passion and excitement into the classroom which challenges and inspires her students.
While teaching respiratory therapy is one of the things that gives Braxton a feeling of purpose in the field, contributing to her students’ careers by sharing her own knowledge and experience is one of the many reasons she loves what she does.
Check out the below interview and learn more about why Braxton loves teaching students at OFTC!
Q: What is your background in this field?
A: I have worked in the respiratory therapy field as a critical care respiratory therapist ranging from pediatrics to adults, taking care of the sickest of the sickest patients in intensive care units and trauma cases. Over the span of my career I’ve worked as a student coordinator and assistant respiratory therapy department educator in the hospital setting. In order to stay current with patient care, I also work as a contract trainer for an outside company.
Q: Why is respiratory something you decided to do?
A: I decided to start a career in respiratory therapy because I saw how involved respiratory therapists were with the patient’s plan of care. I knew then that I wanted to be a part of that process to help the patient get better by any means.
Q: What encouragement would you give to those who think they might want a career in respiratory?
A: I would advise anyone who wants a career in respiratory therapy to start mapping out a plan from the very beginning. It keeps you focused on the ultimate goal which is to finish the program courses and become registered and licensed. Also know this field requires a great amount of compassion and dedication and patients always come first. You have to be flexible because it is simply not a 9 AM to 5 PM job.
Q: What do you love most about OFTC?
A: I can honestly say that I work with a great group of faculty and staff members who genuinely care about each other. Not only do we uplift each other, but we do the same for our students and I feel that is why the college is so successful.
Q: Why do you believe in the skill you are teaching? What can it offer others?
A: Teaching in the field of respiratory therapy, it is important to show students the technical skills that are required so they may become competent therapists when they graduate, but it is just as important if not more that they are exposed to problem-based learning in the clinical setting in order to fully understand why certain therapies are indicated. As a result, these effective teaching skills will ultimately lead to improved patient care in the hospital setting, which is imperative.
Q: What is it like seeing your students who graduate from the program go on and begin their careers?
A: I am blessed to be a part of their career paths and seeing them become successful in the field makes what I do even more rewarding.
Q: Do you have any experiences as an OFTC instructor that have made a lasting impression on your life?
A: I’ve had a couple of life changing events that I’ve experienced within the last couple of years and what sticks out to me was the amount of support I received not only from the faculty and staff, but my students as well. I can’t say enough how much I appreciated everyone’s love and support. That’s something that I will forever be thankful for.
Q: What is the best part about working with students?
A: The best part of working with students is they definitely keep me on my toes because I learn from them as well. Every class teaches me how to be a better and more effective communicator and instructor, which is essential in my career.
Q: If you had to choose a ‘motto’ for your teaching and what you want for your students, what would it be?
A: ‘Everything starts with you’. Whether it’s achieving goals of completing the program, passing the board exams, or making a difference in patient care, you are the only one in control.
Q: What do you hope for your students when they graduate?
A: That they become successful in their careers and continue to make positive contributions in the profession.
To learn more about OFTC or the Respiratory Therapy program, visit OFTC.edu.