Career spotlight - Marcus WillifordMarcus Williford


What is your current occupation or job title?

Respiratory Care Practitioner

What credentials/certifications have you earned?

Certified Respiratory Therapist, Registered Respiratory Therapist, Neonatal/ Pediatric Specialist, Bachelors of Science in Respiratory Therapy

Why did you choose your profession?

After being laid off twice I wanted the job security of the medical field and wasn't sure I wanted to be a nurse. A good friend had just graduated and started in the profession and had a good job he loved.

Describe a typical work day:

I start work at 7 and get a report from the night shift therapist about the patients. Then I go and see all of my patients in first rounds and give breathing treatments to everyone who has scheduled treatments for the day. Then I answer calls from surgical pre-op for EKG's. I also take calls from the Emergency Room for patients having trouble breathing who may need breathing treatments or who may need arterial blood tested to check oxygenation and ventilation. I also help patients who may need a breathing tube and life support.

What is the most difficult part of your job?

Watching patients die knowing we did everything we could and it wasn't enough.

Share the reason(s) you love your job:

We are an essential part of every Rapid Response and every Code Blue. We are important in saving lives in almost every hospital in the world. I also love working only three days a week.

How has your military experience impacted your job performance?

Mostly it has made me to be able to wake up really early, given me the discipline to come to work when scheduled and not to just call out and leave my co-workers in a bind; and, the GI Bill paid for my education.

What advice would you give students considering a career in your field?

Know that you may have to move away from the area to work as the job market isn't like it has been in the past. There aren't an abundance of jobs in this area anymore because there are 3 schools in the area with the Associate's Degree in Respiratory Therapy. Also, be willing to continue your education, as the NC Respiratory Care Board is pushing to make the Bachelors of Science in Respiratory Therapy degree the entry-level standard.

Causes you love and support:

I am a Rescue Coordinator for Paws in Park Fetch your friends and meet us at the Battleship Park along the beautiful Cape Fear River in Wilmington, NC for a tail wagging good time!  Also, I'm a Fundraising Coordinator for  Carolina Boxer Rescue.

Fun Question:   Tea or Coffee




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