When Lincoln native Brandon
Schwab decided he wanted a career that would be both satisfying and a great
service to others, he enrolled at Southeast Community College. He decided to go
into Respiratory Care and has never looked back.
rewarding part is seeing good patient outcomes and knowing that you played a
role as a part of a team to make that happen,” Schwab said. “I can't think of a
more rewarding career than being a respiratory therapist.”
two years at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Schwab decided to transfer to
SCC to find his place and receive more direction than a bigger school had to
offer. He said it was the perfect fit, and he was more successful academically
“SCC is a great
fit for those students who enjoy smaller class sizes and greater access to
their instructors,” he recalled. “The school can also be a launching pad to
even higher levels of education.”
from the Respiratory Care program in 2002, he worked at CHI Health St.
Elizabeth in Lincoln. He and his family decided to move to Orlando, Florida, in
2012. Currently, Schwab is a Level 5 Lead Respiratory Therapist working in
intensive care at Orlando Regional Medical Center. Working with COVID-19
patients has been his “new normal” during the past year.
“Some days you
are going non-stop for 12 hours, and others aren't so bad,” he said. “The difficult
part with COVID patients is taking on and off the personal protective equipment
constantly. But I work with a great team, and we do our best to take care of
our patients while also keeping the environment loose and fun.”
He said the most
challenging part of his job is the mental aspect. It can be overwhelming when
you’re caring for patients, talking to family members, and things aren’t going
well, Schwab said.
“But I always try
to maintain my professionalism and do the best work that I can for my
patients,” he added.
wife, Michelle, is a 1997 graduate of SCC’s Respiratory Care program. She is
currently helping to launch a new hospital in the Orlando area, and they both
look back fondly on their time at the College.
“I would advise
others to seek an education at SCC because it’s a great path to a rewarding
career,” Brandon said. “There is such a variety of programs to choose from,
whether it’s in healthcare, business, law enforcement, agriculture, or any of
Schwab said he and his family moved to Florida
to see a different part of the country. They enjoy the theme parks, diversity
and all-around good climate.