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How To Choose A Respiratory Therapy School

Author : Scott C

Submitted : 2012-01-30 17:37:25    Word Count : 691    Popularity:   9

Tags:   how to choose a respiratory therapy school, choosing a respiratory therapy school, respiratory therapy school, respiratory therapist degree

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Respiratory therapy can be a great career choice, since it allows you to contribute to the welfare and well being of others, and can offer a good salary package and career stability. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, respiratory therapists earned an average of $52,200 and held about 105,900 jobs in 2008. Furthermore, the employment rate for respiratory therapists is estimated to increase by 21% by 2018, due to the increasing population of seniors in the United States.*As a high school student interested in pursuing this career, you should focus on mathematics, biology, physics, chemistry, and health. In order to become a respiratory therapist, you need either an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in Respiratory Therapy from an accredited college. This is where the dilemma can begin: choosing a respiratory therapy school and program that is best for your career. First, you need to decide which is better for you: an associate’s program or a bachelor’s program. You can gain employment as a respiratory therapist with either degree, but each has its separate advantages.A bachelor’s degree generally takes 3–4 years to complete, and will better prepare you for supervisory roles, which can help you move up the ladder in terms of your job profile and salary more quickly. An associate’s degree, on the other hand, generally takes two years to complete, and some colleges will allow you to complete it in even less time, which means that you can obtain entry-level employment and start earning a paycheck in a shorter span of time than you would have if you had enrolled in a traditional program.Once you’ve decided which respiratory therapy degree works for you, you need to settle on a college. Many people find that they have constraints when it comes to attending college full-time. In this case, you can choose an online program; several colleges offer online respiratory therapy degrees, which provide you online instruction options from home, and let you complete practical experience through a local facility. However, many people find that they need face-to-face interaction and instruction in order to excel, especially since respiratory therapy is an extremely hands-on profession. If you fall into this category of students, it’s best to opt for a traditional degree.Whichever track you choose, you should look for a respiratory therapy school that will give you a rounded, thorough education that includes theoretical instruction and practical training; this will help prepare you for and ease your transition into your professional life. Look for colleges that offer clinical experience as well as theoretical instruction on general and cardio-pulmonary anatomy, patient assessment, respiratory care, cardio-pulmonary diagnostics and monitoring, lung expansion therapy, bronchial hygiene, and trauma care, as well as offer a clinical practicum that allows you to use what you’ve learned in a real-world situation.In addition to a respiratory therapist degree, most states mandate that you carry certain certifications/licenses/credentials that meet the requirements of the National Board for Respiratory Care. You should look at programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), because the National Board for Respiratory Care gives graduates of programs with these accreditations a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential. You can gain this credential with an accredited associate’s or bachelor’s degree. However, in order to gain a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential, you need to pass the written and clinical simulation portions of the RRT Examinations. Also, most employers prefer applicants who have a CPR certification.All in all, your education and certification affect your professional success to a great extent, especially when it comes to respiratory therapy—your patients’ lives are in your hands. So it’s important that you have a strong foundation. Hence, picking the right degree, college, and program is of utmost importance.Source:* bls.gov/oco/ocos321.htm

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Stevens-Henager College was established in 1891 and is one of the oldest colleges in Utah, offering degree programs for masters, bachelors, associates, and associate’s of occupational studies degrees. Working professionals can enhance their careers and qualifications with the online degree programs offered by Stevens-Henager College’s Salt Lake City/Murray campus.

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