Mary found her groove in specialized respiratory care

Growing up in small-town Ohio, Mary Mittwede, BSRT, RRT, RRT-ACCS, RPFT, loved to race cars and spent weekends chasing victories at the drag strip. Never one to shy away from a challenge, she eventually found herself driven toward a career in respiratory care, and she’s never taken her foot off the pedal as she strives to continually advance her position with multiple specialty credentials from The National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).

Since becoming a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) in 2008, Mary also has achieved credentials as a Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist (RPFT) and an Adult Critical Care Specialist (RRT-ACCS). She is working on the Neonatal/Pediatric Specialist (NPS) credential and plans to pursue the Sleep Disorders Specialty (SDS) next.

“Jobs are not always stable, but I’ve found specialty credentials can help open doors. The extra credentialing shows a deeper level of commitment to the profession. It shows you are more valuable and stand out above the rest.”
— Mary Mittwede, BSRT, RRT, RRT-ACCS, RPFT

Mary certainly has proved worthy of investment, as she recently was named the Program Director for Respiratory Therapy at Laurel Technical Institute in Sharon, Pa. She credits her NBRC specialty credentials as instrumental for her professional accomplishments. “I’ve always been drawn to continuing education,” she says. “Specialized knowledge is empowering, and no one can take it away from you.”

In addition to her role as an educator, Mary continues to work at the hospital to keep her skills fresh and to supervise her students in their rotations. She believes her specialty credentials give her more “street cred” in the classroom, and she aims to show her students they can reap the same benefits as they take the wheel on their own professional journeys. She encourages them to continue their studies beyond the two-year degree, promoting the value of extensive training through a bachelor’s program.

“I hope to inspire my students and graduates to take their education to the highest possible level because our profession has so much to offer,” she says. “I want to help others envision new heights and new directions in their own careers, so I’m a big advocate for advanced learning and specialized skill sets.”