resp therapy vs RN - page 5

Hi I am a student and am lookng for some opinions/advice. Our local ADN program is impacted to the gills (even with top grades, still a minimum of two year wait to enter the program). Our local RT program is wide open and... Read More

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    I have been a nurse and am currently an RT. I enjoyed both. But I have to say that being an RT has been more enjoyable for me. The job is in high demand and you make good money. With therapist driven protocols you get alot of autonomy in decision making. More than in nursing inky opinion. You still take care of patients but in some ways you have more time to do it. Hope you are happy in either choice.

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    At this time I can not really recommend RT as a viable profession. The job outlook is not that great and some hospitals are giving RNs back many of the RT tasks. We have reduced our RT staff by almost 50% over the past year and so far nobody has really noticed. The RNs just picked up doing the MDIs, nebs, IABPs, HBO and ABGs (ICU and ED). Lab is now running the blood gases and the phlebotomists are doing the ABG draws on the med-surg floors. A few of the smaller hospitals have eliminated their nightshift RTs and have trained the RNs to setup and manage the ventilators. The RTs are also being eliminated in LTC facilities or reduced to one per day to function as an equipment tech.

    The RN will also give you more flexibility and mobility.
    Last edit by GreyGull on May 5, '11
    lindarn likes this.
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    The RN may give you more flexibility and mobility, but there are still plenty of RT jobs out there. Especially for Travel Techs. LTC facilities have never used RT's much. There are hospitals training nurses to do these jobs, but they are finding that as the nursing crunch which is going to happen eventually the nurses WILL not be able to do all of these things. It has happened before and it will happen again that nursing is given the responsibilities for so much that patient care actually suffers. Our nurses in our facility LOVE the fact that RT is now on 24/7 and they are not responsible for the ventilators and BiPaps. The lab does draw some ABG's, but we are called more often than not. RT is not going away any time soon.
    lindarn likes this.
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    Quote from pavanneh
    The RN may give you more flexibility and mobility, but there are still plenty of RT jobs out there. Especially for Travel Techs. LTC facilities have never used RT's much. There are hospitals training nurses to do these jobs, but they are finding that as the nursing crunch which is going to happen eventually the nurses WILL not be able to do all of these things. It has happened before and it will happen again that nursing is given the responsibilities for so much that patient care actually suffers. Our nurses in our facility LOVE the fact that RT is now on 24/7 and they are not responsible for the ventilators and BiPaps. The lab does draw some ABG's, but we are called more often than not. RT is not going away any time soon.
    The big ventilator LTC facilities have used RTs alot in the past and so have some of those SNFs that have taken in large numbers of trachs. Some of these facilities are huge and can have well over 50 LTC ventilators at any given time. These are the ones which have decreased their RT staff. In California, LVNs can manage ventilators in LTC.

    Unfortunately, just like for nursing, some travel jobs are in places no one wants to live in or work for.

    If your facility is just now having RTs 24/7, it would be very easy for them to not have them 24/7 again.

    Respiratory Therapy has not advanced to the level it needs to be to have a secure footing in the reimbursement world as the other allied health professions have such as PT, OT and SLP. Respiratory Therapy is still only an Associates degree while the others are Masters and Doctorate. RT is attempting to raise their status with the pending legislation for those with Bachelors and Masters degree in a different category but that may fall through. RT has already seen as much as an 80% decline in reimbursement for some of their services. They will have to reinvent themselves again as they have done in the past with the Cardiopulmonary and Neuro expansion or raise education to justify worth and value. It will all depend on if their 10 year plan for eduation will follow through.
    lindarn likes this.
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    Thanks for all the info and advice I chose nursing. All the info posted here was very helpful.
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    If I had known about respiratory therapy when I went to college the first time, I most likely would not have gone to nursing school. RT jobs vary according to location; however, over half of my graduating class already has employment as graduate therapists and the market in my area of the world is saturated by two programmes pumping out around 30 students a year. Some areas that have multiple schools are over saturated and you may have to relocate; however, respiratory is still a viable career.
    lindarn likes this.
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    wow this information really helped me. i cant wait to get started in the RT field
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    What are the salary differences between RT and RN?
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    Quote from ForensicBound
    What are the salary differences between RT and RN?
    Varies, but a RN will typically have higher wages. Also remember there is a difference between CRT and RRT plus specialty credentials such as RPFT and NPS.
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    What are the different types of specialties as an RRT? The main reason I was going into nursing was because of the different specialty areas. I've been going back and forth between the two but have been leaning more towards RRT. I'm just afraid of landing a job once out of school. I don't know if it'd be more difficult getting a job as an RRT or as an RN.


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