Jasmine Thornton

Jasmine Thornton

Respiratory Therapist

Comer Children's Hospital

Chicago, IL USA

Listen to your heart. Do not be afraid to switch careers at any time during your journey. There’s never a clear path in the journey of life.


By Roadtrip Nation

Jasmine Thornton


My road in life has taken me all over.
Both my mother and grandmother are nurses, so nursing has always been on my mind for my own career path.
I initially went away to college as a pre-nursing major, but didn’t feel like the school was right for me, so I transferred into the nursing program at a community college back home.
That nursing program wasn’t a great fit either, so I decided to complete my associate’s degree in science instead, and became a preschool teacher.
I loved being a preschool teacher, but I knew that I ultimately wanted to go back into healthcare, so I went back to the community college to take some more classes.
After researching potential careers through a career development course and finding an interest in chemistry, I started thinking I’d like to work in cardiovascular perfusion.
I discovered that working in perfusion requires you to either be a nurse or a respiratory therapist—I already knew nursing was not for me, so I applied to a respiratory therapist program at my school.
While in school, I got an internship at Comer Children’s Hospital, which really helped me gain insight into what I’d be doing once I graduate.
I now work as a respiratory therapist at Comer Children’s Hospital.


Respiratory Therapist

I assist doctors in performing respiratory therapy at a trauma center.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Helping People

Day to Day

My days vary depending on the unit I'm working in. In the NICU, I work with preemies and micro preemies. I'll be present at delivery and assist the doctor with intubation. Then I'll take the babies to the NICU for further care. If I'm in the PICU, I'll have the trauma pager on me which calls me to intensive care if a child comes in with trauma. Again, I'll assist with intubation and anything else the doctors need. I also help patients with different lung therapies to help strengthen their lungs.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Don't put too much pressure on yourself to choose one path and stick to it. It's okay to make mistakes or change your mind. Try something out that you think you might be interested in. Once you start exploring that interest, you'll be able to tell if it feels right or not. If it feels right, then go for it. But if it doesn't, know that it's okay to say no and try something else. I also suggest finding a mentor to help guide you or finding an internship in your field to gain insight.


The Noise I Shed

From Family:

"You need to become a nurse."