With so many respiratory therapy programs from which to choose, it can be difficult for prospective respiratory therapy students to know what to look for in a program. Cost, length and curriculum are three considerations you must make when researching schools. Choosing the respiratory therapist programs that provide practical classroom-to-career skill training will also set you up to make an easy transition into your career after graduation. With a curriculum that teaches not only theory but provides practical training as well as gives students the confidence to enter the field already familiar with oxygen therapy and chest physiotherapy … you’re equipped with skills for the job on Day 1. When researching respiratory therapy programs, it is wise to consider how much practical experience you will receive as a student.
Whether you are making a career transition or committing to your very first career, it is important to make an honest assessment of how “right” a program and career is for your personality, skill set, interests and motivation. Do you prefer to work alone or in groups? A respiratory therapist spends most of his or her day working one-on-one with patients, often collaborating with other health care professionals working on an interdisciplinary team and interacting with the families of patients as well.
As the respiratory therapist, you carry out diagnostic testing procedures and treatments, which require working in close proximity to patients. An individual who does not desire a close, hands-on relationship with patients might do better in health care administration or public health. Your patients could include newborns with underdeveloped lungs to trauma victims, elderly who suffer from lung and heart conditions and individuals with asthma who must be educated on how to manage their breathing.
With so many health care professions requiring a master’s degree and beyond, respiratory therapy is refreshing in that the education can be achieved in as few as 17 months, with programs such as Concorde’s. Respiratory therapy programs differ in length, but Concorde’s students appreciate that they can be “career-ready” in a relatively short amount of time.