Quote from heinz57
That is not true. Many sleep technologists are EMTs and LPNs who got trained for sleep lab and then got certified as sleep techs. Not that many RTs are sleep techs since they separated the licenses and Sleep now has its own board. Many states also require an RN to oversee sleep labs and do the assessments for each sleep patient.
There are several hospitals which have cut back on RT staffing. RNs can do treatments, ABGs and manage ventilators especially in NICU, PACU and on transport. Our CVICU have the nurses actively managing the ventilators during the weaning process. There are also fewer RTs in out of hospital situations such as rehab and LTC since they are not covered under Medicare for many situations outside of the hospital. In several states RTs are also not allowed to do any outside of the hospital transports which is why it is not common to see RTs on transport. RT was once the golden goose and were everywhere but they have not keep up with others.
OP, Have you considered EMS? Paramedics can do a lot more than an RT can and now do much more than just work on the ambulances. They are in the ERs, Cath Labs and in home care managing CHF, surgical, COPD and asthma patients.
This goes both ways. Yes, some states have opened sleep up to EMT's and LPN's - typically states with overall weak regulatory environments.
In contrast, there are other states where sleep has been moved 100% within the realm of RT. RT has it's own sleep credential, the Sleep Diagnostic Specialist, and in certain states the PRSGT credential has been limited to RT's only.
For every state that has RN's giving treatments and weaning ventilators you have another where RT's manage ECMO and IABP's, intubating and inserting central lines.
RT has also, finally, formalized the move to a Bachelors entry, which in the works and expected to be live in the 2020's. The key here being that once a Bachelors entry is achieved, this opens up CMS classification as a provider - allowing for independent billing, solving the problem of outpatient RT services.
With the ACA also came "incident to" billing for RT services furnished outside the hospital. So even now RT's are authorized to perform therapy in the outpatient setting when a physician is present.
Also, in comparison to LPN's and Paramedics - in some places they may "do" more, but RT's licenses are almost always wider in scope Paramedics, and in some states wider than LPN's too. Not to mention than an RT will make more than either of them too.