Respiratory Therapist Vs Nurse: Which Will You Choose?
Your interests, abilities and personality should be taken into account when you are faced with a dilemma such as: respiratory therapist vs nurse. Decades ago, there would have been little contest. Since the nurse was the go-to guy of physicians, they were made to learn as much about health care and the medical profession to competently perform the job of serving as doctor's assistant.
Around twenty years ago, medical technicians with specializations were rare. Today most any medical condition has its own specialist, from the technician, nurse to primary doctor. And what used to be dominated by nurses now has its own specialist.
So unless the registered nurse takes up further studies and training for specialized care, it is the pulmonary therapist with a deeper understanding and knowledge of concerns involving the lungs and breathing.
Which is better?
The respiratory therapist vs nurse debate continues to rage with many CRTs or RRTs feeling marginalized by their counterparts. Yet it cannot be denied how much of an asset respiratory therapists can be.
An LPN can, with enough training and diploma courses, perform the job of a respiratory therapist. Becoming a practical nurse is a valuable experience for those wanting to shift and become an RT.
From the beginning, the educational requirements for either a pulmonary therapist or a nurse are pretty much the same. In the same way there are diploma courses for RTs, you can get your feet wet by learning the life of a nurse through a certified nursing assistant program or even a licensed practical nurse course. This is just one bone of contention in the respiratory therapist vs nurse issue.
An entry level position for respiratory therapists requires at least an associate degree followed by passage of the national licensure examinations that will also award applicants a certification in recognition of their knowledge and training.
Earn a bachelor or masters degree in respiratory care and you can boost your income chances. There are supervisory and administrative positions that will be open to you to start your respiratory therapist career path.
Who works harder?
The role of a respiratory care practitioner has changed over the last 40 years. Whereas before, they were known as inhalation therapists and were mostly responsible administering neb treatments, today they have more critical functions that require highly skilled and knowledgeable individuals.
The respiratory technician or therapist deals with patients suffering from lung problems. These may be specific concerns like bronchitis, asthma, or emphysema where patients experience difficulty breathing, and those who suffered from heart attacks or trauma.
They are also an essential part of the emergency team, handling respirators and other breathing apparatus during operations. In critical care situations, a pulmonary technician is likely on hand.
The contest as to who does better is becoming more pronounced lately. The respiratory therapist vs nurse battle will be long drawn out. Both professionals just have to respect each of their positions.
Which professional earns most?
Salary-wise, it is the respiratory therapist that can earn more, with the lowest salary range at $18 per hour. Some entry level nurses only make $14 or even less. This is due to the technical nature of their job.
Over time, pay can reach $40 an hour in areas like California where the cost of living is high and the demand for these skilled professionals is rising. Supervisory positions will also be available to RTs.
A nurse, on the other hand, will need to specialize to be able to reach that salary scale. Once they have gained experience, earned credentials and demonstrated their expertise, a nurse can also be earning upwards of $60,000 annually.
The respiratory therapist vs nurse contest will continue but knowing both are working to prove their worthiness can only redound to the benefit of patients.