I am considering switching from nursing to respiratory therapy after a bad experience with nursing school
at a small private college. After two semesters of nursing school I was really turned off to the whole career. Felt like I wasn't learning anything.. the professors just stood up there and talked out of their a**, and very little of what was said in lecture ended up being important for exams. Felt like I just had to be a very good guesser on exams to pass... was doing ok in some courses and struggled with two.. my grades were dropping and I was becoming a "C" average student (which I had never been in my life) this was causing me to feel very depressed. The Professors were very negative people and most would turn you away and tell you to change your major if you struggled with ONE class... I didn't want anything to do with nursing anymore. Plus I feel like nurses are held accountable for too much a lot of the time.
I want to remain in the healthcare field so I have thought of respiratory therapy. I just applied to two different programs in my area, and I think this is good because I do well learning a lot about one thing as opposed to nursing where you're learning a little about everything. I'm receiving negative feedback from friends that I made in nursing school, saying things like "you're not gonna make any money", "that's a dying field, nurses will replace RT's one day". So I wanted to know, is respiratory therapy a good career? And how are they viewed by nurses? Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't RT's trained to use a ventilator while nurses are not? Any insight is appreciated, thank you.
Apr 2, '17
Quote from dishes
Respiratory therapists are a valuable part of the interdisciplinary team and work in many settings; ICU, Emerg, OR, neonatal,rehab, specialized medical centers such as sleep labs and in patient's homes. Like nurses, respiratory therapists go through job shortage and surplus cycles, there may be a surplus of RT grads currently competing for jobs in your area, but it will more than likely change to a shortage cycle in the future. There is a rising incidence of obstructive sleep apnea in North America and nurses are not qualified to conduct the sleep studies nor are they authorized to fit the patient with the right CPAP equipment, the RTs are not going to be replaced by nurses.
Good to see that not all nursing students/nurses look down on RT's with an attitude of superiority like I was hearing from my former classmates. While respiratory therapy may not be as flexible a career as nursing, they are certainly a vital part of the healthcare team and must take on tasks that nurses are nowhere near qualified to do. Thank you.
Any further her insight on this topic is welcome
Last edit by MykRTstudent on Apr 2, '17