Respiratory Therapist VS Nursing - page 7

Hello all. I would like to know if any of you knows who has more work load nurse or respiratory therapist. I am going to school for respiratory but at the same time I am thinking about going to... Read More

  1. by   nclady31
    This is so helpful. I am currently taking pre-reqs for ADN but I am finding myself strongly leaning to the RT program. I wish there was a site as great as this one for RT's. Also, in my barbaric research of RT, I am finding more variety in this field that what alot of people are saying. Such as NPS, C-AE, PFT, as well as a few job postings on my local hospital site for jobs such as cardiology specialist where the qualifications are either RN or RRT with several years experience in your field in an intensive care unit. The more I am finding diversity in this field, the more excited I am about RT vs RN. I hope to be able to shadow a couple of RTs in the next few weeks. Hopefully, after that, I will be able to make up my mind for sure. Thank you guys for all your info!!
  2. by   mrs_brightside
    I am a Respiratory Therapy student in my second semester. We are already going to clinicals, and there are certain areas that I enjoy more than others. I enjoy the CICU over the ICU, but one thing I would like to bring to light, obviously, is the nursing-rt "conflict." There are so many people who slam nurses for the way they treat RTs, and I have not experienced a bad nurse yet. I am sure the time will come, though, but we should understand that all jobs in a hospital or clinic are important. From the hospital management to the people who clean the rooms. We all need each other, and we should all help one another. The primary goal is to treat and help the patient - and anyone going into a health field thinking he/she is going to do that on their own should get out immediately. It's a team effort. There should not be some big debate over which is better, both RTs and nurses are important in the health care field. I went into this thinking I was going to see a bunch of RNs being rude and snotty, but the truth is that I have a great deal of respect for them and what they do after going to clinicals. Not all nurses are bad and you can't label them as such over one bad experience. I am enjoying RT classes right now, and I hope that I can make it... it seems very hard, it's just a lot of information to take in. I hope to one day to specialize in the Neonatal/Pediatric branch of RT. Also, the pay is excellent in almost any health care field, but if that is your only concern, you should also leave. I think that's the problem with a lot of our health care today: too many smart people going into health care who care more for money than for the well-being of another person.
  3. by   JENHEY
    Hello

    I need to decide on going for a Respiratory Therapist Associates degree or a Sleep Technician's Certificate. From reading the posts, it seems that the
    Respiratory Therapist degree might be a better option with more choices.
    Any Advice ? I have two Associate's degrees now. One in Human services and the other as a Medical Assistant.
    Thanks
    JEN
    :O)
  4. by   RRT2RN2CRNA
    @JENHEY-

    If you need to start making money that's above min wage, then go for sleep cert first, because it's a short course and you can work in that while you're in school for respiratory or nursing. However, sleep is very specialized and unless you work in a large metro area, the job opportunities are limited. Sleep labs are usually 4-8 beds and each tech takes 2-3 patients so you only have 2-3 techs working per night. And it's somewhat of a dead end as far as earnings for a routine sleep tech job.

    If you can afford to just go straight into an associate's or BS program, I highly recommend Respiratory Therapy to anyone who's looking to get into health care. It's particularly great if not you're quite sold on nursing (at least right away) or don't want to deal with fussy RN program admissions wait lists and all that. It's a great field to work in to get a look at what goes on in all the different units. You will be much more prepared than someone who has never worked in a hospital if you decide to go for nursing school later on. And you can have an idea of what kind of unit you will want to work in. And it can be really fun. On an average day I run between the ER, a few ICUs and the floors. I see every kind of patient. I do boring busy work like nebs, and then I'll go do something more demanding like put an arterial line in or fix an oscillator. I run a lot of crazy machines and it teaches you to be able to logically troubleshoot a situation under pressure. It can be really great *depending on the hospital you choose* (very impt)

    And who knows? You might like it and not do anything else after. And that's perfectly fine too.

