Have you been dreaming of becoming a respiratory therapist? Is that the option you want to take in the medical sector? Well then keep reading to know more!
What do I learn to become a respiratory therapist?
The minimum degree that a respiratory therapist needs is a bachelor’s or an associate’s degree. All employers do prefer candidates with more levels of education but this is the minimum needed to get you to the job. This training is offered by many hospitals, universities, schools and also the Armed Forces and most of these programs will award you a bachelor’s degree. These training programs will include topics like chemistry, microbiology, physiology, physics and math. If your high school education included subjects like biology, chemistry and physics, the training program will only be all the more easier for you!
Okay. Are these technicians licensed?
This requirement can vary according to the states though they are licensed in all the states but in the state of Alaska.
So is certification a necessity?
Well certification is not a compulsion. Though potential employers will look for candidates with certification first and certified technicians always have an upper hand on the duties and responsibilities. So it is always advised to become certified, even though it may take a little bit more time. It is definitely worth it.
Certification will require graduation from an accredited program. The National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) is the organization responsible for certifying technicians. To be certified, you will need to pass a certification exam governed by them.
What are the quintessential qualities I should have to be a respiratory therapist?
Well, if you are becoming one, patience is a major quality that you should possess. You might need to work for a single patient for long periods of time. You should also be kind hearted and compassionate to provide the emotional support that patients will need.
You should be detail oriented to monitor and record all the pieces of information that is related to patients. Your problem-solving skills should be consistent and strong. You will need to evaluate and treat the symptoms of the patients and recommend the appropriate treatments.
What will my duties be as a respiratory therapist?
The basic job of a respiratory therapist is to examine and treat patients with breathing or cardiopulmonary problems. They care for patients who have difficulty in breathing, for instance, a person suffering from a chronic respiratory disease such as emphysema or asthma.
The patients can be tiny little babies to elderly patients. Your duties will be typically the following:
– Examining and interviewing the patients with respiratory problems
– Treating the patients using various methods which includes different medications
– Educating patients about the various treatments
– Performing diagnostics like measuring the lung capacity
– Monitoring and recording every step of the treatment
– Consulting with physicians to develop patient treatment plans.
They also perform chest physiotherapy on the patients to eliminate any kind of mucus from their lungs which makes it easier for them to respire. This is a major step in making the patient feel better and is also a very risky step. It involves the vibrating of the rib cage by the therapist to remove all the mucus. This is done by tapping the chest and telling the patient to cough simultaneously.
Where will I be working?
If you qualify as a certified respiratory therapist, there are plenty of places that you can work in. hospitals, doctor’s clinic, medical facilities and also the Armed Forces (it would only be an honor working there!). You will need to operate equipment and ensure that the patient is correctly breathing, receiving the right amount of oxygen through the tube that is inserted into the trachea.