When Christy Bishop enrolled in NBCC’s Respiratory Therapy program in 2006, she never imagined she’d be back in the classroom as an instructor training the next generation of respiratory therapists, and helping shape how community-based healthcare is delivered in New Brunswick.
“I didn’t think I had the patience to teach, and I never enjoyed public speaking, but making the shift to being an educator has been lifechanging,” said Christy. “It’s opened up a whole new direction for me that I didn’t think my career was going to go.”
Christy graduated from the University of New Brunswick where she studied biology before enrolling at NBCC. After graduating from the Respiratory Therapy program in 2008, she accepted a position at Saint John Regional Hospital, where she worked in nearly every department, gaining valuable industry experience and expertise. Working at a teaching hospital, Christy also had the opportunity to mentor students during their preceptorships.
Although Christy enjoyed working in the hospital with patients, she found herself searching for a new challenge. When the opportunity arose to return to NBCC as an instructor, she took the leap of faith.
“I knew I was looking for something different, but I didn’t quite know what that was. I wanted to stay within the profession, but I was looking for something to open new doors for myself,” said Christy. “So I applied and here I am. I’ve been with NBCC since 2015 and I don’t regret a minute of it.”
Since joining the College in 2015, Christy has embraced new technology and teaching tools like HyFlex that improve the student experience. The Respiratory Therapy program was the first at NBCC to use HyFlex, which uses surface hub technology and a 360-degree camera with video, microphone and speaker capability to allow students learning remotely to have the same experience as those sitting in the classroom.
“They have autonomy, and they get more say in their education. I think that is a huge advantage to our learners.”
These days, Christy spends most of her time on research and accreditation, which allows her to bring more experiential learning opportunities to students. One of those opportunities is the student-led Pulmonary Rehab Clinic for COPD patients in the community. Christy served as project manager for the clinic, supervising students, enrolling patients, and managing all the hands-on aspects of the clinic’s work.
This project represents the best of both worlds for Christy, merging her two passions – patient care and teaching.
“It’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done,” she said. “I got to have hands-on experience with students and with patients and see their progression throughout. I was very happy to be a part of it.”