The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Meet Bret Guidi, Springfield Center Sim Lab Tech Specialist

Oct 22, 2020

UMass Springfield Center Simulation Lab Tech Specialist Bret Guidi shared some highlights from his career and life in a recent interview.


Tell us about the path you took to become a sim lab tech specialist. 

I started working in a hospital as an operating room orderly after high school. I  enoyed working with a variety of healthcare professionals in a hospital setting. I was encouraged by some of the physicians in the hospital to advance my career in healthcare. I returned to school to become a respiratory therapist, working at Baystate Medical Center and Hartford Hospital before moving to a per diem position in order to become a stay-at-home dad for my two children, Nick and Gianna. I was a clinical instructor at Springfield Technical Community College for fourteen years, working primarily in the cardiac ICU at Baystate. Having gained extensive sim lab experience, I was hired as a sim lab tech specialist at the UMass Center in Springfield in June 2018. I have continued to work as a respiratory therapist at Holyoke Hospital and I also teach CPR classes for the American Heart Association. One gratifying experience occurred when I was at Holyoke Hospital and three cariac arrest patients arrived at the same time. It was a stressful time. I worked on all three patients and I was able to participate in helping to save one of them. 


How has your work been affected by COVID-19?

When the pandemic began, it was nervewracking because not much was known about COVID-19. We began to follow a strict gowning and de-gowning process and wore N95 respirator masks at all times when working at the hospital. My wife, Lynn, is a nurse on a COVID-positive floor and we both took care to avoid bringing the virus home to our family. Covid builds character. It makes you think twice about your life and realize how important empathy and compassion are.

I'm now working full-time on site at the Springfield Center. I work closely with Jason Steele, the sim lab tech at Skinner Hall.


What are your hopes and plans for the future?

I plan to complete my bachelor's degree at UWW, possibly with a major related to community health.

In my spare time I enjoy going out on my road bike, cooking and smoking meats, coaching soccer (I played varsity soccer in high school and was on track to be a semi-pro player).

My family and I hope to go on a trip to Hawaii after a vaccine is available. 

Photo: Bret, his wife Lynn, and his children Nick and Gianna at Martha's Vineyard earlier this year.