If you wish to begin your career as a respiratory therapist, you may consider going to school or training. One of the possibilities is to attend a certified RT training program. These programs are designed to teach their students everything that they need to know to work as a respiratory therapist. There are many of these programs, and they exist in over half of the states in the country. Most of these programs are two-year associates programs. However, some of these programs are four year programs or even masters programs.
As for the curriculum, it typically covers a range of topics that are related to working in the field. The classes are heavily based on science, and thus they require the student to take courses in anatomy and physiology and pharmacology. The other classes cover things that the student will use directly during his or her career. These courses cover things like the equipment used by respiratory therapists, the clinical procedures used by them, and how to interact with patients.
To count toward professional certification, the programs must be accredited by the CoARC (Committee on the Accreditation of Respiratory Care). This body only started accrediting these programs recently. Therefore, programs completed prior to a certain year must have been accredited by the CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs).
Once a student has completed one of these programs, he or she is almost ready to enter the field. His or her degree will have prepared her to enter the field as an entry level or an advanced level respiratory professional. All graduates are required to take the CRT (Certified Respiratory Therapist) exam prior to working in the industry. This exam, issued by the NBRC (National Board for Respiratory Care), consists of 160 questions and takes three hours to complete. If a student wants to enter the field as an advanced practitioner, he or she must also take the NBRC’s exam for RRT’s (Registered Respiratory Therapists). This exam consists of two sections. The first section consists of 115 questions and takes two hours to complete. It is similar to the CRT exam. The second section of the exam consists of only 10 questions. Because these questions concern how to manage patient care situations, this section of the exam takes four hours.
When the exams have been passed and the Certified Respiratory Therapist Training Programs have been completed, the student is then a respiratory therapist. They can join a great industry where they will love their job and be paid well. Best of all, they will get to help people breathe better and live longer.