Friday, January 19, 2018

How to Become a Respiratory Therapist

People suffering from conditions like emphysema and asthma go to respiratory therapists who treat them by administering oxygen to their lungs using ventilation devices. Respiratory therapists can also assist someone who has just had a stroke or a heart attack regain his normal way of breathing. You will find these professionals in nursing homes and hospitals.

Other respiratory therapists travel to a patient’s home to install the respiratory equipment so that they can use it from home. has helpful resources to get you started on the journey to becoming a respiratory therapist. The following are the steps you will need to take in that journey:

Step #1: Obtain an Undergraduate Degree

To become a sought-after respiratory therapist, the first step will involve obtaining an undergraduate degree in respiratory care at an accredited university. Typically, the undergraduate degree curriculum will include coursework in, among other things, clinical respiratory procedures and care, pathophysiology, advanced respiratory theory, pharmacology, and mechanical ventilation.

Almost all the programs you can enroll in will require you to pass a competency assessment test. The test is designed to measure your skill level and whether you have the necessary characteristics for success in this challenging field. Practical experience is also extremely crucial. To get this, you will have to record a set number of clinical hours. After attaining your degree, you can work as a patient educator and advocate, a bedside clinician, a pediatric/neonatal/critical care professional as well as a pulmonary rehabilitation expert.

Step #2: Attain Niche-Specific Credentials

To attain these credentials, you will have to sit for and pass an exam administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). This is a multiple-choice test that measures the general knowledge you have in this field. It is only after passing this exam that you can apply to do other exams that further demonstrate your competency as a respiratory therapist, including the NBRC Therapist Multiple Choice Exam and the Clinical Simulation Exam.

Step #3: Obtain a License

You cannot legally practice as a respiratory therapist without a state license. This is true for all states in the United States except Alaska. The minimum requirement to apply for a license is an associate degree. In addition, background checks are necessary in the majority of the 49 states.

While it can take just two years to become a respiratory therapist, most health institutions require at least an undergraduate degree for a chance to work. Therefore, the average time it takes to become a fully credited and industry-competent respiratory therapist is four years. By then, you will have, among other things, completed most of the education requirements for respiratory therapists, including simulation, laboratory and considerable clinical experience in a healthcare institution.

Indeed, respiratory therapy is truly rewarding, especially for people who have the passion for taking care of people most in medical need. While it is a fast-paced career requiring physical and mental endurance, it is also well paying and consistently records impressive future prospects every time surveys and research reports are released.

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