How Can You Begin a Career in Respiratory Therapy?

You have probably been wondering what you are going to do for your career. There are many options, but few are as rewarding as becoming an integral part of healthcare. Healthcare and wellness treatment careers have many personal rewards including satisfaction, fulfillment, career demand and compensation.

Too many people equate being in healthcare with being a doctor or a nurse in a hospital. There are so many other requirements for the healthcare system to run properly. Specialist therapists assist people with a specific condition. Administrators help to set up training for healthcare professionals and provide logistical support to healthcare professionals. There’s many ways to help people in healthcare. 

Why not become a respiratory system therapist?

The demand for respiratory therapists is incredibly high. It is also a career that offers a high level of job security due to this high demand. One of the reasons this field is exciting is the constant development and research that is undergoing in biomedical technology. New treatments and plans are always being developed to assist people. People who choose to take part in respiratory therapy often get to know their patients really well and make a significant difference in their life. It’s a chance to have a career that’s about more than just money. 

With all the healthcare careers out there, how do you decide which one is ideal for you? This is by no means an easy choice. Take the following statements. These statements are the kind of words that will be spoken by someone interested in a career in respiratory therapy. 

  • “I appreciate assisting people out when they are in need.”
  • “I like dealing with modern technology and I'm good at math and science.”
  • “I prefer to function in an occupation that offers variety in how to perform tasks.”
  • “I want to have the ability to select exactly what kind of setting I operate in, and the sort of patients I collaborate with.”
  • “I'm trying to find a profession with numerous possibilities for innovation-- not just one.”
  • “I'm searching for an occupation with multiple avenues of improvement and advancement -- not simply one.”

Education Needed

If you’re interested in this kind of career, the first step is going to be getting the education required to properly become a respiratory therapist. There’s two different options. The first is an Associate’s degree. This is a course that is completed over two years. Associate’s degrees will often focus more on the practical than the theoretical. Choosing an Associate’s degree can result in some lower salaries. 

The second option is to complete a 4 year Bachelor’s degree. This is the standard college style degree program. There may be a lot more theory involved than in the Associate’s degree option. People who choose to get a Bachelor’s degree may take a lot of math and science courses. These often are designed for a theoretical education which can assist when further advances are made in the field. 

After school is complete, there’s still one final hurdle to deal with. Each one of the continental United States requires licensing. There is a national exam that needs to be taken and passed to become a certified respiratory therapist. From there, the next step is becoming a registered respiratory therapist, which takes an additional two exams.