One of the fastest growing allied health professions.
All medical personnel are subject to some form of training when it comes to the treatment of respiratory illness and disease. Medical assistants are well versed in CPR methods while doctors may need to perform other life-saving methods such as a tracheostomy to ensure patients always receive the proper amounts of oxygen even in most dire of situations. When faced with severe emergency or chronic conditions, respiratory therapists are a patient’s best option for optimal treatment. Respiratory therapists are specialist in the discovery and treatment of advanced respiratory conditions. Such conditions would include Respiratory tract infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and bronchial pneumonia. Respiratory Therapists will often conduct interviews with the patient and perform a variety of diagnostic tests so that they can develop a treatment plan physician. After the plan is established, Respiratory Therapists will apply treatment methods and deliver required medicines all why keeping the patient well informed on the process. Having a respiratory specialist such as these therapists onboard, is essential for any healthcare team to secure optimal treatment for their patient with respiratory illnesses.
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor statistics, “Employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 23 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 10,100 openings for respiratory therapists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.” The Bureau continues to cite explanations to the major growth which seems to revolve around the retirement of current respiratory therapists combined with an increased demand due to the healthcare industry pivoting towards the reduction of readmissions into hospitals. This could be done by placing more effective treatments to patients that will keep them out of the hospital at a superior rate. It is also important to note that the American population is aging so the increased number of patients that could begin to suffer from diseases such as COPD alone could have American citizens experiencing a huge increase in respiratory therapy demand.
All things considered; Respiratory Therapy is a rewarding career in a growing industry so its safe to say many professionals will take on the challenge of becoming a Respiratory Therapist. Most Respiratory programs can be difficult but completely feasible to complete with hard work and dedication. Respiratory Therapists will have a wide range of opportunities ranging from employment at hospitals to nursing homes or even independent mobile house calls. However, bear in mind that all states in America except for Alaska require therapists to be certified with the main certifying body being the National Board for Respiratory Care. The NBRC provides certifications such as CRT-Certified Respiratory Therapist, RRT- Registered Respiratory Therapist, CPFT- Cardiopulmonary Functions Technologists, RPFT- Registered Pulmonary Functions, Technologists. Therapists and Technologists can further specialize in areas such as, Adult Critical Care Specialist, Neonatal/Pediatric specialists, and sleep disorder specialist. As you can see keeping up with the various certifications and staying on top of continuing education credits can present a challenge to some therapists, especially those working in different jobs/environments.
Allied Help consists of a team of healthcare industry experts and professionals that are looking to ensure Respiratory Therapists are included in the benefits afforded to allied healthcare workers. These benefits would include but not be limited to the digitization of healthcare credentials for easy and efficient sharing to employers and patients. Notifications of expiring certifications and the latest updates on continuing education requirements. Upon verification of licensure Allied Help members can turn “pro” which gives them access to further benefits such as private job opportunities. Through Allied Help, healthcare organizations can save tons of money on recruitment costs allowing them to disperse higher pay to the members of the Allied Help community. As of now the Allied Help team is encouraging allied healthcare workers including Respiratory Therapist to join the community in collaboration on discord as more features are being added to the application during the final beta testing phase. Healthcare workers can find access to the discord as well as more information on alliedhelp.net.
Allied help. Allied Help. (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2022, from https://alliedhelp.net/
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2019, October 22). Tracheostomy. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved August 17, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/tracheostomy/about/pac-20384673
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, May 10). Respiratory therapists : Occupational outlook handbook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved August 17, 2022, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/respiratory-therapists.htm#tab-1
Watson, K. (2017, March 22). What is a respiratory therapist? Healthline. Retrieved August 17, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-a-respiratory-therapist