Respiratory Therapy Career Overview: Duties And Qualities Of A Respiratory Therapist, Job Prospects

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Nowadays, the field of Respiratory Therapy is quickly growing and requires a great number of experienced respiratory therapists. Respiratory Therapy includes the assessment, treatment and taking proper medical care of patients suffering from cardiopulmonary and other breathing diseases. The patients of respiratory therapists may belong to different categories, beginning from premature infants and finishing with the old people who have different illnesses of the lungs. As a rule a respiratory therapist deals with such patients who suffer from chronic lung diseases, including emphysema and asthma or this category of people who have been the victims of shock, drowning, stroke or heart attacks and need an immediate medical care. Generally, certified respiratory therapists (RTs) have to co-work closely with physicians. Their major responsibility is to diagnose the patients and to provide therapeutic treatment of patients as well as the supervision of respiratory technicians. RTs are greatly demanded to offer and develop personalized plans of taking care of their patients as well as providing more complicated therapeutic procedures. Today, a great number of patients requiring the help of a respiratory therapist belong to those situation when the help is required as soon as possible, that is immediate cases. Sometimes, these people need just temporary intensive care and sometimes constant lifelong care is needed.

It has to be emphasized that RTs fulfill a great number of different job responsibilities. They have to manage various diagnostic tests, to assess the patients and their health states, to accomplish physical examinations of different kinds and to systematically evaluate the progress of their patients. Those patients, who need to use life support systems and ventilators during some time or even during the whole life, may use the service of respiratory therapists at home. Another job responsibility of the RT is to check up and support the proper work of life support systems and ventilators as well as other sorts of equipment. They also should consult the patient about its correct usage and to control that the patient applies this or that facility in a right way in order not to harm the health even greater.

Speaking about the education of RTs it should be mentioned that all of them receive special training in chest physiotherapy. This knowledge is extremely important to help the patients with breathing problems and to make the process of breathing easier for them. Those respiratory therapists who work in hospitals sometimes fulfill more than their own job responsibilities. Thus, they may provide such services as case management, disease prevention, pulmonary rehabilitation and helping people in giving up smoking. Very often, respiratory therapists are required to become the members of critical care teams for the work in hospitals and the armed forces.

Now ask yourself a question – are you ready to start a career of a respiratory therapist? If you still can’t answer this question completely, you may check up whether this profession is really your piece of cake. Well, if you consider yourself to be capable of following instructions easily, thorough paying attention to detail, working with the computer on a good level and working as a significant part of a team, you may be almost sure that the field of respiratory therapy is a possible career choice for you.

Young people who have strong mathematical skills are considered to be the best candidates for the successful career in respiratory care. The matter is that work in this field includes dealing much with patients and other clinicians. It is not the job for people who like to sit on one and the same place, a respiratory therapist is an active doctor working ion the front scene in the laboratory surrounding. Respiratory therapists should be clever people as they have to apply high-tech equipment and the latest medical techniques in order to assist other people in different extreme situations.

In order to be able to start building a successful career as a respiratory therapist an individual will need to obtain a degree in Respiratory Therapy at first. This degree requires courses in such subjects as biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and health in high school. In order to receive the right of getting employment as a respiratory therapist, an individual is required to earn at least an Associate’s degree in this field. Nevertheless, it has to be emphasized that a Bachelor’s degree is more preferable. In the contemporary educational sphere, the greater number of colleges provide their students with both, on-campus and online Respiratory Therapy degrees. The curriculum of the online Respiratory Therapy course includes such subjects as physics, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, microbiology, and, of course, mathematics. A lot of courses also suggest training in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures as well as in disease prevention, patient assessment, home care for patients, testing, equipment maintenance, respiratory health promotion, and cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation.

The greater number of the states in the United States of America demands from respiratory therapists earning a license before they start their practice. If an individual meets all of these professional requirements he or she could receive two certifications to add to the credentials – Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) and Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT). Successful passing of the CRT examination is going to qualify a person as a respiratory therapist in the greater part of the states in the United States of America. Almost all of the hospitals and employers may also require from a respiratory therapist a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification as well. By the way, if you an individual would like to make a career in intensive-care or in a supervisory position, a RRT certification will be f great help.

So, respiratory therapists may start working in the field by earning the required license to practice – with an Associate’s Degree, a Bachelor’s Degree, or even a Master’s Degree received by means of a post-graduate program. Associate of Science in Respiratory Therapy programs are usually offered by community colleges, and unfortunately, opportunities for advancement in the respiratory therapy field are very few. The reason is that these degrees demand less classes and the education is not as advanced as a 4-year degree.

As far as it is known, the population of the United States of America ages and the cases of cardio pulmonary diseases are continuing growing with a quick pace. As a result, there is a growing need for respiratory therapists in this country. And as a consequence, you may be quite sure that job opportunities are expected to increase in number for students who are willing to create a successful career in the field of respiratory therapy. The major places of employment for respiratory therapists are, undoubtedly, hospitals. Nevertheless, as it was already mentioned, respiratory therapists can also choose to work in home of the patient as health care providers. Besides, respiratory therapists may be employed in private clinics, healthcare agencies, and different educational establishments like schools, universities, colleges, etc. they may even work with respiratory equipment manufacturers.

Summing up, it would be necessary to emphasize that with medical advancements, scientific and technological progress, the need for experienced and professional respiratory therapists is expected to continue growing with a stable speed. So, if you are quite sure in your professional inclinations, you are welcome to build your future in the field of respiratory therapy.

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