Respiratory Therapist Describes Experience During Pandemic

Local respiratory therapist shares his experiences during COVID-19

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - During this pandemic, all healthcare workers have had to work hard and adapt. However, that may be especially true for respiratory therapists, whose job is to help patients who have trouble breathing. That’s a job that becomes even more vital during the Coronavirus.

Rafael Agosto is a graduate of Georgia Southern’s Armstrong campus, who’s worked for St. Joseph’s Candler as a respiratory therapist for nearly two decades. He says he and his coworkers first grew concerned about the pandemic in the U-S back in February.

“It affected it us a lot more because we had to not really know what to do, but kind of adjust as far as new patients coming in,” Agosto said. “With the uncertainty of the disease we didn’t know what to expect.”

Despite all of this hard work, Agosto was drawn to do more. Through Facebook, he found an opportunity to serve in a Boston suburb, where the outbreak was much worse. He says his work ethic inspired him to seek out a more stressful and dangerous environment.

“I love my job. I know it sounds cliche. Everybody says it, but I really do enjoy my job. And everything that I learned here I wanted to be able to go up to Boston and see if it was worse, which it was, and be able to take what I have here and assist.”

He says he only got a half day orientation before working his first 12 hour shift.

“There were patients all over the place at this hospital, so it was kind of a shocking experience when I first got there.”

Agosto says that he learned a lot about ventilator management during his time in Massachusetts, as well as different therapies and treatments.

However, he says he was actually able to help his coworkers up North by sharing many of the skills that he already had from St. Joseph’s Candler.

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