Question from a Respiratory Therapist

  1. Hello, I am new on here, I have read so much and gotten some much useful information and great advice just by reading past threads. Here is my question. I am a respiratory therapist interested in Excelisor. I work in a large hospital and have been a therapist for 8 yrs, so I have seen alot. Question is, do you all think that I can sucessfully complete the RN program without any formal nursing training? Also am I correct in saying that you do not do clinicals except for the weekend test at the end? Thanks so much!
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   New Castle Ken
    Quote from petrosian
    Hello, I am new on here, I have read so much and gotten some much useful information and great advice just by reading past threads. Here is my question. I am a respiratory therapist interested in Excelisor. I work in a large hospital and have been a therapist for 8 yrs, so I have seen alot. Question is, do you all think that I can sucessfully complete the RN program without any formal nursing training? Also am I correct in saying that you do not do clinicals except for the weekend test at the end? Thanks so much!
    Correct, you do not do clinicals as is customary in on campus programs. You must pass the clinical exams though, which are in person. My personal opinion is that if you are interested in nursing that you go to a campus based programs. You should be able to get credits for your respiratory therapy program especially if a degree program. Good luck.
  4. by   suzanne4
    I know several RTs that went through the Regent's program, which is now Excelsior and they have done just fine it. Especially if they were an RT in an ICU setting.

    You have nothing to lose....................
  5. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    Petrosian,

    Former RT here.

    I think the most useful thing about nusing school is what they call psychomotor skills. It's sort of like being able to change vent tubes or pig-rigging a simple mask with a taped t-tube and 6 inches of corrugated tubing. You have to develope a comfort level with nursing procedure while you're trying to think of the pt, what to do next, that funny breathing pattern, etc. You know what it's like to get set to do a vent change and discover that you forgot something, or have items to resupply before the next one. You can't plan for that if you've not done it enough to make those mistakes. It just throws your time management out the window.

    Even though nurses don't get 40 patients (I did back in the day anyway) like a floor RT does, they have multiple procedures to do on each one. incorrect technique can cost you time, put the patient at risk (like a trach change) and be embarrassing to you and your unit.

    All the psych stuff is irritating but the pace should be to your liking. I think it's important to get enough experience at those psychomotor skills alone. There are ALOT of different procedures, some take awhile to reach a comfort level with.

    My advice is to take a tour of a few schools in your area and look at all the junk they have to learn about. Imagine having to learn that.....by yourself and then try to pass competency.

    Are you degreed?
    What type of resp. work do you do?

    I've been out of it for 12 years but I'm going to another profession too. I did most of my time at a rehab doing trach care, turtle shells, metabolic carts, that sort of thing.
  6. by   MsBruiser
    Can you tell me why you are switching from RT to RN? What is the major motivator for this switch? Where you happy as an RT?

    Quote from Peeps Mcarthur
    Petrosian,

    Former RT here.

    I think the most useful thing about nusing school is what they call psychomotor skills. It's sort of like being able to change vent tubes or pig-rigging a simple mask with a taped t-tube and 6 inches of corrugated tubing. You have to develope a comfort level with nursing procedure while you're trying to think of the pt, what to do next, that funny breathing pattern, etc. You know what it's like to get set to do a vent change and discover that you forgot something, or have items to resupply before the next one. You can't plan for that if you've not done it enough to make those mistakes. It just throws your time management out the window.

    Even though nurses don't get 40 patients (I did back in the day anyway) like a floor RT does, they have multiple procedures to do on each one. incorrect technique can cost you time, put the patient at risk (like a trach change) and be embarrassing to you and your unit.

    All the psych stuff is irritating but the pace should be to your liking. I think it's important to get enough experience at those psychomotor skills alone. There are ALOT of different procedures, some take awhile to reach a comfort level with.

    My advice is to take a tour of a few schools in your area and look at all the junk they have to learn about. Imagine having to learn that.....by yourself and then try to pass competency.

    Are you degreed?
    What type of resp. work do you do?

