Respritory therapy

  1. Has anyone thought about the respiratory therapy program instead of nursing? If so why? Is it a big difference between nursing,and what's the difference?

    lbowknee
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    About dark40

    Joined: Jul '04; Posts: 86; Likes: 15
    stylist; from US
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    16 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    Very big difference. RT's concentrate on one body system and how it affects the rest of the body. RNs take care of the whole body.
  4. by   loquacity
    I am a 2nd year nursing student and have a friend from high school in respiratory tech program This is my knowdledge of the area ( I worked sumemr in the hospital and have several other family members in the healthcare field. In Canada which im not sure how it compares to japan , anyways. Nursing is either 4 years to be a Registered Nurse (RN), or it can be done in 3 years but you are restricited to working in a hospital, or as LPN's which is a 2 year program through various colleges. Respiratory therapy in my province, ALberta is done at college in a 3 year program...they make similar wages.
    Workwise...i only know of them working in hospitals but that incldues having an outpateitn clinic in the hospital (sorta looks like a docotrs office). They primarily work in ICU, ER,OR and with anyone having resp. problems. The also anlayse cord blood from newborns (they do all the blood gases tests, even on adults). I feel they tend to only wpork with much more serious and sicker people(eg Er traumua pateitns bagging, or intubated patients in the ICU), and nayone with serious respiratory disease (can anyone say SARS or TUBERCOLOSIS or MRSA?) Although nruses also ahve to deal with these patietns. whereas in nursing you can deal with a more diverse field of diseases and injuries..eg. Er kids with broken arms, dailysis patietns, etc etc

    BASICLY there are huge numbers of fields a nurse can work in (occupational health n saftey, community, hospital, travel nursing, working on a cruise ship, school nursing, working for health groups (eg. in my citry (healthcare in canada is poublice) the head of the region (the city and surrounding area) "capital health" is a nurse. there are also many more jobs in teaching nursing sicne nursing employs and thus trains so mnay more positions than resp therapy.

    BAsicly i think both fields are enjoyable just that nursing liekly takes a little longer education wise, but there is so many more fields to work in, opitons. Howevor respiratory thereapist also get a great mix of patietns (also a side note er nruses tend to be er nurse, and icu nurses stay in that department each shift, but the resp therapists seem to get to go to a few un its each shift). Both occupatiosn primarily work in hospitals, in shiftwork, and share some responsibilites, eg. monitoru=ing intubated patients, just resp therapist highly focuis on the pulmonary aspect of patients. I also seriosuly considered going into resp therapy,since both jobs woyuld get adrenaline junkie me wporking in the ER or ICU, but i pikced nursing as i had more ability to switch where i was working once i got tired of the fast pace/older (not sure the first one will happen though). either way both are neat jobs.

    I SUGGEST JOB SHADOWING EACH POSITION!
    GOOD LUCK!
    ~Loquacity

    (PS sorry bout the spelling)
  5. by   kharing
    I opted out of Nursing and into the RT program for several reasons.

    The main one being the clinical instructors in the Respiratory Therapy program - absolutely amazing. When I tried to get information about the Nursing program, the dept. secretary was like a gate keeper - no one was "available" to answer questions even though I could see the Director in her office. The Director of the RT program, on the other hand, answered his phone (it was a Friday at 4:30 pm!) and took the time to meet with me in person! He had me at hello!!!!!

    Even though the RT program is longer than the RN program (five clinical semesters) at my school, I didn't have to wait two years to get in like my classmates that are in limbo waiting for Nursing. I also worked as a tech in a hospital last year and the experience lead me to change my major.

    RN's make more - but I don't care about pay. I like the fact that I have the chance to work with several departments/units in the hospital.
    When I worked in the hospital I encountered some "meanies" - and saw alot of catty behavior. I called my mother (an RN with several years experience as a Mgr/DON) to ask her opinion and she used that popular phrase "nurses eat their young" when giving me advice. Never heard that one before......

    Our programs have the exact same prerequisites except that the RT program required an extra math class. Midterms are this week - so far I have 95% average in my classes/clinicals - it's difficult, but so far I am enjoying every minute of it!

    My mother actually said she wished she had thought to be an RT back when she was in school over 20 years ago. She cracked me up when she said, "RT's always seem to have the time to join committees at hospitals."
  6. by   smk1
    For me it was all about options. Far mre of those as a nurse both in diversity of the field and career mobility, not to mention that you can progress to becoming an advanced practitioner in many fields. Also I am a bit more interested in disease processes and how they affect the body as a whole and pharmacology, etc... (and my really juvenile comment...I really don't like sputum! I can put up with pee, poop, blood and pus but seeing green and yellow "loogies" all day is just not gonna work for me.) I imagine some people went the RT route because they couldn't tolerate some of the stuff RN's are exposed to all day. Now before someone comes in here and says that I will have to put up with it as a nurse too, let me just say that I can handle a bit of it, just not everyday for most of the day and if for some reason I was seeing more of it that I liked, I can change to a unit where that sort of thing (vents and trachs and suctioning) are virtually non existant. Both great careers! There was a girl in A&P that didn't get into the nursing program and we told her to check out the RT program at another local college and she got in and is really enjoying it.
  7. by   PHM
    I'm an RN, an RRT.

