Find out why respiratory training can be a rewarding career path!
Do you like giving back to those in need? If you enjoy helping and caring for others, perhaps a career in healthcare could be a rewarding and valuable career path. Healthcare workers of all varieties can assist the health and comfort of patients. One interesting career path is that of a respiratory therapist.
Respiratory therapists are the medical practitioners who work with patients who have breathing illnesses like asthma or emphysema. They help patients of all ages, from babies to seniors. They even provide care to patients who suffer from heart attacks, drowning, or shock.
If you're thinking about going back to school for respiratory therapy, our article explores what you need to know about training for this career path.
What do respiratory therapists do?
Respiratory therapists are essential healthcare professionals are responsible for performing tests to evaluate patients for respiratory and chronic illnesses. They use instruments to test lung capacity which measures the volume and flow of oxygen. They may also draw blood and use a blood gas analyzer to identify blood oxygen and carbon monoxide levels.
During a typical work day, they may:
- Communicate with and examine patients with breathing problems or cardiopulmonary disorders
- Develop patient treatment plans with physician guidance
- Perform diagnostic test like measuring lung capacity
- Treat patients with various methods like aerosol medications and chest physiotherapy
- Monitor and record patient symptoms and status
- Educate patients on proper use of treatments and equipment (like ventilators)
How do I become a respiratory therapist?
Respiratory therapists need to complete specific training to become professionals. Training programs require that you have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. In some cases, remote learning opportunities may be available followed by a hands-on internship experience. A respiratory training program usually takes about a year-and-a-half to complete.
What should I look for in a training program?
If you’re considering applying to a training program, you should look for several things when conducting your research. Make sure to look at:
- Program accreditation
- Background/founding of the program
- The job outlook
- Opportunity for an associate or bachelor's degree
- Program requirements
- Up-to-date facilities and hands-on training
- Duration of the program
- A class schedule that is convenient for you
- Opportunities for financial assistance
What is the job outlook for respiratory therapists?
The career outlook for respiratory therapists is positive. The Occupational Outlook Handbook projects that respiratory therapy will grow by 12 percent from 2014-2024. This is much faster than the average for other careers listed in the handbook. This expected growth rate may be due to the increase in the elderly population and, as a result, the advancement of respiratory conditions like pneumonia or COPD.
What are you waiting for? If you want to be a crucial caregiver in the healthcare industry, then now may be a great time to start a career that can give you great pride! This career path gives you the opportunities to work with directly with others and help give a great sense of relief to others.
The American College for Medical Careers (ACMC) features information on its programs in our weekly blog. For more information for this training program, contact us at your most convenient time.