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Palm Beach State College graduate starts health care career during coronavirus pandemic

Jahlissa Powell is registered respiratory therapist at Jupiter Medical Center
Posted at 3:20 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 18:20:58-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — The coronavirus pandemic has put a spotlight on health care heroes that you may not know about: respiratory therapists.

Jahlissa Powell, a Palm Beach State College graduate and now registered respiratory therapist, is on her second week on the job at Jupiter Medical Center.

"Have no fear" are the words Powell said her supervisor told her as she embarked on her first days as a registered respiratory therapist.

"He was like, when you come, have no fear," Powell said. "So whatever situation they put you in, just don't be scared. Stay calm. Remember your own knowledge and put it forth."

Powell graduated from Palm Beach State College in May and had the highest license exam scores among graduates in the history of the college's respiratory care program.

Edward Willey, the dean of health sciences at Palm Beach State College, said Powell was handpicked by Jupiter Medical Center during her time completing clinical hours at the hospital.

"Who would've thought that all of this time in class and lab and simulation environment that we'd be talking about these health care issues, and the students are now, the graduates are now living it," said Willey.