    I've been out of it for 12 years but I'm going to another profession too. I did most of my time at a rehab doing trach care, turtle shells, metabolic carts, that sort of thing.
  7. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    By Stopnik
    Can you tell me why you are switching from RT to RN? What is the major motivator for this switch? Where you happy as an RT?
    I was an RT over 12 years ago. Some of the drudgery of running aerosol txs in succession every 4 hours with the same patients may be done away with by now. There would be nights when I would have 40 pts of varying frequency on different floors with stat orders to break the monotony. If you worked ICU with vents, you would still be assigned floor patients. Stat calls for vent alarms would ensue upon your departure to do stat breathing txs for patients with clear bs. The pt in the ICU just needed the plug suctioned. The "alarm" it turns out was for a cough setting off the high pressure limit. About once every three months a challenging bloodgas or a patient fighting a ventillator would require unusual skill to save the day, but for the most part it was pretty mundane for me. One day while working a pulmonary floor I sensed that a patient was developing a problem. I followed up with calls to the resident, then attending and finaly presented it to the thoracic surgeon because I believed that this patient was developing a pnemothorax. I got the surgeon to order a film and guess what?..........he was in fact developing a pneumothorax.

    Then I was fired because of this "incident".

    That's when I decided that I wasn't an RT. I needed to diagnose and treat patients. I reviewed my transcripts with several schools finding out that none of my credits would transfer, so I put off going back.

    Years later, I got over it and decided to persue diagnosis and treatment through a way to go to work part-time that would keep me in pt care and give me some assumed medical skills. I discovered that nursing was more psychology and sociology than the medical career I had envisioned, even farther away from medicine than RT, so I set my sights on PA. I joined the Army National Guard to help pay for school instead of working as a nurse since nursing had very little to do with the medical-model that I wanted to master.

    RT is a good stepping stone to something in the Masters degrees but it's not a career field that has growth for you beyond dept manager. If you get a BS in respiratory you'll have some handy prerequisites to build on for practitioner or PA. Make sure that the credits you're taking will transfer and don't take your counselor's word for it.

    I was first motivated to get an RN because I wanted to end up diagnosing and treating disease as a Nurse Practitioner or a Physician Assistant. I now know what the nursing curicculum is like and have decided that it doesn't fit training that would be useful in building a good practitioner in diagnosis and treatment of pathologies and would therefore not be helpful to me as a Nurse Practitioner.

    Now I am full-time to apply to a BS in Medical Laboratory Science and a masters in PA studies by 2007. I will be assisting in diagnosis as a laboratory scientist and I will be treating and diagnosing as a PA.

    That's what I want. There were times when I was an RT that I was happy. Sometimes I was asked my opinion, but most of the time I was nurse's and resident's gopher. I can recall 2 times when I was responsible for saving a patients life and a few more when I received a "thank you", and those are my most rewarding memories in a 5 year 'career'.
  8. by   petrosian
    I have been a therapist for 8 years. Why do I want to be a RN? Well......there have recently been changes at my job. I have worked PRN for the past 4 yrs, always getting all the hours I could possible want. Now... well let just say for the whole month I have 48hrs. I usually work 36 week. I just see this as my opportunity to go further in life. I want to make more money. I really think I would enjoy being a nurse. I really love pt care. I like respiratory, but as you said.. there is only so far you can go as a respiratory therapist and I think I have gone as far as I can go. I am still pretty young, 28 yrs old. Really what I would be interested in someday is CRNA, a combination of nursing and resp, but I doubt I would go that far. No schools close to me. I am really excited about getting started in Excelsior. I just hope I can have the willpower to succeed. I am going to keep my head up high and try my best because I do want to succeed.
  9. by   MsBruiser
    Quote from petrosian
    I have been a therapist for 8 years. Why do I want to be a RN? Well......there have recently been changes at my job. I have worked PRN for the past 4 yrs, always getting all the hours I could possible want. Now... well let just say for the whole month I have 48hrs. I usually work 36 week. I just see this as my opportunity to go further in life. I want to make more money. I really think I would enjoy being a nurse. I really love pt care. I like respiratory, but as you said.. there is only so far you can go as a respiratory therapist and I think I have gone as far as I can go. I am still pretty young, 28 yrs old. Really what I would be interested in someday is CRNA, a combination of nursing and resp, but I doubt I would go that far. No schools close to me. I am really excited about getting started in Excelsior. I just hope I can have the willpower to succeed. I am going to keep my head up high and try my best because I do want to succeed.

