Respiratory therapy is a medical profession that cares for patients with breathing problems. They assess, diagnose, treat and manage patients with respiratory conditions, such as asthma and cystic fibrosis. Respiratory therapists (RTs) also work with patients who have sleep apnea, lung cancer, and other respiratory diseases. They may also work in the critical care unit of a hospital, helping patients who are on a ventilator to breathe. Working in respiratory therapy can be both rewarding and challenging, which is why many students are interested in becoming respiratory therapists. If you want to learn more, read on to find out what to expect from a career in respiratory therapy.
What can you expect from a career in respiratory therapy?
First, let’s discuss what you need to become a respiratory therapist. There are many things that are required to become a respiratory therapist. In order to become a respiratory therapist, you will need to have a BS in respiratory therapy. You will also need to have a license to practice respiratory therapy, which involves passing the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) exam. The good news is that you can complete your BS through an online degree program if you so choose, which makes obtaining an education even more accessible and affordable for all students.
In terms of what you can expect on the job, respiratory therapists work with patients of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, and can help with a variety of issues, including asthma, pneumonia, and cystic fibrosis. RTs typically work in hospitals, but can also be found in clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities. They work with a team of healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and other therapists, to develop a treatment plan for each patient. You can even pursue higher education in the form of a graduate degree or additional certifications so you can qualify for jobs with more responsibility.
Additionally, RTs assist patients with breathing by providing treatments such as chest physiotherapy, airway clearance, and oxygen therapy. They also educate patients and their families about respiratory conditions and how to manage them. Overall, RTs play an essential role in the healthcare team, and their work can make a difference in the lives of patients and their families. Aspiring therapists should also know that they can expect to make more than the median salary in the United States, and have reliable job security.
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Respiratory therapists help patients breathe easier, feel more comfortable, and recover from respiratory illnesses and injuries. It’s understandable that it is becoming a desirable career, especially when you consider that respiratory therapists make above-average salaries and often receive generous benefits. You will need to complete your education and obtain appropriate licensure, but that training is more accessible than ever thanks to advances in educational technology. If you follow this advice, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a professional respiratory therapist.