Respiratory therapy training programs are designed to educate students on the background knowledge and job duties of a licensed respiratory therapist. These programs are taught primarily in training institutions such as junior colleges, universities, and career institutes.
Respiratory therapist education usually consists of an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree program in respiratory therapy, though other levels of education also exist. Associate’s degree programs typically last two years, while bachelor’s degree programs last four years. The degree program you choose will depend on what you want out of your education and career, but generally higher levels of education allow further career advancement and potentially higher salaries.
Respiratory Therapist Education Curriculum
Respiratory therapists train to work under a doctor’s supervision treating people who have breathing and cardiovascular problems. The subjects studied by respiratory therapy students provide the foundation knowledge to the job duties they will perform, and include topics like:
- Life sciences
- Medical terminology
- Respiratory health
- Respiratory therapy theory and practice
- Patient care basics
Specific courses studied will depend on the program and level of education sought.
Enrolling in a Respiratory Therapist Training Program
To apply for a respiratory therapist training program you will need a high school diploma or equivalent.
Most respiratory therapy training programs allow online enrollment through the school’s website. Students typically pay annual tuition, a per-unit course fee, and other fees as well as an enrollment deposit. The enrollment process may require documents such as:
- High school transcripts
- Letters of recommendation
- Scores from exams such as the PSB Health Occupations Aptitude Examination
In addition, the application process for respiratory therapy programs may include an essay, as well as professional documents such as a resume or CV. Speak to representatives from several respiratory therapist schools to learn what is required for each program.
Though not a prerequisite for any respiratory therapist training program, you will also need a certain type of temperament and personality to succeed as a respiratory therapist. Because you will be treating patients who have breathing conditions, you will need to be sensitive to their possible fear and pain. You must also respond well to stressful situations, pay attention to minute details, and work well as part of a team.
After Respiratory Therapist Training
Once you earn your degree from one of the respiratory therapist training programs, the next step is to become licensed. Respiratory therapist licensing is required in all states except Alaska. After passing the licensing exam, though, you will be ready to begin looking for your first job.
In addition, you can take to increase your chances of finding high paying work by completing a respiratory therapist certification program. By becoming certified, you will be demonstrating to employers that you have the skills, knowledge, and dedication to work in this fast-paced field.
Respiratory Therapist Training Programs Enrolling Now
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