Acquiring a Career as Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory therapy is a healthcare discipline that involves the study of airway management, cardiology, and pulmonology. Respiratory therapists are educated and trained professionals who work with physicians or nurse practitioners in order to care for patients who suffer from lung or cardiovascular system issues. These patients may include premature babies who have underdeveloped lungs or adults who suffer from asthma or COPD.

In order to become a respiratory therapist, students must complete an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). During these programs, students are educated in areas such as pulmonary function testing, respiratory assessment, diagnostic procedures, human anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, illness and disease, therapeutic procedures, pulmonary illness, and medical terminology. Employers do prefer students who have completed a bachelor’s degree program. After students complete a post-secondary education in respiratory therapy, they must gain on-the-job experience by working under the supervision of a qualified and experienced respiratory therapist. In order to work independently, respiratory therapists must be certified and licensed. Respiratory therapists may obtain two certifications from the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC): the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT). To qualify for certification, students must have completed a degree program in respiratory therapy and pass a comprehensive examination that measures the students’ knowledge and skills in this field.

In addition to the education, work experience, certification, and licensure requirements, respiratory therapists should encompass a number of skills that are necessary for success in this profession. Because they work closely with physicians and patients, respiratory therapists must have exceptional interpersonal and communication skills. They must be able to actively listen to others as well as interact in a polite and helpful manner. Respiratory therapists work as part of a team therefore teamwork skills are also important. Effective problem-solving skills are essential since they have to determine the best treatment plan for patients. Because respiratory therapists spend long periods of time with patients, patience and empathy are needed.

Those who encompass these skills and qualities mentioned above, excel in the associate’s or bachelor’s degree program in respiratory therapy, become certified and licensed, and have a passion to help others will no doubt be successful in this challenging, important, and rewarding field.

The following link is related to pursuing a career as a respiratory therapist.

http://www.educationchoices.com/

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Helen Immelstadt

About Helen Immelstadt

About The Author: Helen Immelstadt has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. She has worked in the psychology and medical field for over 27 years and has an extensive background in writing. She is currently working as a freelance writer while also writing her book about online psychology programs.

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