Southeast Success Story: Gage Jones
Middlesboro, KY – 2017 Southeast graduate Chandler “Gage” Jones serves others as a registered respiratory therapist at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville. In 2019, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Midwestern State University, and he is employed by Select Specialty Hospital as a travel respiratory therapist. He holds specialties in adult critical care, neonatal/pediatric respiratory care, as well as being certified in pulmonary function technology and pulmonary rehabilitation. He also teaches the Neonatal Resuscitation program and basic life support.
Of Southeast’s Respiratory Care program, Gage said it is "Top of the line. This program prepared me for specialized care, something most BS/MS level courses are designed for."
When asked about the challenges he faces during the current health crisis, Gage said, "Specifically, considering COVID-19’s detrimental respiratory component, we were all trained to initiate, manipulate, and liberate from mechanical ventilation, more so than any other healthcare profession. This is, along with proper PPE, one of the most important lessons we were taught."
Southeast President Vic Adams considers Gage and others in healthcare to be Real World Heroes. “These graduates are putting themselves in harm’s way to give quality, compassionate care to their patients. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude,” he said.
For Gage, the healthcare profession is a family affair. Fellow Southeast graduate Amber Fuson, a registered nurse, is still on medical leave with their newborn daughter Marley. When asked whether he has had to be quarantined from his family, Gage said that proper protocol is key.
"On the home front it comes down to what we do at work. If proper PPE and disinfection is performed, then there is no need to worry. As with all infectious pathogens, it’s all about hand washing and taking careful, calculated steps. Southeast prepared us, and it is now on our shoulders to do right by our patients and community," he said.
(Gage Jones, RTT, and Amber Fuson, RN, say their Southeast education prepared them well.)
(Gage is pictured here with Amber and their newborn daughter Marley.)