How to Become a Respiratory Therapist? we are going to discuss about this question, Respiratory Therapist are responsible for the examination and treatment of the patient’s lungs. It refers to the practice of evaluating patients who are facing breathing problems. The main focus of this job is to diagnose respiratory disorders. We have provided in depth analysis about all the available medical school as well.

A respiratory therapist is tasked with performing chest examinations and making a treatment plan to resolve illnesses within the lungs. In this article, we are going to discuss how much it cost to become a respiratory therapist, how to become a registered respiratory therapist, and more related things.

Respiratory therapists implement scientific methods to prevent, identify, and treat acute or chronic dysfunction of the cardiopulmonary system, such as Asthma, Emphysema, Pneumonia, cardiovascular disorders, and trauma. The answers to the question of how to become a respiratory therapist will be discussed further.

Their knowledge of the scientific principles of physiology, biomedical engineering, and technology enables them to effectively treat patients with respiratory disorders.

how to become a respiratory therapist
How to become a respiratory therapist

How To Become A Respiratory Therapist

  1. Attaining a degree in Respiratory care– Completing a degree in respiratory care is the first step in becoming a respiratory therapist. Completing a degree in this field is very important to get the required knowledge and skills. We recommend you to complete at least a bachelor’s degree in this discipline.

    The syllabus of the bachelor’s degree consists of clinical respiratory care, pathophysiology, ventilation, respiratory procedures, and advanced respiratory theory. Many programs require a competency assessment that demonstrates the attainment of skills.

    You have to complete a certain amount of clinical hours to gain practical experience in this field. You should select a program that is accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Respiratory Care.

    Once the graduation is completed, therapists can work as bedside clinicians, pulmonary rehabilitation specialists, patient educators, and in management posts. If you have any further question regarding how to become a respiratory therapist then visit our link respiratory therapist programs.
  2. Qualifying the credential examinations– To become a registered respiratory therapist, one must pass an examination. The National Board for Respiratory Care is responsible for administering the certification examination. The questions are based on multiple-choice questions. The process is as follows –
  • First, you will have to appear in NBRC Multiple choice questions based examination. Once you pass this exam at a low cut off score, you will be awarded the entry-level Certified Respiratory Therapist (CPT) certification.
  • If you pass this exam with an uppercut score, then you will be eligible to appear in the Clinical Simulation exam.
  • If you manage to pass the Clinical Simulation exam, you will receive the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT} certification. It is the highest level of professional certificate in this field. hope you got a basic idea on How To Become A Respiratory Therapist.
  1.  Obtaining the state license– License is mandatory in every U.S. state except Alaska for respiratory therapists. Completing an associate degree is the minimum qualification to get a license. 

How much does it cost to become a Respiratory Therapist

Bachelor’s degree– The cost of a bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy depends upon the pricing scheme adopted by schools. There are three types of rates: flat rate per semester system cost per-credit system and a flat rate for credit range.  

In the flat rate per semester system, students pay full fees for the entire term. The cost per-credit system enables students to pay per course. In a flat rate for credit range, students have to pay a fixed tuition fee based on the total credits they opt-in the whole semester.

Costs of online classes are lower as compared to the other types but still, a basic university fee is charged.
So the average fees for a bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy cost $11000 to $30000 per semester.

Associate Degree– It is a short-term degree. It is the most common degree among certified respiratory therapists. In this degree, students learn to recognize respiratory ailments and disorders and assist physicians in treating patients. This is a two years course in which students will receive practical training on operating medical equipment.

The cost of the degree varies in different universities. The average annual cost of an associate degree in respiratory therapy is between $8000 and $16000. Here also the three pricing models are available as mentioned in the above section.

Master’s degree– Those who are interested in advanced studies can opt for the master’s degree. Students with a master’s degree in this field are generally better paid. Studies have shown that individuals who possess a master’s degree in this field tend to find their job easier. They gain specialized knowledge and become more employable.

The average cost for the master’s degree program in respiratory therapy is approximately $20000 per semester.

Therefore, respiratory therapists require an associate degree at least to begin their career. It will be even better for your career if you possess an advanced degree. The advanced degree will ensure more job opportunities and growth in your career.

Some prerequisites may be required to begin a degree in respiratory therapy such as chemistry, biology, anatomy, and physiology courses. Most of the employers demand clinical and practical experience so that the person can cope with real-life changes.

How long to become a Respiratory Therapist
How long to become a Respiratory Therapist

How long to become a Respiratory Therapist – Duties

If you are in search of how to become a respiratory therapist. Here various duties performed by the Respiratory therapist are –

  • Helping doctors in assessing and monitoring treatment plans. They are the first line of advisors to the doctors.
  • Measuring lung capacity to evaluate the condition of the patient. Therapists test lung capacity by having patients breathe into an instrument that measures oxygen levels. Respiratory therapists also take blood samples to evaluate patients.
  • Providing a deep insight to the patient about their medical condition- They help the patient to understand their problem and counsel them.
  • Ensuring the proper use of the therapeutic equipment- They not only have to ensure that the therapeutic equipment is in good condition, but they also teach patients to use ventilators in their homes.
  • Providing basic treatment for diseases such as asthma, COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and emphysema.
  • Maintaining records- Respiratory therapists are also tasked with maintaining patient’s diagnostic reports and progress.
  • Performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation– It is a procedure used during emergencies. In this procedure, chest compressions are combined with artificial ventilation to preserve brain function manually. This is a short term method to prevent a person who has faced cardiac arrest.
  • Related duties-Some respiratory therapists help out in other areas such as resolving breathing problems for people with sleep apnea and counseling people to leave smoking.  

