With the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) quickly spreading around the world, infecting millions and killing thousands, REALTOR® Ben Goheen didn’t think twice before joining the front lines.
Goheen, a salesperson from Belleville, Ontario knew returning to his former career, as a respiratory therapist, was the right thing to do.
“I always believe that people are inherently good, that people genuinely want to do good for others out of the kindness of their own heart. Not all of us are in a situation, physically, mentally, or financially to help others, but when given the opportunity, I knew I could make a difference for someone who needed it,” he said.
Respiratory therapists monitor, assess and treat individuals who have difficulty breathing—like those suffering from the respiratory illness COVID-19. Respiratory therapists are trained in ventilation and airway management, and oxygen therapy. They help care for patients during cardiac stress-testing, pulmonary function testing, cardiorespiratory disease prevention, high risk births, surgeries and more.
They’ve been referred to as “the best-kept secret” in the fight against COVID-19. However, just a few short months ago, Goheen decided to “retire” from respiratory therapy—trading scrubs for suits to focus on real estate.
Goheen describes his career path to becoming a real estate professional as “a long one.” First, he received a four-year degree in kinesiology before beginning his three-year respiratory therapist program.
He worked as a respiratory therapist for four years before deciding to make a change.
“I really enjoy caring for others and I take great pride in making sure my patients are well cared for. I loved helping others and found that real estate was a great way to take client care into a self-driven atmosphere,” he said.
He joined The Royle Group with Century 21 in Belleville more than a year ago.
“I knew right away coming from medicine and always working on a team of cohesive individuals, that I would want the same support in real estate, so I immediately signed up with The Royle Group,” said Goheen.
Happily working in real estate, Goheen gave up his respiratory therapist licence in February 2020.
Two weeks later, the COVID-19 pandemic swept across Canada. Soon after the College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario sent out a call to former respiratory therapists, asking if they would like to reactivate their licence and join the fight against the respiratory illness.
“Without any thought at all, I jumped at the chance to help out. I signed up immediately and started the process of reactivating and finding a hospital that needed help,” said Goheen.
Since his reactivation, he’s been hired at the Belleville General Hospital.
“It’s a fantastic hospital and I can’t thank the staff enough for welcoming me and making me feel like part of the team!” he said.
In Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, where the Belleville General Hospital resides, positive cases remain relatively low with 42 confirmed and 182 probable cases (as of May 13).
“Working in Belleville on the frontlines has been interesting,” said Goheen, explaining patients are treated as if they have the virus, until a test can prove otherwise. “So, in itself, there are a ton of extra precautions taken—which I’m very glad there are—that makes it feel like we’re right in the middle of the pandemic, when in reality, it has not hit us very hard at all.”
“I wouldn’t change a thing, I’m very proud of the staff. I feel very comfortable going to work and that I’m helping in a safe environment.”
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