    P.S. Don't get the wrong impression from these territorial ninnies fighting up top. I work in an academic trauma center in ICU where our nurses love us. And it's mutual. We have different roles that are complimentary. End of story. Anybody blowing it up into some sort of feud for the ages is lacking in either self-esteem or mental faculties.
    Plus we have a common enemy.... the residents!

    Let me know if you have more questions-

    A
  5. by   JENHEY
    Hey
    Thanks for replying to my post and the advice! I think it is a good idea to start with the sleep tech program and then move on to the respiratory degree.. There is a two year wait list for RN programs here in NH and no guarantee to get into the LPN programs either.. I don't want to waste my time waiting to get into a program when I could be furthering my education. One concern I have about being a Respiratory Therapist is handling someone not breathing. Their life is in your hands...I would think that my skills and confidence would build from my education and experience... I would then know what to do when that situation happens..
    Jen
  6. by   rtme
    To begin, all health care workers, even those that don't deal directly with patient care, have chosen to make it their life's work to help and serve others. Thats a big commitment. We work long days, nights and holidays. We are expected to show up in bad weather. We deal with patients and their families who are kind, indifferent, non-compliant and combative. Health care workers see things in hospitals that the lay person may never see. We experience extreme joy's and sorrows. These are all things to consider when you are deciding upon entering the health care field. If you are considering such a step because it seems like good money, then your entering for the wrong reasons and may find that you are miserable down the road.

    In reference to the RT's vs. Nursing:

    Not all RT's and nurses have animosity toward each other. The simple fact is that our jobs have differing set's of responsibilities. Really, no one job is " better" than another. Successful patient care depends on each member of the health care staff working in cooperation with each other.

    Of coarse there are fleeting moments when our assessment/care/treatment/ opinion of pt. care may differ. But that is not strictly between RT's and nurses. I have heard CNA's complain about nurses, nurses complain about doctors, residents complain about the attending , Pulmonologists complain about cardiologists...the list goes on and on...and of coarse, we all complain about our co workers within our own department. There will ALWAYS be something/ someone to complain about or look down upon. Unfortunately, its a part of human nature.

    As for me, I am an RT, but I was also a CNA for 10 years in nursing homes. Being a CNA was a great introduction to the health care field. I would highly recommend it as a first step to be sure this is what you want to do. Anyway, as a CNA in a nursing home (the ones I have worked at) we did EVERYTHING except wound care and pass meds. We dressed, bathed, fed, transported, ambulated, etc. (this however does not apply to all nursing homes, only the ones I have worked for.) At the time, I knew I wanted to take that next step up the career ladder, but...I knew that I didn't want to be a nurse. I wanted a completely different set of responsibilities.
    Mind you, Hospitals and nursing homes are two different types of health care settings. Obviously, hospitals have much more going on than a rest home for the elderly. As such, the responsibilities/scope of practice for nurses will differ.

    The amount of respect you receive seems dependent upon two things:

    1. It seems correlated to the responsibilities/ tasks you perform at your institution . As well as how competent you are at performing these tasks, how well you relate to your coworkers/ patients, etc. This goes for everyone, not just RT's.

    2. If you are good at what you do, you enjoy what you do, you work well with others and you treat your co-workers with equal respect, no matter where you go, YOU as a PROFESSIONAL will be respected.

    That being said:


    In hospitals that dont have established respiratory driven protocols, RT's may be considered little more than treatment jockey's, knob turners and equipment techs. Simply put, if your not allowed to do much, then you cant expect much in return. HOWEVER, keep in mind stipulation # 2.

    In hospitals where they DO have these protocols, RT's may be expected to intubate/ extubate , enter orders, modify orders, d/c orders, start A-lines, etc. The wider your scope of practice, the more indispensable you become. There are institutions like this and I work at one of them. The nurses there see me as an equal member of the team. I am expected to do things (like intubate during code situations) that they would not want to do. Those exact words I have been told time and again from my fellow nurses. Just like they do things that I do not want to do, like clean and pack a wound. Some nurses don't like to deal with airway secretions, I don't like to deal with poo anymore. Still, if I have time, I will help my fellow nurses change/bath a patient. Likewise, if they have time, they may do some naso-tracheal suctioning on a patient of mine.

