Respiratory Care grad persevered to earn degree

Kimberly Sieperda realized her childhood goals at MSU Texas

Kimberly Sieperda entertained desires to be in the medical field for as long as she can remember. Her father was an EMT, inspiring her as a kid to want to help people the way he did.

Sieperda is doing just that. She earned her bachelor’s degree in respiratory care in December from Midwestern State University.

Every graduate walks a unique path to reach the graduation stage, and that was certainly true of Kimberly. She’s 44, a wife, and a mother.

“I can say I am very proud of myself, but I would not be where I am without God and the husband He has given me now, and all my girls and my dad,” Kimberly said.

After high school in Gatesville, Texas, Kimberly worked at the local hospital as a dispatcher for the ambulance service. She got interested in respiratory after talking to the respiratory therapy director in the hospital.

But continuing her education wasn’t realistic at that time. “My parents didn’t go to college and couldn’t afford to send us, so I went to a school through the online/mail.”

She said it was difficult to teach herself online, but she earned her Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) license and began working. She also got married and started a family.

But that desire to complete her Registered Replacement Therapist (RRT) didn’t burn out, even when personal tragedy struck. 

“Fast forward 14 years later, my husband gets sick and passes away within less than one month of us finding out,” Kimberly said. “I am left with three girls, ages 7,10, and 11, in the year 2014.

Kimberly

 

That particular year the job openings only wanted those with RRT, not CRT.”

She thought to herself, what could she do? She searched and found the Weatherford College Respiratory Program and applied. She completed the entire program so she could “learn it all again and be a better therapist.” She graduated, took her state boards, and became an RRT. And then decided to continue at Midwestern State to earn her bachelor’s.

“I wanted to show my girls you can set out to do anything you set your mind to, at any age, even after a devastating situation has occurred,” Kimberly said. “And that is exactly what each one of them has told me at different times.”

The education mission is complete. But Kimberly’s mission continues.

“My goals after graduation are to help any patient or family member at least once a day, even if it’s just a smile, and turn their life around,” she said. “My tip for future students is don’t ever think you know it all because, in that very moment, you know nothing!”