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What Is Respiratory Therapist
Respiratory therapists might not sound familiar but they are indispensable in medical field. Respiratory Therapists or known as well as RT are professionals dealing not only health issues covering respiratory system but also wide-range subject of cardiopulmonary system.
They are a very specialized and highly skilled health care practitioner who have been specifically trained in pulmonary medicine and treatment. Respiratory therapists work in various health condition of their patients, from immediate and short-term illness up to acute sickness.
They are responsible for the emergency care of breathing problem, like heart attacks, drowning, and shock. RTs also equipped with knowledge in treatment of dysfunction of cardiopulmonary system and therapy to relief people suffers from illness such as asthma and emphysema.
As a therapist their main task is to give care in form of assertion and treatment to patients. Likewise, their duty does not limit only to emergency incidents. They also measure patient health in the long-run by preventing breathing problems and work to ease patients with chronic diseases.
What It Takes To Be a Respiratory Therapist
Being a specialized profession doesn’t mean that RTs had it easy in medical school. If anything, being a specialist means you need to learn more instead. As the important function that served by RTs in medical circumstances, they are integral members in a team of healthcare team (especially during an emergency situation). Therefore, RTs are required to have a broad and better knowledge in one of the most complex and vital system in human body.
Insights and mastery in pathophysiology of the cardiopulmonary system is a must. This include the complicated and precarious procedures needed to diagnose as well as to treat their patients in every range of age, from infants in cases like premature delivery and elderly with a worsening lung condition. Conclusively, an adequate training and education is compulsory to become a proper respiratory therapist.
Apart from the science and math skills, respiratory therapists are bound to develop attributes and qualities crucial for their work, such as: patience, problem-solving skills, interpersonal skill, tolerance and sympathy, as well as a detail-oriented ethic. These traits are actually common for all health care professions because being a medic does require more than just ambition and intelligence but also a motivation to help others in need.
Job Opportunity for Respiratory Therapist
Anyway, working in the medic may not sound like an easy way, but the career path sure is promising. Despite the on-going debate on how much worth of taking the choice on becoming respiratory therapist rather than nurse or any other medical profession, the data from Bureau of Labor Statistics in US have shown that RTs are indeed a promising line of career in medical field. The employment rate of RTs are seeking to grow up to 23% from 2016 to 2026, a much high number in comparison to other health care practitioner.
The projection is based from the fact that respiratory problems are getting worst today as the result of air pollution, especially in big cities. In which, the general population are more exposed to smoke from vehicles and industrial gas residue that could affected general population to suffers from breathing disorders and other respiratory problems.
RTs role today are more crucial than ever. Considering the growth in older population, this generation are more susceptible for incidences related to respiratory health and condition. As more people taking an increasing concern in health, not only does the improved medications and more sophisticated treatments for respiratory issues will be on demand. The advances in preventing, detecting, and diagnosing of diseases will unquestionably see the raise in number of RTs position in the near future. Medical facilities like, hospitals
Education Program To Be A Respiratory Therapist (You Need To Plan Ahead)
As tempting and promising as it is, for those who are interested in becoming a respiratory therapist, it is best to take into account many factors before deciding on a career path and the education required accordingly. Many factors should be taking into account (and most particularly calculation) for value and investment of the job. Before starting anything, you will need to check up on salary and incentives, working environment, and asking advice from an RT himself/herself on the job prospects as well as their own experiences within it.
Generally speaking, RTs work full time as most of them are positioned in a 24-hour medical facilities like hospitals. Although, there are also few who works in doctor’s office and nursing homes. As many other health practitioners, RTs have mostly been known to work in a flexible timeline, vary from evening, nights, and weekend days.
In order to become an RT, one must possess an associate’s degree. However, employers may have prefer an RT with a bachelor’s degree. Many institution offers RT education program, from colleges and university to vocational or technical institutes. Before you enroll in one of them, it is important to note that you choose a program that has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. The accreditation might be required when you apply for licensure as it is preferred for RT to get a license that can increase experiences and enhance his/her competitiveness to land a job in the field. Meanwhile, the licensure requirements are differs from one state to another, but most of them include a condition where an RT have to pass a state or professional certification exam. So be sure to plan ahead and be very attentive in choosing your program and desired state to obtain license from.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics website, respiratory therapist program chiefly include courses as follows; human anatomy, physiology, chemistry, physics, microbiology, pharmacology, and math. That is why, if you are still in high school and interested in taking the respiratory therapist program after graduation, then it is best to at least take courses in health, biology, math, chemistry, and physics beforehand.
Besides all the general subjects listed above, specialized courses are also commonly offered covering the subjects dealing with 1) therapeutic, diagnostic, and test procedures, 2) equipment, 3) patient assessment, and 4) cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). On average, the respiratory therapist program is not only covers coursework but also added supervised clinical activity components to allow their students attain practical experience in treating patients.
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