March 3, 2021

People of EarnIn: Duneeta Gagraj

Duneeta grew up with asthma, and as a result, she’s dedicated her life to helping those with similar issues. Hear about how she found her career path, how she’s been dealing with COVID, and her future goals in life. Check out her story:

“My name is Duneeta and I’m living in Florida, West Palm Beach and I’m working as a respiratory therapist. I deal with anything that has to do with lungs so asthma, COPD, etc. We're the ones in the hospital that deal with the ventilators so I would be the one sticking the tube down your throat and taking it out.

I have asthma. My dad has asthma. My boyfriend has asthma, so it always intrigued me. Originally I wanted to study nursing but everybody's a nurse nowadays. I wanted to do something different. So then I looked up “respiratory therapist” and it was very interesting to me so I studied that and I liked it. I found a job where I can just focus on what I need to do. Nurses do a lot while working in the hospital. They do everything. As an RT, I just deal with anything that has to do with breathing and that's it. That's what I focus on and that's what I wanted.

We've just gotten busier during the pandemic because more people are getting discharged from hospitals who are COVID positive and they need oxygen. I was around COVID patients in a rehab working the COVID unit. You just have to protect yourself and do the basic hand cleaning, face mask, proper hygiene, all that. I think it’s so crazy that the pandemic is just now implementing that, which are things people should’ve already been doing since the beginning.

I have a four year old son and then my newborn is two months old. I got leave, but unfortunately in the state of Florida, it's not paid. So that’s when EarnIn comes in handy. I took my leave, but only for two weeks, then I went right back to work. I had their dad, who has great benefits with his job, staying home with the kids. It’s crazy cause I'm in the medical field and have no benefits as far as pay in Florida.

I was always working in the medical field. I was originally in New York and I finally graduated when I moved to Florida. Financially, I wasn’t too bad. I was doing okay. My motivation was to go to school and not just be okay, but good, especially with kids. I wanted to have money to splurge, not just have money to pay bills. I wanted to have money to go out and do things. I know a lot of people just work and pay bills and then it's like, where's the fun?

My next goal is buying a house. The first step is actually trying to fix the credit by consolidating our debt as far as credit cards. We need to lower those down because that impacts it a lot. Then after that, start looking for where we want to live, location wise. I know what I want in a house so it's more so just fixing the credit. Then we’ll know how much we'll get approved for and where. I'm actually hoping it happens within this year or next year. After that, we'll probably be vacationing.”

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