The COVID pandemic has highlighted the need for more respiratory therapists in Michigan, according to a local news report.

At Beaumont Health in Dearborn, Cathy-Jo Ponzi is the director of respiratory care. She said the shortage has existed “the last few years,” though the respiratory nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has only expanded the need and heightened awareness of what respiratory therapists do.

“A lot of the two-year degree health care fields don’t get the publicity they deserve,” Ponzi said. “They’ve sort of come to the forefront because all the treatment for this virus is some type of intervention that a respiratory therapist does.”

Throughout her 38 years in the field, Ponzi has witnessed a cycle from an abundance of workers to shortages.

On search for respiratory therapist job postings in Michigan pulled up more than 230 postings, including 68 posted in the last 14 days. Several jobs included the note: “urgently hiring.”

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