Some common types of ailments treated by respiratory therapists include Bronchitis, Asthma, Cardiac Failure, Lung Cancer, Sleep disorders, Emphysema, COPD, etc.

How long does it take to become a respiratory therapist?

You can become a respiratory therapist in two years if you opt for the associate degree program. However, candidates with a bachelor’s degree program are given more preference than the associate ones. It takes four years to earn a bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy.

But a degree is not enough, practical experience is also needed. Without hands-on experience, there is less chance of you being registered. After completing various courses on respiratory therapy and gaining clinical experience, you must pass a national examination on respiratory therapy. This is a must to acquire a license in this field.

The total period also depends on the time you take for practical training. If you think that How To Become A Respiratory Therapist, you may continue further training.

So there is no fixed time to become a respiratory therapist. It depends on your aptitude and hard work. But if all things go right, you can become a registered respiratory therapist in less than 6 years.

Respiratory Therapist Salary and Opportunities
Respiratory Therapist Salary and Opportunities 

Respiratory Therapist Salary and Opportunities 

According to the Bureau of Labor Standards, the job of a respiratory therapist is expected to grow by 235 by the year 2026. This is because of the respiratory problems; people are facing day by day.

The average salary for a respiratory therapist is $59,710 per year. The highest pay is $73000 and the lowest pay is $36000.

Respiratory therapists have been in high demand for many years now and will be in the upcoming years as well. This is because of continued growth in biomedical technology which will ensure that this job never becomes monotonous. 

The respiratory therapists work in various types of medical facilities. They work in the following locations

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing Homes
  • Patient Homes
  • Educational Institutions
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Sleep disorders centers

How to become a registered Respiratory Therapist – Skills Required

How To Become A Respiratory Therapist, in addition to the requirements mentioned above, there are certain skills that you must possess if you want to become a successful respiratory therapist.

  • Compassion– This involves giving emotional support to patients who are undergoing treatment. Sympathizing with them and helping them out emotionally provides the patients an immense boost.
  • Communication Skills– In the medical profession, a lot of interaction between patients and doctors takes place. They must be capable of clearing doubts of every patient. They also have to take instructions from a supervising physician. Teamwork and collaborative skills are a must in this field.
  • Problem-solving skills– Problem-solving skills are necessary for every professional job. In the field of respiratory therapy, this is a very necessary skill to have. They must use them in evaluating the patients’ symptoms, consult with other health professionals, and recommend the best approach.
  • Scientific skills– If you possess the aptitude in science, then only you should opt for this course. Respiratory therapists must understand anatomy, physiology, and other sciences. They must be able to calculate the correct dose of medicines required by the patient. Any mistakes in this can have severe effects on a patient’s health.
  • Attention to Detail– Respiratory therapists must be detail-oriented. They should make sure that the patients are receiving the appropriate treatment and medications on time. They should have organizational skills as well because they have to record information related to patient care.
  • Analytical Skills- The respiratory therapist should be well versed in processing information, prioritizing tasks, problem-solving, examining outcomes, and transferring knowledge from one situation to another. They must use their analytical skills in emergencies effectively. We discussed answers to the question of how to become a respiratory therapist.

  • Workload

The workload in this field is immense. There are no fixed timings because hospitals are always open so you should always be ready for an emergency. Sometimes, you also have to work a full day. There will be days when you will have to work the whole night.

With experience, you will become more and more comfortable. You will also learn about tackling an emergency. This is like a journey with many pathways; your journey will be determined by the amount of hard work you put in.

Respiratory Therapist certification
Respiratory Therapist certification

Respiratory Therapist certification – Career scope

  • Athletic Trainers– They are responsible for preventing, diagnosing, and treating muscle and bone-related injuries.
  • Occupational Therapists– They treat injured and disabled patients through the therapeutic deployment of everyday activities. This leads to recovery in patients and they also learn skills required for living and working.
  • Health Services Managers– This is an administrative job in the healthcare system. They plan to direct and coordinate health services. They ensure that the hospital is complying with guidelines and regulations.

We discussed answers to the question of how to become a respiratory therapist.So if you are looking to start a career in respiratory therapy, make sure that you fulfill the requirements and skills mentioned above. Any career in the medical field is an act of social services. The medical jobs guarantee good pay and respect in society. There are ample opportunities and scope to grow in this field. 

This job is tough and challenging. You must know about keeping a cool head in an emergency. This field requires serious study and a careful approach. Besides the technical skills, you should also understand the psychology of your patients and make them comfortable. The medical field has many dimensions. Every day presents a new challenge.

Most people opt for this career because of their interest in medical science. Job stability in this field is exceptional. This career allows people to help people and make an everlasting difference in the lives of others. You will be getting more than just a paycheck in this job.

In this article, we successfully dealt with all the details related to the field of respiratory therapy. We discussed answers to the question of how to become a respiratory therapist, how much is the pay of a respiratory therapist and various other things such as education, workload, and scope. If you need any assistance, feel free to contact us at Online schools.