How to Choose a Respiratory Therapy SchoolRespiratory therapy can be a great career choice, since it allows you to contrib...
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How to Choose a Respiratory Therapy School


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The article "How to Choose a Respiratory Therapy School" guides the students with choosing a respiratory therapy school and will showcase the factors which need to be considered while selecting a respiratory therapy school. The factors include but are not limited to the type of program, the courses covered, accreditation by CoARC, prepares you for certifications or not, mode of the program and the duration of the program.

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How to Choose a Respiratory Therapy School

  1. 1. How to Choose a Respiratory Therapy SchoolRespiratory therapy can be a great career choice, since it allows you to contribute to the welfare and wellbeing of others, and can offer a good salary package and career stability. According to the U.S. Bureau ofLabor Statistics, respiratory therapists earned an average of $52,200 and held about 105,900 jobs in2008. Furthermore, the employment rate for respiratory therapists is estimated to increase by 21% by2018, due to the increasing population of seniors in the United States.*As a high school student interested in pursuing this career, you should focus on mathematics, biology,physics, chemistry, and health. In order to become a respiratory therapist, you need either an Associate’sor Bachelor’s degree in Respiratory Therapy from an accredited college. This is where the dilemma canbegin: choosing a respiratory therapy school and program that is best for your career. First, you need todecide which is better for you: an associate’s program or a bachelor’s program. You can gain employmentas a respiratory therapist with either degree, but each has its separate advantages.A bachelor’s degree generally takes 3–4 years to complete, and will better prepare you for supervisoryroles, which can help you move up the ladder in terms of your job profile and salary more quickly. Anassociate’s degree, on the other hand, generally takes two years to complete, and some colleges willallow you to complete it in even less time, which means that you can obtain entry-level employment andstart earning a paycheck in a shorter span of time than you would have if you had enrolled in a traditionalprogram.Once you’ve decided which respiratory therapy degree works for you, you need to settle on a college.Many people find that they have constraints when it comes to attending college full-time. In this case, youcan choose an online program; several colleges offer online respiratory therapy degrees, which provideyou online instruction options from home, and let you complete practical experience through a localfacility. However, many people find that they need face-to-face interaction and instruction in order toexcel, especially since respiratory therapy is an extremely hands-on profession. If you fall into thiscategory of students, it’s best to opt for a traditional degree.Whichever track you choose, you should look for a respiratory therapy school that will give you a rounded,thorough education that includes theoretical instruction and practical training; this will help prepare you forand ease your transition into your professional life. Look for colleges that offer clinical experience as wellas theoretical instruction on general and cardio-pulmonary anatomy, patient assessment, respiratory care,cardio-pulmonary diagnostics and monitoring, lung expansion therapy, bronchial hygiene, and traumacare, as well as offer a clinical practicum that allows you to use what you’ve learned in a real-worldsituation.In addition to a respiratory therapist degree, most states mandate that you carry certaincertifications/licenses/credentials that meet the requirements of the National Board for Respiratory Care.You should look at programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care(CoARC) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), becausethe National Board for Respiratory Care gives graduates of programs with these accreditations a CertifiedRespiratory Therapist (CRT) credential. You can gain this credential with an accredited associate’s orbachelor’s degree. However, in order to gain a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential, youneed to pass the written and clinical simulation portions of the RRT Examinations. Also, most employersprefer applicants who have a CPR certification.All in all, your education and certification affect your professional success to a great extent, especiallywhen it comes to respiratory therapy—your patients’ lives are in your hands. So it’s important that youhave a strong foundation. Hence, picking the right degree, college, and program is of utmost importance.Source:*