    Where do you live (approximately)? Why do you think hours have been cut? What do you think about the job of RT in general? Would you recommend it?
  10. by   petrosian
    I live in Kentucky. My hours were cut because they hired more FTE's, I was in a Pool position. Next FT postion that is available I am going to jump on it. The major motivator for change, was just that... Change in my dept. Lack of hours. Desire to make more money. There are so many different directions you can go in Nursing vs Resp. I do love being a therapist. Especially in the units, but a change is good.
  11. by   Linda_Weg
    Quote from petrosian
    Hello, I am new on here, I have read so much and gotten some much useful information and great advice just by reading past threads. Here is my question. I am a respiratory therapist interested in Excelisor. I work in a large hospital and have been a therapist for 8 yrs, so I have seen alot. Question is, do you all think that I can sucessfully complete the RN program without any formal nursing training? Also am I correct in saying that you do not do clinicals except for the weekend test at the end? Thanks so much!
    I'm sure you'll do fine! I've been in Respiratory since 82, I'm a RRT and NPS and am looking at RN as a stepping stone towards NNP. I've had a blast in Respiratory, no regrets and no disappointments. I can honestly say everyday I go into work is still a rush. I don't do floor care, haven't seen a neb since the early 80's. My field of specialty is neonatal (ECMO and HFOV) and neo/ped transport. So far I've gotten A's on my exams, my concern is the CPNE. CPNE is general floor patients (low acuity compared to what I deal with) - I'm thinking to prepare for that I'll need to shadow some floor nurses for a one or two shifts.

    Linda
  12. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    By Linda_Weg
    I'm thinking to prepare for that I'll need to shadow some floor nurses for a one or two shifts.
    Don't fool yourself Linda. The world of nursing is many galaxies away from the medical model you've been dabbling in. In neonatology you're at the top of the heap among staff RTs but it's going to be a big letdown for you to realize that you have no PT care skills suddenly and you have no idea whatsoever what to do with that thingy, whatever it's called. I'm not saying that it is beyond your capabilities, just that nursing is so different from what you think it is.

    I came from the ranks of the superstar RTs after a little time away from the floor. I was a 4.0 student with a background of excellent clinical skills even beyond my vocation's requirements. I thought I was just going into another branch of medicine that had a little more intensive PT care. I had seen what nurses did and figured that I could do it too.

    I don't know what Excelcior's curicculum is like but you are not likely to notice much of what you know about medicine in it. It is a medevial circus of equipment you never knew existed with a psychosocial undertone of persistent distraction that portends to diagnose etiologies of some diseases you have never heard of.

    Trust me....................cut and paste this post to read it after you have been exposed to the world beneath the surface of what you see.
  13. by   petrosian
    That is cool!! Thanks for the encouragement!! I am studying a&p. Unfortunately I went to a vocational school and my classes won't transfer.




    Quote from Linda_Weg
    I'm sure you'll do fine! I've been in Respiratory since 82, I'm a RRT and NPS and am looking at RN as a stepping stone towards NNP. I've had a blast in Respiratory, no regrets and no disappointments. I can honestly say everyday I go into work is still a rush. I don't do floor care, haven't seen a neb since the early 80's. My field of specialty is neonatal (ECMO and HFOV) and neo/ped transport. So far I've gotten A's on my exams, my concern is the CPNE. CPNE is general floor patients (low acuity compared to what I deal with) - I'm thinking to prepare for that I'll need to shadow some floor nurses for a one or two shifts.

    Linda
  14. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    By Petrosian
    That is cool!! Thanks for the encouragement!! I am studying a&p. Unfortunately I went to a vocational school and my classes won't transfer.
    Same here.

    I "graduated" from Crestwood Career Academy that was in Tempe AZ. It closed a few years after due to the fact that they were a paper mill. I learned everything OJT after school. I passed the CRTT on the first try though. When I applied to finish my "degree" I was informed that NONE of my 62 credits would transfer, basicly because my school sucked.

    I have been working on my prerequisites for PA school for 3 years with 2 1/2 to go. I'm taking EMT classes and will be working an ambulance crew by fall semester so I can have recent patient care experience and don't have to show my respiratory "degree" as proof. I'm just going to pretend it never happened and let everyone think that I'm a natural. I'll just seem to catch on to airways, breath sounds and ABGs real easy.

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