    Beyond the differences already noted, she tells me RRT tasks are mostly mechanical while we deal alot with assessments, broader system care. Both are rewarding. Don't think for a minute that nurses necessarily make more than RRTs. May have been true in the past, but rapidly changing. Both of us are PRN and she makes about four dollars more hourly.
  8. by   marcieg
    Kharing, I have a couple of questions for you, if you don't mind. Were you able to work while you were attending school, and if you did, was it related to RT?
    Thanks!
  9. by   teeituptom
    I was never designed to promarily focus my work life on suctioning snot
  10. by   NaomieRN
    Quote from kharing
    I opted out of Nursing and into the RT program for several reasons.

    The main one being the clinical instructors in the Respiratory Therapy program - absolutely amazing. When I tried to get information about the Nursing program, the dept. secretary was like a gate keeper - no one was "available" to answer questions even though I could see the Director in her office. The Director of the RT program, on the other hand, answered his phone (it was a Friday at 4:30 pm!) and took the time to meet with me in person! He had me at hello!!!!!

    Even though the RT program is longer than the RN program (five clinical semesters) at my school, I didn't have to wait two years to get in like my classmates that are in limbo waiting for Nursing. I also worked as a tech in a hospital last year and the experience lead me to change my major.

    RN's make more - but I don't care about pay. I like the fact that I have the chance to work with several departments/units in the hospital.
    When I worked in the hospital I encountered some "meanies" - and saw alot of catty behavior. I called my mother (an RN with several years experience as a Mgr/DON) to ask her opinion and she used that popular phrase "nurses eat their young" when giving me advice. Never heard that one before......

    Our programs have the exact same prerequisites except that the RT program required an extra math class. Midterms are this week - so far I have 95% average in my classes/clinicals - it's difficult, but so far I am enjoying every minute of it!

    My mother actually said she wished she had thought to be an RT back when she was in school over 20 years ago. She cracked me up when she said, "RT's always seem to have the time to join committees at hospitals."
    What other options do you have beside working in a hospital or maybe a nursing home?
  11. by   kharing
    Quote from marcieg
    Kharing, I have a couple of questions for you, if you don't mind. Were you able to work while you were attending school, and if you did, was it related to RT?
    Thanks!
    Yes I work, but only on the weekends - my job is very flexible. Many students are offered jobs as RT techs after the first two semesters.

    I've chosen to work weekends to avoid getting more student loans....I don't want alot of debt when I graduate.
  12. by   kharing
    Quote from FutureNurse35
    What other options do you have beside working in a hospital or maybe a nursing home?
    Travel RT, working in home care...here's a link with more information.

    http://www.aarc.org/career/be_an_rt/where_rts_work.cfm
  13. by   dark40
    Quote from kharing
    Travel RT, working in home care...here's a link with more information.

    http://www.aarc.org/career/be_an_rt/where_rts_work.cfm


    Kharing, can you please tell me how long is the RT programs and if a private college is a good way to go?

    lbowknee
  14. by   airis
    Quote from lbowknee
    Has anyone thought about the respiratory therapy program instead of nursing? If so why? Is it a big difference between nursing,and what's the difference?

    lbowknee
    I did and I went for RT. I regret it so bad. I had 5 months to graduate and I quit. I couldnt stand RT. As an RT your the first person to be called when there is a code blue(someone is dying). You will give CPR!!! AGGHHH bagging or compressions. You will experience people die on you almost everyday while you're giving CPR. You deal with a lot of phlegm!!!!! Sometimes I think they should change RT name to Mucus therapy because thats all RT do suction suction suction. Well, thats their basic and everyday job. When you hear a patients trach full with mucus RT is on the way to suction it!!! EWWW... It stink and its nasty. What turned me off the most was when I suctioned a guy that had a gunshot in his head(comatus) and as soon as I started suctioning him he started flipping and his eyes was rolling like hell. So scary. The worse part was I had to suction him from his nose, I had to put a long tube inside his nose all the way down down down. It was scary. Then I had to change trach. Pull a 9 inches tube from this guy's hole in the neck it was filled with mucus and blood kept dripping... The guy seemed like he was choking as i was taking the tube out. SO scary. The only good thing about RT is less paperwork than nursing but aside from that the nature of the job is the same, fluid contact, body contact, the stinkiness, the diseases you encounter, all the same. The only good thing about nursing is that you have more option, RT's dont. Nursing also has more jobs because there are more nurses in a hospital than RT's.
    Pay is higher also for nurses!!! But if you ask me I wont go for any of those field.. Too scary for me. Thats why I am taking Radiology TEchnology. Pay is high and the work is not scary. If you have the passion of handling blood, mucus, patient care and if you are not scared of someone dying in your hands then go for RT but if you are scared of people dying in your hands but still have the passion to do patient care, deal with patient fluids/diseases than go for nursing.

    Hope this helps.
    Goodluck!
    Last edit by airis on Nov 7, '06

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