Four decades … and counting

Moraine Park Respiratory Care Instructor, Mary Bandler pointing to monitor screen

Moraine Park has many career options to explore in healthcare and has had tremendous success preparing our students for these exciting fields.

Perhaps the biggest factor in this success is our faculty, which has real-world experience and extensive training in their respective programs of study. They don’t just teach subjects. They “get it.” They’ve been there – and are trying to get you there, too!

Perhaps no one at Moraine Park exemplifies that as much as Mary Bandler, our Respiratory Therapist program director and instructor. She has spent nearly 40 years in the respiratory therapy field and is driven to pass along her knowledge to others.

“We are a relatively new program, and I was fortunate enough to initiate the program and write all the curriculum and policies in 2004. I have been at Moraine Park for 13 years. Prior to my scholastic endeavors, I was the director of a Pulmonary Medicine Department at a large urban community hospital in Milwaukee. The 26 years as a director have given me the opportunity to work with many gifted therapists and develop many new programs such as bedside bronchoscopy, asthma clinics, pulmonary rehab and sleep diagnostics. This background has given me a broad perspective that I apply every day to our program students,” Mary said.

And she has right from the start.

Mary helped form our respiratory therapy program a little more than a decade ago and has seen it grow into a powerhouse offering here at the College.

“The MPTC Respiratory Therapy program has just completed a very successful 10 year re-accreditation visit,” Mary said, noting “This has ensured that we are meeting all standards and our graduates can participate in national credentialing and state licensure. It also makes our graduates very attractive to employers, and this is supported by the programs 100 percent job placement.”

Yep, 100 percent job placement!

And the majority of our 2016 graduates from the program were hired prior to graduation, too.

To achieve accreditation, all health care programs must provide a quality education, and accreditation ensures a high level of quality. The program must monitor and submit data on an annual basis that demonstrates all accreditation standards are being upheld and graduates are meeting industry requirements. Along with annual review, the program must undergo a site re-accreditation visit every 10 years. This is a very extensive process of inspection and data review, that takes place on campus.

For those unaware of what exactly a respiratory therapist does, here’s a little insight: Of course there’s a large range of places to work and duties to perform, but generally respiratory therapists work as a member of a team of other health care professionals to evaluate, treat and manage patients of all ages with respiratory illnesses and other cardiopulmonary disorders. Depending on where they’re working, they might manage life support mechanical ventilation systems, or administer medications; analyze blood samples to determine levels of oxygen and other gases; manage artificial airways; analyze chest x-rays; perform stress tests and examinations; and, well … much more. Much, much more.

That extensive variety and, more important, the profound impact this work has on others compelled Mary to consider respiratory therapy as a career four decades ago. And those same reasons have reaffirmed that choice in all the years since.

“I was drawn to the field of respiratory therapy because it was a newer health care profession and looked challenging. Respiratory Therapy has been a great career. I have enjoyed every minute of my various roles. There are not many careers out there that provide 39 years of steady employment, and I am hoping for many more. I have received so much from my career, and I want to give back. All that experience should count for something, and want to share some of that expertise with others,” Mary said, adding “This is what drew me to MPTC and initiating a Respiratory Therapist program in Fond du Lac. Our program strives to provide the community with quality respiratory therapists, which contribute to the wellbeing of the community. I am thankful for the opportunity to assist in that endeavor!”
Got a question for Mary? She’s happy to help. Email her at

Also, to learn more about the respiratory therapist program, or any of the other successful health programs, visit for all the details!

Not sure you can do it? Of course you can! Remember, our awesome instructors and staff are here for you. They’ve been there, and they’ll get you there, too! In fact, the numbers don’t lie:

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