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Respiratory Therapist

Students are to select and research one healthcare profession (RESPIRATORY THERAPIST) from chapters 9 – 23. In addition to course text, students are to use professional journals and/or credible websites as resources.

Paper will be a minimum of seven pages, APA formatted in Word Document.
The paper should include the following:
1. Title of the health care profession (RESPIRATORY THERAPIST) 
2. Nature of their work including description of duties and
responsibilities, specific and/or general
3. Training and educational preparation
4. Certificate, licensure, or registration
5. Salary range and projected potential for employment
6. Include why you chose this profession (The lungs are a very important organ that we need to breath and live. COVID is a perfect example of having healthy lungs)

The student will include a list of 50 course terms and provide their definition. (IGNORE THIS PART) 

1. The paper is minimum seven pages in length.
2. The introduction provides good background on the topic and previews major points.
3. The conclusion is logical and reviews the major points in
summary.

1. The paper includes the title page and reference page and is consistent with APA guidelines as directed by the facilitator.
2. References include course text and at least two outside sources.
3. The paper is laid out with effective use of headings, font styles, and white space.
4. Rules of grammar and punctuation are followed, spelling is correct.

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Respiratory Therapist

Introduction

A respiratory therapist is a certified healthcare practitioner whose main specialization is providing care for people suffering from chronic respiratory diseases as well as those who cannot breathe properly, such as infants born prematurely or individuals who have had a heart attack. In this case, a respiratory therapist mainly provides healthcare for the lungs. They are very knowledgeable and have vast know-how on handling advanced and high-tech equipment, including mechanical ventilators (Kollef, 2017). Typically, respiratory therapists collaborate with doctors, physicians, and nurses to provide care. It should be noted that they can practice in a vast clinical setting such as in the emergency rooms and maternity wards as well as therapy offices for those that have embraced the private practice.

Furthermore, apart from working in a hospital setting, some respiratory therapists provide home-based care for their patients. Additionally, respiratory therapists' main work involves aiding in the improvement of outcomes for patients suffering from asthma, pneumonia, and emphysema as well as lung trauma. In this case, a respiratory assesses the patient's breathing and recommends practical exercises to help alleviate the patient's pain and monitor the patient's progress after giving the recommendations.

A respiratory therapist may specialize in one or more types of therapies such as emergency respiratory therapy, pediatric respiratory therapy, geriatric and adult respiratory therapy (Kollef, 2017). This means that an RT has a vast knowledge of the different types of therapies required in order to provide care to different patients. This paper focuses on the profession of a respiratory therapist (RT), the nature of their work, their training and educational preparation, as well as salary range and certificate, licensure, and registration. The conclusion part of the paper entails the rationale for choosing the topic.

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Description of Duties and Responsibilities

The nature of respiratory therapists involves meeting new patients and performing assessments as well as administering treatments to both new and existing patients while doing follow-ups to existing clients. A respiratory therapist can work in a hospital, a physician's office, or even in the neonatal care intensive unit. Typically, they work in various healthcare settings to provide care, including emergency rooms as well as critical care units (Rickards and Kitts). It is important to note that a respiratory therapist must demonstrate virtues such as compassion, patience, and attention to detail. Additionally, they should also demonstrate a higher level of interpersonal skills because they usually interact with different types of patients, including the vulnerable ones who, in as much as they require healthcare services, also need to be genuinely comforted.

The duties of a respiratory therapist revolve around meeting new patients to examining and assessing them in order to ascertain that they have pulmonary diseases, complications, and even disorders. This is usually followed up by a process where the therapist conducts, performs, and analyzes diagnostic and function tests to assess a patient's lung capacity and capability. They also collaborate with physicians, nurses, and doctors to create practical care plans that can be implemented to stimulate positive outcomes for the patient. In terms of treatments, a respiratory therapist has advanced knowledge on high-tech equipment such as mechanical ventilators and generally uses them, especially in the Intensive Care Unit (Rickads and Kitts).

Additionally, respiratory therapists also treat their patients using a chest therapy approach and aerosols such as inhalers. One of the most recognizable duties of the RT is to administer inhalants to their patients and evaluate the progress of the recommended treatment. This then promotes the documentation of care, such as making updates on patients' charts and health records. Furthermore, with their high-tech knowledge, an RT operates mechanical ventilators and other machines, including working with other healthcare professionals to provide care and complete the discharge planning as well as ensuring they train patients on how to administer treatments by themselves and operate equipment on their own.

Training and Education Preparation

According to Rickads and Kitts (2018), the main role of an RT is to provide and deliver patient care in the various settings discussed above. However, it is important that apart from delivering care, they also deliver patient education even though the formal training and education do not include patient education in their curriculum. Therefore, many RT provides patient education even though they do not get in their RT school program. This means that they go an extra mile to not only provide care but also educate their patients on things such as how to administer their treatments as well as how to use their equipment such as the inhalers. In terms of education, an RT studies between 2-5 years. This means that they must have a higher education which roughly takes five years to complete.

Therefore, for a professional respiratory therapist to practice respiratory therapy, they must be a minimum associate degree holder from an accredited school that offers a respiratory therapy program recognizable by the government and the relevant healthcare bodies. For example, many students typically apply for a Bachelor's degree. Upon completion, they apply for a graduate degree to gain the required minimum qualification to practice respiratory therapy. After graduating from a respiratory therapy program, an RT is then eligible to participate in a national voluntary examination offered in the form of multiple-choice so as to become a certified respiratory therapist with recognized credentials. If this exam is passed, many RTs take on another exam known as the national voluntary clinical simulation exam. The RT earns another credential that indicates they are registered practicing respiratory therapists.

