Respiratory therapist.(CAREER CURVE).

RESPIRATORY THERAPISTS EVALUATE, TREAT AND CARE FOR PATIENTS WITH BREATHING OR CARDIOPULMONARY DISORDERS and may use oxygen, oxygen mixtures, chest physiotherapy and aerosol medications. Under the supervision of a physician, they administer respiratory treatment to patients who range from premature infants to the elderly, and they may care for those with chronic asthma or emphysema. Respiratory therapists may also be called upon to administer treatment as part of emergency care for victims of incidents such as heart attacks, strokes, shocks or drowning.
The Workplace
Most respiratory therapist jobs are in hospitals, but they may also be found in doctors' offices, nursing care facilities or in companies that supply respiratory equipment. Some respiratory therapists may work in home health care settings.
Educational Requirements
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, all states except Alaska and Hawaii require respiratory therapists to be licensed, and an associate degree is the minimum educational requirement. Technical and community colleges, universities, medical schools and the Armed Forces are all sources of training in the field.
According to the Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook, median annual earnings of respiratory therapists were $47,420 in May 2006, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $64,190
The opportunities are expected to be very good for respiratory therapists, notes the Occupational Outlook Handbook, with faster than average job growth in the field, especially for those with cardiopulmonary care skills or experience working with infants. A growing middle-aged and elderly population will contribute to an increased need for trained workers in the respiratory care field
Explore More
To learn more about a career as a respiratory therapist and the education and training it requires, here are some places to turn.

American Association for Respiratory Care
Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs
Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
National Board for Respiratory Care
Source Citation
"Respiratory therapist." Techniques 84.4 (2009): 58. Gale Arts, Humanities and Education Standard Package. Web. 17 May 2010.

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