Respiratory therapy?

  1. Hi, I'm new here (been lurking for a while,though). I'm currently in school finishing up my nursing pre-rec's.

    I have been planning to go to nursing school but recently had a change of heart and have applied to the respiratory program. There is no wait (unlike all of the nursing programs around here) and as soon as I finish my last calss I plan to begin.

    I'm wondering if anyone knows what the starting pay is for respiratory therapists where you live? I believe it is around $20 here, but I could be mistaken.

    Thank you in advance!
  2. Visit westl profile page

    About westl

    Joined: Nov '06; Posts: 2; Likes: 3

    13 Comments

  3. by   mom23RN
    I think where we are respiratory is fairly close to RN. It's probably within $4-$6/hour less. But.... no butts to wipe, no vomit to clean up (for the most part), etc.

    If I had to do it over again I would have done rt.
  4. by   puresass
    my uncle is a respiratory therapist & enjoys his work. i did a job shadow with him during high school & that was what made me decide to go into the medical field. it was really interesting & fast paced & he wasn't stuck in one department all night long. he got to move around the hospital & get to know a little bit about everyone/everything that went on there.

    from what i understand, they make roughly the same amount to start, the only problem that my uncle has with rt is that there aren't as many different avenues that you can take like there are with nursing.
  5. by   walktheline
    Hi:

    I am currently doing my nursing pre-reqs now, but I also had an interest in RT. My nursing clinicals start date is 2010, and the RT program at my tech college has a 1 year waiting list, so I have also been re-thinking my choices. My only thing is that I don't see very many job offerings on hospital web sites and in the the paper for RTs and that kind of scares me. Where are the RT jobs??
  6. by   kharing
    RT jobs follow under "Allied Health" and are most likely found on a hospital's job web site. The jobs are there....in some states, RT's are even offered bonuses! If I had to wait until 2010, I would definitely jump into the RT program. There are students in my class that are doing the same - nothing wrong with being both an RT and an RN.
  7. by   Ventjock
    good field. good pay, less than nurses, but nurses earn their pay. you will work on the floors, the units, cover ers, attend all codes, patient transports on ventilators. can work flight as well. attend L&D as well.
    downside is there arent as many avenues open. RTs can go into home health, LTC, case management (although most will prefer RNs), can go into cathlab as techs, work in stress labs, do sleep studies, all this is lateral movement tho.
    also a few opportunities as an ECMO specialist. (we are of course cardiopulmonary specialists!)
    nurses have NP, midwife, CNS, and CRNA to move up clinically.

    RRTs dont. one has to go PA or AA. or join the sister career of perfusion.

    lots of jobs are available. many offer sign on bonuses. avg from 1K to 5K. some are even higher. you also need the alphabet soup in acute hospitals. ACLS, PALS, NRP, etc.

    starting salary sometimes is .9 of what a RN starts of at to .70 depends on the region. in my area south RTs make comparably to what RNs make $18 compared to $20. in California RNs make around $28-$30 to start compared to $20-23 for RTs. pay also depends on what RTs are allowed to do per protocols. the more responsibility the more pay. (set up IABPs, do hemodynamic monitoring in the cath lab, insert radial A-lines, intubate, etc)
  8. by   airis
    Quote from westl
    Hi, I'm new here (been lurking for a while,though). I'm currently in school finishing up my nursing pre-rec's.

    I have been planning to go to nursing school but recently had a change of heart and have applied to the respiratory program. There is no wait (unlike all of the nursing programs around here) and as soon as I finish my last calss I plan to begin.

    I'm wondering if anyone knows what the starting pay is for respiratory therapists where you live? I believe it is around $20 here, but I could be mistaken.

    Thank you in advance!

    You shouldnt worry about the pay. You should worry about the nature of job as an RT. I was an RT student for a year. I had 6 months to graduate but I quit. I couldnt stand it. Everyday I went to my clinical I was the first person to respond to code blue. I was bagging and doing compressions, taking ABGS. People die on my hands almost everyday. And yes there is fluid contact!!! Worse than $hit!! I had to change trach oneday, I had to take out a 9 inches tube from this guy's hole inside his neck. The snot was coming out mix with blood, it was stinky and color was kinda yellowish. As I was pulling it the guy seemed like he was choking, it was so scary. Thats when I realized that RT wasnt for me. Dont make the mistake I did. I wasted time, money and effort just to realize that I wanted something else. Now, I am going for Radiology Technology. Pay is good, no/less patient fluid contact, no adrenaline rushing haha. Well, hope this helps and goodluck with your career.
  9. by   Valanda
    One aspect of the RT profession that hasn't been mentioned here yet is the opportunity to go into DME provider business. Our area has 3 companies that provide ventilators, oxygen, CPAP and other medical equipment to home care patients. All of these companies are owned/operated by RT's and they seem to be making money hand over fist if it's judged by the cars they drive and the homes they live in. Granted you would have to have some business apptitude, but if I had it to do over again I think I'd give that a try!
  10. by   kharing
    Airis, sounds like you found out that being an RT just wasn't for you. I'm glad you are able to find a career path that better suits you. I must be crazy, but the things that gross you out completely excite me! Sputum rocks!!!
  11. by   magnum68
    Quote from kharing
    I must be crazy, but the things that gross you out completely excite me! Sputum rocks!!!

    I'll suction to that!!

    magnum68
  12. by   Caveman
    Quote from ramiro_ac
    lots of jobs are available. many offer sign on bonuses. avg from 1K to 5K. some are even higher.
    While searching the want ads and hospital employment websites, I have noticed a disturbing trend. It seems that almost all the RT job postings are for "contingent" positions...no full time jobs. Has anyone else noticed that?
  13. by   nurse_baby_yeah
    My sister is a RT here in NJ and she makes 48/hr plus shift dif.
  14. by   jprakes
    i love respiratory care, love what i do... the things mentioned here are exactly why i love it... im not tied to one area, i excel in general pt care, adult, peds, and neonatal intensive care, emergency care, i love being that diverse, as opposed to being in one area at all times... i love being one of the first responders to codes, exciting stuff, absolutely love it... but as mentioned, the downfall is there is really no room for advancement, nursing does have so many choices to get more education, better themselves, and make more cash... with resp, really, all you can do is move up into management, which really sucks, i like pt care, why would i want to sit behind a desk...

    and pay difference is pretty negligable(sp), most places ive worked, starting pay is around $2 an hour difference...

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