Confused on profession... - page 2

Hey guys...I'm new here and have been reading up...seems like a good board...I just have one question though...I'm debating on 2 different career choices...nursing or respiratory therapy. I had... Read More

  1. by   RNFROG3
    RT's Rock cause I couldn't do what they do on a daily basis. I'm ever so thankful they came up with an in line suction unit for vents so I really only have to glance at that gook to document. I can't take it. I'm a ducker fur sure! I'm getting nauseated just talking about it. Good luck with your decision- I think if you follow your heart you'll always be happy with the choice you made. Plus you can always go back and get the other degree, alot of hospitals will help with your tuition if you pay them back in time once you've graduated.
  2. by   RNinICU
    We work very closely with the RTs in our unit, and depend on them for a lot. Several of the therapists have told me that the do not have as much variety as they would like to have, and that nursing offers more of a chance to specialize. At our hospital, nursing also pays better.
  3. by   Anaclaire
    Our Level III Intensive Care Nursery has it's own staff of RTs. They are present day and night to focus on respiratory care of the babies. They set up all ventillators and make sure the patients parameters are changed as the physician orders. They do arterial and capillary blood gases as the physicians order and work in tandem with the RN caring for the baby to change vent settings and monitor changes. They are active in administering surfactant to the babies through their endotracheal tubes, give nebulizer treatments and CPT, and maintain nasal CPAP, oxyhoods, and prong oxygen. They make sure they take care of all the respiratory related equipment in our unit. When they become proficient they are invited to join our transport team. We have one RN and one RT go together on our transports. We try to let the RTs do any intubations necessary either in the NICU or in the Labor & Delivery rooms during emergency deliveries. They always attend high risk deliveries with an RN (and a NNP or MD if they are around). They take care of the tracheotomies and trach care. They also assist in teaching home care to parents. They monitor apnea monitors and teach their use to parents as well as teach them how to use the oxygen if their baby is going home with such items. They also attend all "Code" calls in the hospital (where CPR is likely to be initiated).

    I agree that they can be highly focused on the respiratory aspect of the patient's needs and not be aware (because they aren't taught) of some more important factors in the babies care. The mention above about them wanting to do routine, scheduled endotrachel tube holder changing when a baby is not stable enough for it is a fine example. Most of them, however, learn quickly that they need to coordinate their care with ours. Our RTs are assigned a certain group of patients for their shift and they then contact the nurses of those patients and review the orders and ask about when they should do their care.

    They do not make as much money as RNs but do make more than LPNs. Their salaries are closer to the RNs though.

    I've known several RTs who went on and graduated from nursing school. They saw what nurses did and felt they had mastered being RTs... felt no more excitement going to work each day if you know what I mean. They make awesome nurses with all their respiratory experience and contact with patient care!

    This is my experience with RTs in a NICU.

    Each Intensive Care Unit in our hospital had their own RT staff. They took turns about doing treatments on the regular hospital floors (assisting with incentive spirometry, nebulizer treatments, CPT, attending codes, etc.)

    Good luck in your decision! Follow your heart. You want to be happy doing your work each day!

    Warmly,
    Anaclaire
    Last edit by Anaclaire on Aug 22, '02
  4. by   RNIAM
    Not all facilities has resp. therapist deal with the vent pt. I work in a small hospital. In my dept (icu) the nurse cares for the pt.
    ALL ASPECTS, including the vent.
    I encourage you to search you heart and you will find the direction that you want to lead in your life.
    Best of Luck with your decision.
  5. by   confused1
    Fergus...I guess I'd be the RT because I'd definately rather get phlegm flung at me than stand chest deep in poop...lol...no way jose..
    I REALLY appreciate all your responses...while my grandmother was in the hospital, both the nurses (with an exception of a couple) and RT's were GREAT...It really shows when y'all love what you do...
    I also considered going for RT first and then get my nursing degree...hey...you can never learn too much...

    I also would LOVE to do RT in NICU and transport...
    Do they have RT's in the ER?

    Again, thank y'all so much for giving me your time and thoughts...I
    am gonna' give it a lot of thought...
  6. by   nurse deb
    Those were some great responses. You guys have a way of always getting me to laugh! Thanks!! (smile)....

    I also have a new respect for RT's. It's a great specialty. Just do your research before making your final decision. Good luck!


    :chuckle Deb
  7. by   MollyJ
    To me, RT's have more of a guest appearance role--come in, check equipment, chat with patients during treatments, fight with patients during treatments and then they're out. Nurses have a more "stay with it role" in the care of the patient. Either one can be ill fitted to the individual.

    I'm with Karen--try job shadowing both roles.

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