    It is up to you what type of an institution you decide to work at. Make sure you talk to the department heads about what your job requirements are. There are ups and downs to everything. Its ultimately your decision. If you later complain about what your expected to do (whether it be too much or too little), than look no further than yourself for blame because you chose to work there. You can always look elsewhere when your ready to try something different. This goes for everyone.

    Opportunities:

    Nursing does tend to have more opportunities. You have the option of working in a hospital, doctors office, school, nursing home and home health. RT opportunities vary from hospitals, few long term care institutions (that take on vent patients), home health, traveling therapist....and i think that about covers it. You may also get into the pharmaceutical sales rep. role.


    Good luck to all those stuck in indecision!
  7. by   Phlebotomyguy
    Just wanted some thoughts on my situation, I am currently a phlebotomist who wants to move up in the healthcare field. I am debating on lpn vs rt. I have been a nurses aid(stna) so I know what nurses do and my wife is an lpn as well.

    My main point of concern is the amoutn of time and job outlook. I can go to lpn school part time and be done in about 21 months, rt would be a lot longer due to prereqs. The current lpn out is not so good as well. My other concern is my knees, I have bad knees and have a lot of trouble bending them. I'm just kinda lost, long term I am more intereseted in rt, but I can get done with lpn a lot faster although job outlook in my area at the moment is almost non exsistant.

    any thougths are appreciated.
  8. by   RN2BKS
    Quote from Phlebotomyguy
    Just wanted some thoughts on my situation, I am currently a phlebotomist who wants to move up in the healthcare field. I am debating on lpn vs rt. I have been a nurses aid(stna) so I know what nurses do and my wife is an lpn as well.

    My main point of concern is the amoutn of time and job outlook. I can go to lpn school part time and be done in about 21 months, rt would be a lot longer due to prereqs. The current lpn out is not so good as well. My other concern is my knees, I have bad knees and have a lot of trouble bending them. I'm just kinda lost, long term I am more intereseted in rt, but I can get done with lpn a lot faster although job outlook in my area at the moment is almost non exsistant.

    any thougths are appreciated.
    I would think about your health and how it could affect you if you were working with heavy pts. But both ways you do do a lot of walking/bending in the health field. I would also take in that LPN jobs/the field is going away like you said non exsistant. Look and see what else you are interested in and how long it would take you to finish. I'm a aide too and the nursing schools here are wait listed for several years! I need to make a living not struggle until then. I think I am going for RT next fall. Wishing you luck!
  9. by   Kemet31042
    I love the way you responded to nursing vs respiratory. you just put the health care profession in a nut shell. I have been a CNA myself for 20 years and practiced from 1989 to 2006 when my husband had a stroke. I love working the medical field and I don't really want to be a nurse either so I am currently studying to become a respiratory therapist.
  10. by   Kemet31042
    I was referring to rtme. I forgot to quote message in reply.
  11. by   Kemet31042
    Quote from rtme
    To begin, all health care workers, even those that don't deal directly with patient care, have chosen to make it their life's work to help and serve others. Thats a big commitment. We work long days, nights and holidays. We are expected to show up in bad weather. We deal with patients and their families who are kind, indifferent, non-compliant and combative. Health care workers see things in hospitals that the lay person may never see. We experience extreme joy's and sorrows. These are all things to consider when you are deciding upon entering the health care field. If you are considering such a step because it seems like good money, then your entering for the wrong reasons and may find that you are miserable down the road.

    In reference to the RT's vs. Nursing:

    Not all RT's and nurses have animosity toward each other. The simple fact is that our jobs have differing set's of responsibilities. Really, no one job is " better" than another. Successful patient care depends on each member of the health care staff working in cooperation with each other.

    Of coarse there are fleeting moments when our assessment/care/treatment/ opinion of pt. care may differ. But that is not strictly between RT's and nurses. I have heard CNA's complain about nurses, nurses complain about doctors, residents complain about the attending , Pulmonologists complain about cardiologists...the list goes on and on...and of coarse, we all complain about our co workers within our own department. There will ALWAYS be something/ someone to complain about or look down upon. Unfortunately, its a part of human nature.

