Respiratory Therapy

The Path of Respiratory Therapy Introduction About a year ago, I came home from work one night and walked into the kitchen to where my mother was standing. There was a feeling of uneasiness and the panic began to clench my stomach. She looked so sad, so stressed; maybe it was the frizzy hair, the bags beneath her eyes, the way her back slouched in a low negative curve, or her eyes. Her eyes looked at me before she turned them away, but in that fragment of a second, it’s almost like I could look inside her narrow eyes and search until I would come upon this thing.
This thing has no name, but it scares her. She wouldn’t exactly explain to me what it was but I felt the sudden movements of uncertainty with the way she shifted her body and tilted her gaze away from mine. It’s almost like I started to feel scared too. The expression that was set on her face gave me such a feeling that went straight to my heart. My mother sat down with me that night and explained that her sickness had become idiopathic, meaning that it was created from an unknown cause. The malfunctions that inhabit her body are respiratory related and deals with her lungs.
Every week, she attends respiratory therapy and completes several breathing treatments. The therapists who have taken care of her, year after year, have set a positive influence and have created a better outlook for her. I have been inspired to become a respiratory therapist to help patients, like my mother, who suffer from breathing complications. My overall goal is to give people the opportunity to experience their lives as long as possible. Setting a positive outlook for others will help build a base for patients to be happy once again.
Respiratory therapy is extremely popular with the amount of people who are diagnosed with breathing disorders every year. From 2010-2020, employment is expected to grow by 28 percent (“Occupational Outlook Handbook”). This is faster than the average growth for all careers. Thousands of people are employed as respiratory therapists across the country. In Indiana, the number ranges just over 3,000 people (“Occupational Outlook Handbook”). Whether working here or in a different state, hospitals are always in need of medical help.
As people become elderly, it is essential for them to breathe to stay alive; that is where the necessity of respiratory therapists comes in. Job Description Respiratory therapists eat, sleep, and work mainly in hospitals. It is common to work in nursing homes or even travel to patients’ homes. From the time babies are born to the adults reaching old age, they assist anyone who has breathing difficulties. Typically, RT’s interview/examine patients, perform diagnostic tests, treat patients, monitor/record the progress of treatment and teach patients how to use treatments (“Occupational Outlook Handbook”).
The environment in which they work in is extremely clean to prevent patients from catching bugs that can put their health in more danger. Though the salary ranges from state to state, Indiana’s respiratory therapists are able to make around $50,000 a year (“Occupational Outlook Handbook”). Depending on the shifts that are worked, therapists can make a bit more by working on holidays and even night shifts since hospitals are always open. Qualifications The more education experienced, the greater chance applicants will successfully obtain the job of a respiratory therapist.
At minimum, an associate’s degree is needed. Many colleges and universities, vocational-technical institutes, and the Armed Forces offer training-most programs even award an associate’s or bachelor’s degree (“Occupational Outlook Handbook”). Respiratory therapy is particularly science based and requires a certain amount of credits from classes. Important courses taken are human anatomy and physiology, chemistry, physics, microbiology, pharmacology, and mathematics (“Occupational Outlook Handbook”). In order to receive the license for a respiratory therapist, an exam is to be taken.
This exam is important because employers prefer to hire those of who have successfully passed. If therapists are certified, there is a greater chance of obtaining the job. Studying for long hours and keeping steady grades pays off in the end. Opportunities Growth in the middle-aged and elderly population will lead to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, and respiratory disorders that permanently damage the lungs or restrict lung function (“Occupational Outlook Handbook”). Knowing this, the demand for respiratory therapy will increase.
When medications and treatments improve, so will the need for therapists to help patients. There will always be factors that continue to harm the health of people such as pollution and smoking. There are other types of therapists that come close to the career of one in the respiratory field. Though some require a bachelor’s, master’s or even a doctoral degree, select trainers and therapists still hold the duty of treating patients. From physical to radiation therapy, therapists use different techniques to help treat problems that many people suffer from.
Depending on what field of therapy the career is in, the salary can range from $40,000 to around $80,000 (“Occupational Outlook Handbook”). Conclusion Since the time that I decided what I wanted to do, I have taken steps in the right direction to obtain the career that I want. Before I started college classes, I saw an advisor and specifically asked for the courses that I needed in order to get into the medical program. General studies for respiratory therapy include classes in which I have to achieve high grades. If my grades are not the best, I may not get accepted for the medical program.
As long as that does not happen, the positive opportunities for this career will lead me to a successful life without the fear of losing this job. As I mentioned before, respiratory therapy will be demanded more as conditions get worse, causing a rise in treatments for patients and a higher demand for therapists.
Reference Bureau of Labor Statistics, U. S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Respiratory Therapists, on the Internet at http://www. bls. gov/ooh/healthcare/respiratory-therapists. htm (visited October 25, 2012).

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