Respiratory Care Degree With Clinical Practice Emphasis – Critical Care

If you’re looking for a college major that can lead to a personally and professionally rewarding career, then a good option is a respiratory care degree.This program is ideally suited for individuals who have the drive to help others in their time of need; respond well to emergency situations; have a calm head on their shoulders; are compassionate and patient human beings; demonstrate excellent communication skills; and like working with technology.But what is it exactly that respiratory care practitioners or respiratory therapists (RTs) do on a day-to-day basis?The job of an RT is to evaluate, treat, and care for patients who have breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders. They work alongside doctors, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners to discharge a variety of duties that may include:Diagnosing patients with lung and breathing disorders
Recommending and providing appropriate treatment
Providing emergency care to patients who have had heart attacks, strokes, etc.
Interviewing patients and conducting physical examinations
Educating patients on how to use breathing aids properly
Assessing and maintaining medical equipment
Performing rehabilitative therapies on patientsSome respiratory therapists may get involved in specialized roles that involve smoking cessation counseling, disease prevention, case management, and diagnosing breathing disorders during sleep such as sleep apnea.Education and Advancement An associate’s in respiratory care program is the minimum requirement for entry into this profession. Such programs are offered at colleges, universities, trade schools, and medical schools.All the U.S. states except Alaska and Hawaii require respiratory care practitioners to be licensed. The National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) offers two credentials to RTs who meet specific requirements:Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT): Conferred on RTs who graduate from an entry-level or advanced program and pass an examination.
Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT): Awarded to RTs who graduate from advanced programs and pass two separate examinations.Even though it’s possible to secure entry-level RT roles with an associate’s degree, a Bachelor’s in Respiratory Care is generally considered the gateway to professional advancement. Many of these Bachelor’s in Respiratory Care programs are completion programs that are designed specifically for practicing RTs who want to go back to school for career advancement.Such degree programs, along with experience, help RTs advance from general care to critical care. Some respiratory therapists move into supervisory or management positions in the respiratory therapy department of a hospital after graduating from advanced respiratory care programs.These programs look to build on the existing theoretical knowledge and clinical experience of RTs by covering advanced courses in patient assessment, cardiopulmonary diagnostics, cardiopulmonary pathology, neonatal-pediatric pathology, case management, etc.In addition to an advanced respiratory care degree and experience, supervisory and critical care positions usually require respiratory therapists to have the RRT license.Job Outlook Thanks to the growing number of baby boomers who are reaching retirement age and the susceptibility of elderly folk to cardiopulmonary disorders, the demand for licensed and qualified respiratory therapists is on the rise.If you want to seize the opportunity to pursue a career in a growing and exciting healthcare field, now’s the time to enroll in this program that can set you off on that path. The median salary of a qualified respiratory care therapist, depending on location and education, is $55,200*.The possibility of great money, challenging work, and bright career prospects, and the personal gratification of having helped people in need-respiratory therapy has got all the ingredients of a fabulous profession.Sources:*