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As a Respiratory Care student at Platt College, you can gain the skills you need to become an important member of a health care team as a respiratory therapist. Our Respiratory Therapist training combines in-class course work, hands-on training in our simulation labs and clinical rotations at area hospitals to prepare you for a career as a respiratory therapist.
Our Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), and upon successful completion of our respiratory care training you will earn your Associate of Science degree. Program graduates are eligible to take the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) entry-level Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) exam and more advanced Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) exam.
In simplest terms, respiratory therapists help patients who have trouble breathing – for example, the patient may have pneumonia, cardiovascular disorders, emphysema or asthma. Respiratory therapists treat patients of all ages and may work in various settings including the emergency room, general hospitals, labs, rehab centers, and intensive care units.
The job of a respiratory therapist involves many duties and methods. One duty is connecting patients who cannot breathe to a ventilator. The ventilator goes into the patient’s patient’s windpipe, also called a trachea, which pushes oxygen into their lungs in order to help them breathe better.
Another method a respiratory therapist may use is on a patient who is suffering from lung disease, such as cystic fibrosis, The patient may have mucus in their lungs that needs to be removed, so the therapist will vibrate and tap the patient’s chest to make them cough, thus removing the mucus and clearing out their lungs.
Other duties of a respiratory therapist include teaching patient’s how to use breathing equipment such as a ventilator, monitoring patients’ progress, collaborating with doctor’s on treatment plans, and measuring lung capacity.
In order to become a respiratory therapist, you must have at least an Associate’s degree from a postsecondary school. When considering your program, be sure that it is an accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). For example, Platt college is an accredited program.
Once you’ve received your degree, you must receive your certification (except in Alaska). The National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) offers two levels of certification: Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).
In order to become a CRT, you must complete your Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree and pass a 160 multiple choice question exam. In order to become an RRT, you must have passed your CRT exam, pass another 160 multiple choice question exam, and pass a 10 question simulation section where you treat an imaginary patient’s condition.
Lastly, depending on the state, you must obtain your license to practice.
If you are looking for a health care career in a growing field that can provide great earning potential and you enjoy providing patient care, this could be the right career choice for you. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of respiratory therapists to grow 12% from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.
As the numbers of middle-aged and elderly patients continue to increase, incidents of respiratory conditions will in turn lead to an increased demand for respiratory therapy services.
According to the latest survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, respiratory therapists earn a median salary of $58,670 per year with the top 10% earning more than $81,550.
Contact us today and we can answer any questions you have about our Respiratory Therapy programs in Oklahoma.
We know that a career decision is important, and we are committed to making sure you have all of the information you need to make a career training decision that is right for you.