Respiratory Therapy vs. Nursing - page 2

Im really interested in exploring Nursing after a semi-successful (passing with B's) but disappointing experience in Nursing school, and was wondering if there was anyone out there who had done both... Read More

  1. by   LaloMartinez
    that's correct, i graduated from RT school in 2011, and applied to RN school October 2013. I'm hoping to get in by Spring 2015.
  2. by   LaloMartinez
    wow, that is the very first time that i've honestly heard of an RN going to RT. Maybe you can be a respiratory nurse??? In Los Angeles we have a place called Barlow where the nurses are called respiratory nurses, it's a rehab hospital for vent dependent patients.
  3. by   applesxoranges
    I would research job prospects before dedicating yourself. We have only a handful of rt compared to RNs. We are also downsizing the rt because we'd only need them do the bipap setup or arterial blood gasses. I've been trained on vents (granted they were old fashioned because they need to be portable), can do aerosols, intubation, etc. So they are going to use more paramedics.
  4. by   united32809
    I am an RT going thru excelsior to achieve my RN. I've got 12 years experience in RT. Its a great field, critical care. Like someone else says you are in the front lines. And also you have a lot of training such as with blood gases and critical care and ventilators. It takes two years to learn about the respiratory system in detail and how to work vents. So, trust me, there is a lot. Where I work we have autonomy, get to make changes, manage all the vents, and make changes according to our consult. We recently started using a newer mode APRV (airway pressure release ventilation). No one can simply take a course on how to run a vent or get a little training and be proficient because it runs a lot deeper than that. It takes years to learn that stuff. In addition, we do all the oxygen therapy, neb treatments, ekg's, pulmonary toileting. However, as someone else has already said there is not a lot of room for branching out. So, I am looking to keep my RT license (I worked too hard for them) and hopefully branch out in nursing expanding upon them. I do plan on getting nursing experience in the hospital because I feel like that is crucial. Being around nursing, I don't dare say that is easy because they juggle a lot. There are pros and cons to both careers. But with RT you might have two Rt's to a whole hospital and when the crap hits the fan, you are also juggling a lot. Neither one is easy by no means. You have to take boards at the end with both and be accountable for licensure. So, all in all I chose nursing because of the flexibility.
  5. by   united32809
    also, I think that it is crazy to downsize RT's and that people don't think they are needed or valuable because trust me, they are. When it come to acid base balance and mechanical ventilation/the airway then who better to handle that. Also, I can tell you the time I have seen a non rebreather set on 3lpm flow (seriously) or a nurse calls and says I increased Mr. smith to 6lpm (no, please don't do that because he retains co2 and now I will have to put him on bipap). You get to know the patients and who does best with what because you treat them over and over. Also, you know the respiratory system functioning and how to best make recommendations. So, even after I transition over to nursing, I will always value the RT. And I will say that I have learned a lot from the nurses I work with. I value their contribution to healthcare. I think we both make a value contribution to teamwork and the patient.
  6. by   pwickson
    Actually that is not necessarily correct as both RT and Nursing learn the same A&P in their first two years of training. RT's learn the entire body system as well. I think the major difference is that Nursing looks at the entire Psychological, Mental and Physical nature of the entire patient and well being of the patient and family. Most RN program are undergraduate where as most RT's programs are still diploma trained with some being undergraduate. This has limited the profession at the government of education level to allow for undergraduate programs.

    Both professions have their role in the healthcare system. Both have diversity in jobs whether it is acute care, outpatient, clinics, primary care. I say this as I have experience working as an RT for 23 years but also managing RN's in the ICU in a former role. I currently lead the critical care strategic clinical network for the province. I understand both the role of the RN and the role of the RT. In some cases such as the Medical Emergency Teams we are cross training both RNs/RTs. We have very similar restrictions outlined in the health professions act and I would think of all the allied health professions that Respiratory is most closest aligned to the Nursing profession. So in terms of my career I have had a lot of flexibility and in many cases most people now think I am an RN. I respect both disciplines and the role we play caring for patients.
  7. by   TideLife
    Hi rgodfrey, I've been a respiratory therapist for 5 years with all my experience in the ER and CCU/CVCCU. If I had to go back in time I would've picked nursing because there are so many options and different places to work. Not to mention the money is better. Now about rt school being easier than RN school that is a popular misconception. I know many rns that started as rts and most of them say rt school was tougher mainly due to all the formulas we have to know. But I say stick with your nursing school as you will have a world of options as soon as you graduate. Best of luck to you, I'm sure you'll be a great RN!
  8. by   Jutana
    I myself have been accepted into both programs and have been confused on the path I should choose. I am very appreciative of all the feedback.
  9. by   nrfitchett4
    Your information is extremely outdated. NBRC has required at least an ASRT since July 1, 2002. CRTs are now required to get their RRT or they have to re-take the TMB exam every 5 years. NBRC is now pushing for BS level to eventually become the new standard, much as some hospitals will not hire LVNs (LPNs) and are requiring nurses to get BS within a certain time frame. Pretty soon, everyone in healthcare will be doctors because going for other areas will be pointless...
  10. by   RN7343
    I have both.

    RT is very hard. I seen comments and I know nurses do not think we do anything but actually we do. Our classroom training is not easy and until last year we had to take three board exams to get our license. So about how you feel as a nurse and in school. Nursing tests are stupid. They do not really prepare you for your future. I mean have you noticed there are BEST answers. I mean how retarded they need to spend more time training in the clinical setting. I was way more prepared to be an RT than what you are when you graduate nursing. First RT deal with emergencies. Our job is not easy we go around doing code blues traumas and I resent that nurse who said we are easy. My life as an RT.... I work in a hospital with nurses and they do not seem as smart as they like to seem to appear. Also those are the deadliest kind of nurses. They sit at the computer normally and do not get up when the patient needs them they make money to sit and pretend to chart the stuff the aid is doing for them. In real life good nurses know RT are good at what they do. Also your good RT will know what your RN is good for and they together work as a team. Do not get discouraged about nursing school your nclex only tests to see if you can be safe that's it

    Now that I have addressed the rude nurse there are both careers that you have to know what you like. Nursing is not just wiping..... they tend to make the aid do it like they are too good for it but it is all about caring for the patient. Nursing school is hard and so is rrt but nursing has did a better job premoting and building up the profession of nursing. They like to sit around talking about the diet and crap like that. they don't teach you critical care like in RRT programs. You will advance more as a nurse and you must work your way up but a smart thing to do is make nice with your therapist at your job. I'm only in nursing to advance to a NP. So if you take the RT route I would think that you would want to advance to a physicicans assistant. That's the better option. RRT with critically train you and nursing wont until you have clinical experience. It will take a nurse about 5 years of clinical time to be up to an RRT pace because the RRT has been working more in school with emergencies than what a nurse ever will. The pay sucks for RRT.