Many people want to work in health care, as it can be both meaningful and engaging work. One thing that often inhibits people from pursuing careers in the field is the amount of education and training required. Becoming a doctor often involves taking on a lot of student debt and spending almost a decade training before you can start practicing on your own. Many nursing specialties require advanced degrees as well, which aren’t always accessible to every student. If you’re interested in becoming a respiratory therapist, keep reading to find out about the best place to continue your education.
What’s the best place to consider your education in respiratory therapy?
First, it’s important to clarify what the field of respiratory therapy involves. Respiratory therapy involves working with patients who have a range of diseases connected to the lung or respiratory system, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), asthma, and lung cancer. Anyone looking to continue their education in respiratory therapy should consider doing so through one of the trusted RRT to bachelors degree programs. You can complete your bachelor’s degree and give yourself the skills you need to become a certified respiratory therapist.
Programs typically require around 50 credit hours, which can often be taken in the summer, fall, or spring. Your completely online program can still train you in all the skills you’ll need in your career, including more technical skills. In order to apply, you’ll need your National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) credentials, previous transcripts, a CoARC associate degree, relevant transfer credits, and a minimum GPA. You’ll need 120 credits to complete an RRT to bachelor’s degree program, up to 70 of which may be transferred from your associate degree program in respiratory care or respiratory therapy.
Why should you consider working as a respiratory therapist?
On a practical level, respiratory therapy is a fast-growing specialty, projected to increase the rate of employment for therapists by almost 20 percent by 2029. The average salary for respiratory therapists is also significantly higher than the national average, with a median salary of over $62,000. Considering the relative affordability of the education required to qualify for positions in respiratory therapy, especially when compared to the cost of medical school, it is extremely reasonable for the job security in the field.
Another reason many people are interested in respiratory therapy is that it enables you to work in a variety of different settings. Some health care workers prefer the fast pace of hospital work, while others might be more comfortable in an outpatient environment. Respiratory therapists can also find work in diagnostic labs, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and home health agencies.
Respiratory therapists are also likely to play a major role in helping patients manage complications related to COVID-19. Research has indicated that the virus has the potential to cause long-term lung damage, which some people may need assistance managing for years after they’ve recovered. There’s still a lot left to learn about how COVID-19 will affect us in the future, but one thing we know is that qualified respiratory therapists will be needed.
There are a lot of great reasons to go into respiratory therapy, though receiving the right training from a quality respiratory therapy program is essential if you want to succeed. Fortunately, you can make progress toward your degree through a highly regarded online program that will even enable you to continue your career as you complete your coursework. Given the projected growth and security in this discipline, it’s a logical choice for anyone who wants a reliable job in the health care industry. If your goal is to work in an interesting and rewarding field in medicine while achieving your educational goals, you may want to consider an online respiratory therapy program.