Respiratory Therapy Technician

Pros


  • This work helps enable people who have breathing problems to breathe better, which can relieve them of other health problems.
  • There is expected to be good job growth in this field of employment for the future.
  • There is a lot of variety involved in this job on a day-to-day basis; this is great work for those who like different challenges everyday.

Cons

  • Many people you will be treating are suffering from serious breathing problems. You must be able to handle stressful situations.
  • Since you will be going from patient to patient, you will be walking and standing on your feet for most of the day.
  • Many respiratory therapy technicians must do their duties outside of normal work hours; this is because hospital care is 24/7.

Overview

Respiratory therapy technicians work under the supervision of respiratory therapists as well as doctors to work with patients who have problems breathing. This can be caused by a number of issues: a patient may have emphysema, a collapsed lung or a cardiopulmonary disorder. Whatever the case may be, respiratory therapy technicians must spend their time to help those who are in the uncomfortable position of being unable to properly breathe.

When a patient first comes to a medical clinic with respiratory problems, they will first be properly diagnosed. Once the specific problem is defined, a respiratory therapy technician can then work with the patient on a method of treatment. There are many duties that a respiratory therapy technician can carry out, but some of the major work they may be found doing includes using ventilators and oxygen devices to provide therapy. Also, they will record a patient’s therapy, maintain and calibrate respiratory equipment and sterilize supplies that are utilized during the treatment process.

Those wishing to enter this field must be good with people, as you will interface with others for most of the workday. Respiratory therapy technicians are often needed in emergency situations. Because of this, they are needed to work during off-hours. Many of these emergency situations require someone who can be calm under pressure to be a part of potentially stressful situations. Although the majority of respiratory therapy technicians work in hospitals, they are also found in long-term care facilities, doctor’s offices and private clinics.

Education

To obtain a job as a respiratory therapy technician, one must complete an accredited program. This may mean enrolling in a certificate course, a two-year program at a community college or even a bachelor’s degree at a four year university. Although the minimum requirement is a high school diploma and a certification, those who have more advanced training will be able to find employment at more competitive workplaces.

Job Prospects

While there are job prospects for this field, unlike other healthcare professions there is expected to be very little growth for respiratory therapy technicians. This may be because there are a wide array of other healthcare professionals such as nursing assistants who are also capable of performing the tasks that are associated with this job. The rise in the amount of private medical training centers has allowed others in the healthcare field to obtain the expertise needed for this role. Nevertheless, there will be openings in this field due to retirements of older workers.

Advancement Opportunities

Those who have completed advanced degrees in this field will enjoy the best opportunities for advancement. Technicians who are capable of continuing their education can also seek advancement opportunities in specialties such as pediatrics. Others may use their leadership skills to become teachers or supervise others in managerial positions that are available in larger organizations such as hospitals.