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Syeeda Ali

Syeeda Ali stands in front of a hospital room full of respiratory care equipment

Syeeda Ali

Title: Respiratory Therapist, St. Louis Children's Hospital

STLCC Program: Respiratory Care

Years Attended: 2018–2020

As a respiratory therapist, Syeeda is vital to the health care team. Her role ensures patients can breathe, whether assisted or unassisted. At STLCC, our goal is to help more people follow Syeeda's footsteps into this high-demand industry, and to do so, we're introducing the College's first bachelor's degree in respiratory care.

Q&A with Syeeda

Q: What degree did you earn at STLCC? 

A: I earned an associate of applied science in respiratory care when I graduated in May 2020.

Q: What are you doing career-wise now, and what does your position entail? 

A: I work as a respiratory therapist at two hospitals. My responsibilities include managing and administering asthma, pulmonary, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) medications. I also assess patients' bronchial hygiene needs and provide the necessary treatment. I assist with intubation, manage the patients while on mechanical ventilation, and extubate them when they are ready to be taken off the ventilator. 

Q: What is your favorite thing about your current role?  Syeeda aids a patient

A: I love all aspects of bedside care, including getting to know my patients and helping them return to a healthy state. 

Q: How did your life journey lead you to where you are today?

A: When I was in high school, I had cancer and experienced the importance my doctors and nurses placed on me. It made a significant impact on my recovery. They inspired me to choose a career in health care, and one that allows me to provide bedside care.

Q: How would you say your chosen career path is "transforming" the community?

A: When we provide asthma and COPD education, it helps patients stay home longer and allows them to better manage and treat their pulmonary impairment at home. 

Q: What led you to take classes at STLCC? 

A: Only a few schools in the St. Louis area offer degrees in respiratory care. I met with the program director, Lindsay Fox, and she is a huge advocate and supporter of respiratory care in St. Louis. Her enthusiasm and dedication encouraged me to earn my degree at STLCC.

Q: How did STLCC support and prepare you for where you are today? 

A: The courses, labs and clinical hours prepared me to become a strong therapist and a patient advocate. The classes were challenging and the labs tested our knowledge and ability to think critically. The wide range of well-established hospital partnerships allowed us to develop our skills and build relationships with some of the best hospitals in St. Louis, so many of us already had jobs lined up when we graduated.

Q: What was your favorite thing about attending STLCC? 

A: While attending STLCC, I became a newly single parent going through a divorce. I loved the amount of support the school offers students. If you qualify, there is childcare funding, financial support for classes, counselors, and assistance with applying to federal and statewide programs.

Q: Do you have a memorable class or professor you'd like to shout out? 

A: Blake Anyan is the respiratory care program's clinical director and he is amazing. He cares about his students and ensures they are well-prepared to think critically in the field. He always took the time to explain concepts in multiple ways to ensure everyone understood. When a concept was challenging, he never made me feel unintelligent for not understanding. He would just patiently explain it in another way.

Q: What advice would you give someone considering your career path? 

A: Honestly, this is an excellent health care field position with constant job security, but more importantly, you are positively impacting someone's life.

Q: What would you say to students considering community college? 

A: It's the best decision I've ever made. It provided me with a great education at an affordable price. It got me into a career that I love and that allows me to support my family. School can be challenging, but the payoff is well worth it.


Explore Respiratory Care at STLCC

Respiratory therapists are in demand and a vital part of the health care team. Pursue this rewarding career path with an associate or bachelor's degree in respiratory care.

Learn More

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