    As for me, I am an RT, but I was also a CNA for 10 years in nursing homes. Being a CNA was a great introduction to the health care field. I would highly recommend it as a first step to be sure this is what you want to do. Anyway, as a CNA in a nursing home (the ones I have worked at) we did EVERYTHING except wound care and pass meds. We dressed, bathed, fed, transported, ambulated, etc. (this however does not apply to all nursing homes, only the ones I have worked for.) At the time, I knew I wanted to take that next step up the career ladder, but...I knew that I didn't want to be a nurse. I wanted a completely different set of responsibilities.
    Mind you, Hospitals and nursing homes are two different types of health care settings. Obviously, hospitals have much more going on than a rest home for the elderly. As such, the responsibilities/scope of practice for nurses will differ.

    The amount of respect you receive seems dependent upon two things:

    1. It seems correlated to the responsibilities/ tasks you perform at your institution . As well as how competent you are at performing these tasks, how well you relate to your coworkers/ patients, etc. This goes for everyone, not just RT's.

    2. If you are good at what you do, you enjoy what you do, you work well with others and you treat your co-workers with equal respect, no matter where you go, YOU as a PROFESSIONAL will be respected.

    That being said:


    In hospitals that dont have established respiratory driven protocols, RT's may be considered little more than treatment jockey's, knob turners and equipment techs. Simply put, if your not allowed to do much, then you cant expect much in return. HOWEVER, keep in mind stipulation # 2.

    In hospitals where they DO have these protocols, RT's may be expected to intubate/ extubate , enter orders, modify orders, d/c orders, start A-lines, etc. The wider your scope of practice, the more indispensable you become. There are institutions like this and I work at one of them. The nurses there see me as an equal member of the team. I am expected to do things (like intubate during code situations) that they would not want to do. Those exact words I have been told time and again from my fellow nurses. Just like they do things that I do not want to do, like clean and pack a wound. Some nurses don't like to deal with airway secretions, I don't like to deal with poo anymore. Still, if I have time, I will help my fellow nurses change/bath a patient. Likewise, if they have time, they may do some naso-tracheal suctioning on a patient of mine.

    It is up to you what type of an institution you decide to work at. Make sure you talk to the department heads about what your job requirements are. There are ups and downs to everything. Its ultimately your decision. If you later complain about what your expected to do (whether it be too much or too little), than look no further than yourself for blame because you chose to work there. You can always look elsewhere when your ready to try something different. This goes for everyone.

    Opportunities:

    Nursing does tend to have more opportunities. You have the option of working in a hospital, doctors office, school, nursing home and home health. RT opportunities vary from hospitals, few long term care institutions (that take on vent patients), home health, traveling therapist....and i think that about covers it. You may also get into the pharmaceutical sales rep. role.


    Good luck to all those stuck in indecision!
    I love the way you responded to nursing vs respiratory. you just put the health care profession in a nut shell. I have been a CNA myself for 20 years and practiced from 1989 to 2006 when my husband had a stroke. I love working the medical field and I don't really want to be a nurse either so I am currently studying to become a respiratory therapist.
  12. by   Kemet31042
    What is the average age for going to school for respiratory therapist?
  13. by   MelindaRT
    Kemet,

    You can start RT school at most any age. RT, just like nursing, can be physically taxing with long hours, sometimes nonstop...I think that if you are willing to get up and go, and care about your patients, then any age is fine.

    I have spent the last while reading this thread (my bad, I'm at work ). I have been a Respiratory Therapist since 1975, and have seen so many changes in our field. RT's responsibilities have increased tremendously, especially in the last 10 yrs. I have always respected the RN's I work with as patient care is a group effort. No, I can't adjust IV's but I can help turn a patient with the best (poop or not) if they are busy. Likewise, when I'm deciding to which stat call I'll do first, a RN is there to take my patient off his treatment. It's like a symbiotic relationship, we can't do without each other.

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