Meet Our Caregivers – Donald K. Brooks

Erlanger Health System

Giving his Very Best

Donald Brooks has been working in a hospital setting since he was 17 years old. “I first worked in X-ray as a file clerk, then as a phlebotomist in the laboratory,” he explains. “While working all those years in the hospital, I was able to see what different professions did. Respiratory interested me, so I decided to go to school for respiratory care.” The rest, as they say, is history. Brooks is now celebrating his 12-year anniversary as a respiratory therapist with Erlanger Health System. Looking back on his career, Brooks has this to share about his journey: “Continue to learn, attempt to understand, and care for each other. This is what makes us humans and part of humanity.”

When a patient you have taken care of remembers you and comes back to see you when they are better, it just brightens your day.”

My Credentials

Bachelor’s Degree:

Dalton State College – Dalton, GA 


Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT)

Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT)

Adult Critical Care Specialty (RRT-ACCS)

My Specialties

Adult Critical Care Specialist

1. What does your day-to-day look like?

We assist the physicians with patients who have breathing problems. This may include giving medications to assist in breathing, oxygen therapy, and assisting in breathing with mechanical ventilation. I also attempt to educate the patient, staff, and physicians on the different respiratory modalities and their use.

2. What’s the key to making a great first impression?

Smiling and introducing yourself. Explain what you are going to do and why. Make the patient as comfortable as possible in a bad situation.

3. What is your best advice for patients?

Not smoking or vaping can decrease your chances of having pulmonary, cardiac, and vascular complications. Young people don’t usually think of cancer or COPD, but if they get into an accident, their chances of complications increase.

4. What would you consider to be your main strengths?

I love to learn and love to do research. I received my bachelor’s degree when I turned 60 years old. So, I believe anyone can go back to school and get their degree.

5. What is your philosophy when it comes to the care for your patients?

Give them your very best. They are in a place that they don’t want to be and need some compassion. Compassion takes both empathy and sympathy to the next level. 

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