Criteria In Choosing A Respiratory Therapy School
If you want to help people with breathing problems, then enroll in a respiratory therapy school. You're not studying to be a doctor or a nurse, but it's an allied health specialty that is becoming a critical part of emergency teams. Take advantage of the growing demand by scouting for good respiratory therapist schools.
Certified or registered
To increase your chances of earning a better salary and advancing your career, you will have to either be a certified or registered respiratory therapist or technician.
To qualify for testing and be awarded the certified respiratory therapist (CRT) credential, you need to complete at least a two-year associate degree. The National Board for Respiratory Care administers the test. If you want to become a registered respiratory therapist, you will need to graduate from advanced programs and pass two other tests.
Accreditation and licenses
As with most training in health care courses, you will want to find an accredited respiratory therapy school or program to ensure you get the standard of education acceptable to the industry. For respiratory therapy, that will be recognition by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. With an accredited program, you are guaranteed the skills developed and training you undergo is acceptable to future employers and will qualify you for certification.
A license is necessary to practice in all states except Hawaii and Alaska. When you meet the requirements for certification, you will most likely be granted a license to practice. It is fact your chances of earning more increases when you are a certified professional. And that is your goal when you study to become a respiratory therapist or technician.
A good respiratory therapy school will teach you to be a competent respiratory care practitioner. That means knowing how to care for patients with lung problems. Conditions that usually need treatment or management can either be bronchitis, asthma, COPD or worse, lung cancer. Much of the satisfaction derived by a respiratory therapist from the job is knowing they are able to help people breathe or breathe better.
You are in charge of evaluating, analyzing then consulting with the physician on the kind of treatment or medication to be given a patient for his specific condition. You work with vents, nebulizers and respirators. You can be handling infants, adults or seniors.
Factors when looking for a school
With so many institutions offering programs to help you become a respiratory therapist or technician, you will need to have a criteria to make the best choice. The American Association for Respiratory Care can guide you in the search for schools. But here are three things to consider when checking out colleges or universities are:
1. Admission requirements. It's not just about choosing the top school. It is also about taking a look at your capability. The best school is one that will most suit your needs and goals, whether you complete the program on campus or online.
The basic requirement is a high school diploma or GED. But consider your grades, especially in science subjects. It will be to your advantage if you took up advances courses. Aside from your previous marks, your level of commitment and dedication as well as effort should give you an indication whether a school is right for you. Find one that will challenge you best.
2. Clinical training component. Your end goal after attending a respiratory therapy school is to become a practitioner. You will need to learn quite a bit from theoretical instruction. But more importantly, check if the school will provide you with as much clinical training as possible. A respiratory technician works directly with patients and uses a variety of equipment for treatment.
3. Faculty. You can only be as good as the instructors who teach and help develop your skills. Learn about the teachers of the school you are planning to enroll in. Are they practitioners themselves? How much training do they have? Most websites include information about their faculty so be sure to check this out in the course of your research.
Before there was a respiratory therapist career, nursing courses pretty much taught these skills. But specialization is now the way to go. Get ahead of the pack. Ensure you are choosing the best respiratory therapy school for you.