Confused on profession...

  1. 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 originally decided on resp. therapy because my grandparents both have/had respiratory problems and I am very close to them. What is y'all's opinion on respiratory? I've read lots of different boards and heard a lot of people say the 2 really don't "get along"...as if respiratory is looked down on nurses or vice versa...I would really appreciate any input anyone of you may have. I know I want to do one of the two...I definately want to help people...respiratory just seemed more close to the heart...hope that came out right...lol...
    Thanks for reading.

    Confused1
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    I have never had any problems with the resps. Fine people in general, helpful as can be. I considered it, but chose nursing because there is a lot more variety in nursing and room to switch areas or go into advanced practice. However, resps have the advantage of not working many nights or holidays in my facility.
  4. by   pebbles
    RT's have a more narrow focus... to me, that is why I would not enjoy that job. Nursing deals with just as much respiratory issues (depends where you work on that, maybe). Nursing focuses on the whole person INCLUDING the respiratory status and problems.

    I think you need to decide what it is about caring for people that appeals to you... do you want to be involved in the entire caring process or do you just want to worry about their lung function? You could always do nursing and work in a respiratory setting -here we have an acute respiratory medicine ward and respiratory rehab ward too - very specialized, but it is still nursing.
  5. by   confused1
    Thanks a lot fergus & pebbles...i appreciate your replies...
    My grandmother was in the hospital a while back because of respiratory problems on a vent...she was in there for like 3 months, so i was up there with her A LOT...I got to see a lot of what the resp. therapist did...it was mainly the therapists job to deal with the vent and so on...i don't know though...i'll have to read and think about it more... please keep comin' with your opinions all..
  6. by   doobiedo
    As a rule I got along with respiratory therapy. We depended on them alot where I worked in critical care. You are bound to butt heads with anyone occasionally about the proper course of treatment especially in the critical care areas that usually do work more closely with them. However I respected them and feel they are a very valued member of the health care team. I have worked in facilities especially LTC where Nursing was responsible for resp therapy treatments so you get better understanding and respect for their contribution.
  7. by   Joan_RN_CO
    I have worked with some great RT's and some bound with the paitents others view them as machines. They are a wounderful resource and nursing support. Every profession has different views its the retraining of trying to get ppl to understand nurses are more then bedpans and med pushers.

    You have to find where you fit

    I love nursing I love what I do good and bad. I like working with my patients and impacting their lives. I would not change that although over the years I have looked at other careers I have always been in the medical field.

    Good luck
  8. by   sharann
    I LOVE our RT's! I would be lost without them. They have a specialized skill and are generally good at it. You have to be able to handle phlegm...ALOT of it. The RT's see more phlegm than we do as nurses typically. If you want to be a "specialized generalist", taking car of all the persons needs (physical, emotional. psych..) then nursing may be more for you.
    Good luck and keep investigating the options. Either way, you will be contributing to patients benefit.
  9. by   kids
    I love the RTs I do and have worked with doing long term vents (adults & peds)...the only problem I have ever encountered is a tendancy to not see the "big picture"...yes breathing is important but the middle of some major bowel care trying to save a quads gut (because somebody didn't follow his routine) is not the time to work on weaning or do a trach change.
  10. by   eak16
    ditto on the phlegm. I dont know how those RT's can handle it. RT is who we call when a patient has so much phlegm that they are choking on it and somehow (after a lot of really gross suctioning noises and a barrelful of mucus) RT takes care of it. My hat's off. I can handle poop and vomit, but give me a bubbling trach tube and I'm weak kneed.:imbar
  11. by   NRSKarenRN
    Agree with the above comments.

    Have portable suction, 2 mini nebs will travel! LOVE caring for vented patients. More mucus the better. Can feel good when youve suctioned and been able to wean.

    On dialysis flor didn't know WHAT was going on.

    Worked 14 bed REsp unit; hosp had ICU and CCU with ONE RT on nights--3300 bed hospital in 80's ; got 2nd person by 89.
    RT's rock---but nurses care for ALL aspects of patient and if great group make all the difference in a patients life as were there 24/7 beside them.

    Saved many patients over the years. Had one patient on vent for 6 months go home for 2 weeks at Christmas; spent another 6 months before sent home on vent. He was weaned off after 3 months and didn't return to us for FIVE years.

    Recommend you try shadowing both for a day.
    Good luck in your decision.
  12. by   fergus51
    Have you heard the joke about how to decide who should be a nurse and who should be a resp?

    Put them chest deep in poop and fling phlegm at them. The one that ducks is the nurse.
  13. by   nurse deb
    I actually signed up for resp thereapy years ago when I first began taking medical terminology, etc....Later I went to nursing school and I'm so glad I did! Some people may be cut out for that, but I don't think I'd like doing "only" resp Tx, suctioning, trach care, etc....I agree with the other folks. Too narrow a range for me. But, it's different for everybody. I'm sure there are resp therapists that love their jobs. I also like the variety in nursing. I've gotten alot of experience in different specialty areas and feel it's made me a better nurse. If respiratory really intersests you, go for it! If you know anyone who works as a resp therapists, you could talk to them. Do some research and make sure that's what you want. Good luck!

    fergus51~I wasn't going to bring up the mucus thing, but since you did.....I'm probably one of those that would "duck"!!! LOL
  14. by   OrthoNutter
    Originally posted by fergus51
    Have you heard the joke about how to decide who should be a nurse and who should be a resp?

    Put them chest deep in poop and fling phlegm at them. The one that ducks is the nurse.

    and I just had my lunch fergus....but oh so true...

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