The education preparation aspect of a respiratory therapist includes a wide curriculum geared towards critical thinking skills, relating to both argumentative and persuasive writing with regard to the technical know-how of respiratory care. Various factors impact a respiratory course load taken by a student in an RT Bachelor's program. In this case, it is important to note that curriculum requirements differ depending on the school. Furthermore, a student's former coursework might affect the type of classes they choose. For instance, an undergraduate needs to have college credits such as human anatomy, chemistry, and general units, without which they cannot be accepted into major courses. Taking a respiratory therapy course promotes the development of practical skills such as management as well as leadership. This also ensures that students gain technical skills that allow them to conduct cardiopulmonary stress testing and develop other skills that will be beneficial in helping the assess radiographs as well as learn how to prepare artificial airways by intubation and endotracheal suctioning. This means that by the time a student graduates, they would have gone through a series of rotations and clinical simulations incorporated into learning to enhance testing of their skills within a clinical setting.

A respiratory program typically includes courses such as critical care, ethics and leadership, and pediatric care, as well as an introduction to clinical care and respiratory case management. Critical care involves all the methods employed in cardiovascular treatment. Students are equipped with practical and technical such as cardiac life support, initiating cardiovascular management, and performing a nasal oxygen supplementation. Here, the students also learn how to diagnose breathing problems especially sleep apnea. Ethics and leadership course is equally important as the RTs hold confidential information and must exercise confidentiality together with an understanding of professional ethics as well as privacy laws. On the other hand, the pediatric care course equips the prospective RT with skills they can employ in diagnosing and treating infants, children, and adolescents. A respiratory therapist must complete a clinical experience where they put their acquired skills to test within a real clinical setting. The respiratory case management course focuses on the basics of managing cases. This means that the future RT sharpens their knowledge on the different types of respiratory disorders and learns the basics of patient privacy, as well as standards for ethics and legal aspects of respiratory therapy.

Certificate, Licensure, and Registration

Similarly, the educational preparation and training for an RT occur in four distinct steps. The first step is to complete a degree program in respiratory therapy that can be taken in college. The most common is the Bachelor's degree in respiratory therapy and pulmonary science. Within this program equips the future RT with clinical experience that further provides the student with practical training that is fundamental in helping the future RT understand every ethical as well as legal responsibility involved in respiratory care and treatment (Dorner et al., 2019). In addition, the second step involves completing a credentialing exam offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care. Holding credentials from the National Board for Respiratory Care gives an RT an added advantage as most employers prefer to hire individuals holding these credentials. In this case, an RT will have to take a multiple-question exam to acquire certification and/or registration. Equally, the third step involves getting state licensure. At the same time, the fourth entails maintaining certification through undergoing a quarterly assessment where they complete 30 hours of continuing education, engage in acceptable seminars, workshops, as well as taking online courses on respiratory therapy. They can as well retake their initial credential exam.

An RT requires state licensure in order to practice, as, without it, they cannot practice in any state. Therefore, a licensure candidate is required to have an associate degree from an accredited and recognized respiratory therapy college. In addition, the respiratory therapy program that they undertook in the accredited college also has to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs in the country. There are instances where work experience or licensure from another state as well as a military experience might allow a licensure candidate to waive licensure education requirements. Therefore, prospective RTs must pass this state licensing exam as well as the NBRC certification exam in order to get the license, failure to which they have to retake the exam until they pass. It is important to maintain the licensure and NBRC certification after acquiring the certification.

Salary range and projected potential for employment

Annually, a respiratory therapist earns approximately $61,300. In addition, those who hold an advanced respiratory therapist certification earn more than the stated amount, which might apply to the junior RT at the entry-level. The job outlook for respiratory therapy is very good as many of them work full time, thus making the salary equal to the work they do. For instance, apart from working full time, an RT can also work in shits depending on the business hours, which can either be normal or odd such as working during the weekends or during the nightshift. The potential for employment is usually positive because a respiratory job search does not take as long as other jobs. After all, hospitals are usually in need of RTs (Kollef, 2017). A well-built resume, as well as the inclusion of accomplishments received both in school and during the clinical experience, should be enough to get a prospective RT started in the search for a job, which typically takes minimal time. Today, respiratory therapy has become a very common field whose job potential is expected to rise tremendously by approximately 22% by 2026.

The healthcare knowledge is also constantly increasing with disease prevention desire cropping up among today's society, the demand for respiratory therapy has gone up. Current life expectancy features people living longer, and many needs require geriatric respiratory theory as they age. In addition, sleep problems such as sleep apnea are continuously on the rise; many people facing such problems require the help of a respiratory therapist in order to assess and help them manage their condition. The lungs are a very important organ that we need in order to breathe and live. This makes up the main reason why I chose this profession because I would like to be of help to those with breathing problems. My profession is especially vital during this times as COVID-19 is slowly ravaging and destroying lives, as many people who have been infected by the virus require breathing assistance, offered mainly through mechanical ventilation and oxygen supplementation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Dorner, S., Fowler, T., Montano, M., Janisse, R., Lowe, M., & Rowland, P. (2019). Implementing a peer-learning approach for the clinical education of respiratory therapy students. Canadian journal of respiratory therapy : CJRT = Revue canadienne de la therapie respiratoire : RCTR, 55, 21–27.

Kollef, M. H. (2017). Evaluating the Value of the Respiratory Therapist: Where Is the Evidence? Focus on the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Experience. Respiratory Care, 62(12), 1602–1610. https://doi.org/10.4187/respcare.05807

Rickards, T., & Kitts, E. (2018). The roles, they are a changing: Respiratory Therapists as part of the multidisciplinary, community, primary health care team. Canadian journal of respiratory therapy : CJRT = Revue canadienne de la therapie respiratoire : RCTR, 54(4), 10.29390/cjrt-2018-024

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