Can you tell me why you are switching from RT to RN? What is the major motivator for this switch? Where you happy as an RT?
I was an RT over 12 years ago. Some of the drudgery of running aerosol txs in succession every 4 hours with the same patients may be done away with by now. There would be nights when I would have 40 pts of varying frequency on different floors with stat orders to break the monotony. If you worked ICU with vents, you would still be assigned floor patients. Stat calls for vent alarms would ensue upon your departure to do stat breathing txs for patients with clear bs. The pt in the ICU just needed the plug suctioned. The "alarm" it turns out was for a cough setting off the high pressure limit. About once every three months a challenging bloodgas or a patient fighting a ventillator would require unusual skill to save the day, but for the most part it was pretty mundane for me. One day while working a pulmonary floor I sensed that a patient was developing a problem. I followed up with calls to the resident, then attending and finaly presented it to the thoracic surgeon because I believed that this patient was developing a pnemothorax. I got the surgeon to order a film and guess what?..........he was in fact developing a pneumothorax.
Then I was fired because of this "incident".
That's when I decided that I wasn't an RT. I needed to diagnose and treat patients. I reviewed my transcripts with several schools finding out that none of my credits would transfer, so I put off going back.
Years later, I got over it and decided to persue diagnosis and treatment through a way to go to work part-time that would keep me in pt care and give me some assumed medical skills. I discovered that nursing was more psychology and sociology than the medical career I had envisioned, even farther away from medicine than RT, so I set my sights on PA. I joined the Army National Guard to help pay for school instead of working as a nurse since nursing had very little to do with the medical-model that I wanted to master.
RT is a good stepping stone to something in the Masters degrees but it's not a career field that has growth for you beyond dept manager. If you get a BS in respiratory you'll have some handy prerequisites to build on for practitioner or PA. Make sure that the credits you're taking will transfer and don't take your counselor's word for it.
I was first motivated to get an RN because I wanted to end up diagnosing and treating disease as a Nurse Practitioner or a Physician Assistant. I now know what the nursing curicculum is like and have decided that it doesn't fit training that would be useful in building a good practitioner in diagnosis and treatment of pathologies and would therefore not be helpful to me as a Nurse Practitioner.
Now I am full-time to apply to a BS in Medical Laboratory Science and a masters in PA studies by 2007. I will be assisting in diagnosis as a laboratory scientist and I will be treating and diagnosing as a PA.
That's what I want. There were times when I was an RT that I was happy. Sometimes I was asked my opinion, but most of the time I was nurse's and resident's gopher. I can recall 2 times when I was responsible for saving a patients life and a few more when I received a "thank you", and those are my most rewarding memories in a 5 year 'career'.