As a respiratory therapist, you will be dealing with people that have lung or breathing problems caused by a number of medical problems. You are not a doctor, but you will be working closely with them to help diagnose and treat any patients that come in needing help with breathing. You can work anywhere from a clinic to an emergency room.
The great thing about this career choice is that you will only need about 2 years of schooling at an accredited school like Carrington College. It is not as easy as just getting a degree and getting a job. There are 5 steps that you must go through to become a respiratory therapist, which is what we are here to discuss today.
- High School or Equivalent: One of the requirements that you will run into when trying to enroll in higher-level educational courses is that you must have a high school diploma or an equivalent degree. You should be planning ahead and take as many biology, chemistry, and physics classes as you can. Some programs will require you to have these before they will accept you into their classes. It is also a good idea to take some CPR classes and get certified before applying.
- Enroll In Classes: Not just any classes will do. Classes must be through an accredited school that your state licensing board will accept as formal training. Going through the respiratory therapist college classes will be required before moving on to the next step. You should keep your grades as high as you can because that shows potential employers that you are serious about your chosen profession.
- Clinical Experience: As you go through your college level classes you will be required to work in a clinical environment under the supervision of a licensed therapist. They will guide you along during tasks that you will also be learning about in class. As you become more experienced and knowledgeable you will be completing more complex tasks. During this time, it is a great way for you to have hands-on learning, and it also introduces you to potential employers as they watch you grow and learn.
- Becoming a CRT: After completing your college courses you will need to become registered with your state as a certified respiratory technician (CRT). This test is no easy feat, so take it seriously. The higher you score on this test the better off you will be because it leaves you open to distinguishing titles that clinics will recognize. If your level of knowledge is high, you will be more likely to get a job than if you have the lowest scores possible to pass.
- State Requirements: The final stage of your path will be completing any other certifications and complying with any other requirements that your state has. This should be an easy step considering what you have already gone through, but it is a step that you must complete.
Now that you have gone through all the required schooling and completed and received all the certificates you are required to have, it is time to get to work. There are so many options for you to choose from that it may be a good idea to explore the ones that interest you the most.
Working in a hospital setting will give you the most diversity because you will be working with all types of doctors across multiple specialties. You will get basic experience from people getting checkups all the way to the fast-moving pace of the Emergency Room requests and needs. The choice is yours once you have completed the 5 basic steps above.