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Respiratory Therapy vs. Nursing

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ral832001 ral832001 (New) New

I just wanted to clear up a few things regarding nursing and respiratory therapy. First, respiratory therapy school, and nursing school are equally hard. Having experienced both, I can say that from experience. If you obtain your resp. Therapy degree from a university, there is actually one more class prerequisite class required before you get into a respiratory therapy program (chemistry) I'm talking an associates degree, not BSN, or BRT. The prerequisites other than that are exactly the same where I went.

Both professions are equally important, just in different ways. Nurses have a set number of patients (usually too many) assigned to them. They are responsible for the patient as a whole. They make sure they have all their medications, make sure every order a physician gives is carried out, make sure all their patient's requests are addressed properly, etc.

I see see a lot of forums where nurses bash respiratory therapists, and respiratory therapists bash nurses. This is very counterproductive in my opinion. Both are valuable members of the team. I hear both nurses, and respiratory therapists say they can do the others job. Respiratory therapists are NOT trained in nursing, and do NOT possess the skills the nurses have learned in school, and on the job it's just a fact. By the same token nurses CANNOT do respiratory therapies job. As, they don't know as much about the respiratory system, as respiratory therapists do. I know because I learned more in the first month of respiratory therapy school about the respiratory system than I did in nursing school period. That's not to say nurses don't know about the respiratory system, I just mean respiratory therapists go into a lot more depth seeing as how that's the system they focus on for the full 2 years.

On the subject of which job is harder. I think they are both equally hard, but in different ways. Neither get many breaks, if a break at all. While nurses have multiple patients to care for in one area, respiratory therapists care for multiple patients all over the hospital.

The purpose of this post is to just inform, and clear up any confusion between the two, and also in the hope that both professions can appreciate what the other brings to the healthcare team. We are not enemies, we are allies with one goal, and that's to care for patients to the best of our abilities.

MatrixRn

Specializes in Management, Med/Surg, Clinical Trainer. Has 20 years experience.

Great post! I agree with all spoken. I think RT and RN are both hard fields and they are NOT interchangeable.

I worked in the unit for a long time and learned during that time the RTs are worth their weight in gold. Sure I can suction an inline vent, but I am NOT about to touch any vent settings, nor would I draw ABGs. By the same token, I would be more than upset if an RT decided to change a drip rate on an IV etc.

The roles are separate for a reason.

Frankly I really do not understand RT and RN bashing one another.

In our ICU our nurses loved the RT's and found them to be indispensable. During clinicals they taught me a lot

trinitymaster

Specializes in Long Term Acute Care, TCU. Has 16 years experience.

As a nurse I am properly trained in the art of ventilator alarms.

I use the three P method:

1. Pause for a second and hope that the alarm goes off by itself.

2. Push the silence button and 2-minute pause button at the same time.

3. Pray that I can get out of the room and down the hallway before the alarm goes off again.

In all seriousness- if you take away the RTs, then nurses would be lost.

They are essential.

God bless them- every one.

NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 43 years experience.

Thanks for your post. Moved to AN's Nursing Career Advice forum

Respiratory Therapists - Bureau of Labor Statistics

Respiratory staff were my best buddies when working night shift in the hospital on a 14 bed telemetry/respiratory step down unit and later another hospital's Respiratory ICU unit.

We started with Bird Mark 7 vents:

bird_________1.JPG

Progressed to Puritan Bennett Vent with SIMV in1980's.

Moving to home care in 1985, the PURITAN BENNETT LP6 was workhorse and continued to be used into 1999 when I moved to office based position. One of my patients with Mysthenia Gravis was able to be maintained at home for 10yrs on this vent without rehospitalization.

LP6 vent

305143-319885-317tn.jpg

Great walk down memory lane with this article:

1950- 1980: The evolution of the artificial respiration

Edited by NRSKarenRN

Wow! Awesome info! Thank you for sharing! í ½í¸Š

Lol! Love this! God bless you! í ½í¸Š

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

Oh my- an LP6! And it's not even Throwback Thursday!

NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 43 years experience.

Not all countiries have Respiratory Therapists. Nurses in Australia are educated to perform functions that RT do in US; ICU nurses proficient in setup and managing ventilator, drawing ABG's, changing vent settings, etc,

ClaraRedheart, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg. Has 6 years experience.

As a nurse I am properly trained in the art of ventilator alarms.

I use the three P method:

1. Pause for a second and hope that the alarm goes off by itself.

2. Push the silence button and 2-minute pause button at the same time.

3. Pray that I can get out of the room and down the hallway before the alarm goes off again.

In all seriousness- if you take away the RTs, then nurses would be lost.

They are essential.

God bless them- every one.

Yes... this. I am trying to figure out the basics because I tend to get stuck with the flaky patients who want their bibap on/of ALL night. I work in a relatively small hospital, and our RT's run ALL 5 floors sometimes. I don't want to be calling them for dumb things like shutting a bipap off if a patient is not going to sleep, or replacing a failing O2 sensor

I am currently a licensed respiratory therapist and now I'm going for my bsn in nursing degree. I want to be both :)

Great understanding.very unbias.thats how it should be.i would work with you anytime..

That's exactly the additude she was talking about.nurses don't do everything in European countries.they have respiratory societies over there.do some real research..they call them physiotherapy that's not the same as a nurse.some one always has to stick their chest out.please give it a rest..don't mess up such a nice post..