Respiratory Therapy: Breathing Easy

respiratory therapy

Do you aspire to help people and make positive impacts on the lives of those in your community through a meaningful role in health care? Well, you can breathe easy. Or, more to the point, help people breathe more easily - as a Respiratory Therapist. And, if you're searching for the right place to train and learn to become a Respiratory Therapist (RT), Concorde has the right program for you, one that equips you through real-world training to serve in this critical health care role through a comprehensive skills foundation. Don't just take our word, however. To get an all-inclusive, wide-ranging view of the field and Concorde's respiratory therapist program, we went to Eliazar Cosa, BS, RRT, respiratory therapy program director for Concorde's Garden Grove, Calif. campus. He details not only what makes respiratory therapy one of the hottest, fastest-growing fields in health care, but also dispels some of the common misconceptions of the field and states why Concorde's program is one of the best around.

Why Respiratory Therapy?

Cosa listed five qualities of being a Respiratory Therapist that has the field projected to grow by 19 percent through 2022, with even higher growth expected after that because of the increasing senior-citizen populations.
  • Those passionate about helping others can feed those passions and gain much satisfaction from possessing the skills and knowledge to help and save lives.
  • Flexible hours. For many RTs, three 12-hour days a week is full-time.
  • Adrenaline rush, working in intense situations like emergency rooms and intensive care units.
  • Full benefits, including health insurance, and retirement packages.
  • People will always be sick and need help.

Misconceptions of Respiratory Therapy

Cosa also listed five common misconceptions of RT.
  • RTs are lazy. Not true, Cosa said. "Although there is downtime, RTs that are proactive will always find a way to contribute to the department and overall needs of the facility, such as stocking and cleaning equipment, and assisting nurses and other areas."
  • "Neb Jockeys: We just give breathing treatments." Nothing could be further from the truth, Cosa said, as RTs often find themselves in high-intensity situations like emergency rooms, intensive care units, and neonatal intensive care units.
  • School is easy. Cosa said school is actually quite challenging and requires the commitment to do all that's necessary to understand respiratory theories and concepts and apply them appropriately.
  • The field is over-saturated. Truth is, there are lots of jobs available. It is, however, a competitive market, and personality is a key component when employers are looking for new hires.
  • Sub-acute and long-term acute care are not real respiratory jobs. "Oftentimes, I hear students complain of sub-acute facilities and long-term acute care facilities as places where it's horrible and nasty," Cosa said. "This is a mindset of an individual who forgets that every patient is a human being needing our assistance. When we forget our purposes as RTs and seek the glamour of what we do, we tend to neglect patient care."

What makes Concorde's program stand out?

Finally, Cosa lists five more reasons that Concorde's Respiratory Therapy Associate of Applied Science degree stands out.
  • We treat students as people seeking a prestigious career, not numbers trying to fill a classroom.
  • We go above and beyond, offering students countless hours of tutoring and helping with resumes and interview skills after graduation, as they search for that first job.
  • We are community focused and establish relationships with many community organizations such as the American Lung Association and California Society of Respiratory Care.
  • We offer 900 hours of clinical experience.
  • High pass rates, indicating the content taught and delivered is sufficient to meet the needs of the profession. In 2016, Concorde - Garden Grove has a pass rate of 96 percent for Certified Respiratory Therapists and 89 percent for Registered Respiratory Therapists.
respiratory therapy

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