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RT vs. nursing?

RNtobe23 RNtobe23 (Member)

I know the differences In terms of how RTs focus a lot on one major organ system (the lungs) and RNs focus on a bit of everything. And RNs have more opportunity.

But what else are the differences? Why do they have a specialist just for the lungs and not anything else? Why don't they just have "respiratory nurses" that take care of the lungs since they are capable of doing everything else?

I've always been curious as to why the US has a therapist specifically for the respiratory system..

Why do they have LPNs or RNs in medical offices when MAs can do all of the same thing?

Ask your prospective school if they can arrange some job shadowing for you. The college I got my ASN from required prospective RT students to job shadow 'x' amount of time before beginning the program. That wasn't a requirement for the nursing students, but that was because ASN students were accepted throughout the yr, while the RT program accepted new students 1x per year.

lifelearningrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 7 years experience.

MA's can't do the same thing. Most RNs in doctor's offices triage calls and perform physical assessments, which MAs aren't trained to do outside of vitals parameters. The scope for nurses is a bit wider. RT have a lot more extensive training in the respiratory system and with all the COPD in our country, I do think they are vital to the system. Having said that, where I work only has two RTs, one is only per diem, and nurses administer most of the breathing treatments and do trach care.

NICU_Nightingale, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 7 years experience.

Why do they have LPNs or RNs in medical offices when MAs can do all of the same thing?

Because MAs don't learn nearly as much as we do... I work in an office with two MAs and it's a large spectrum of knowledge. They're great at they're jobs- chief complaint, vitals, answering phones, but as nurses we learn A LOT more. Nurses ability to triage and decide whether a patient needs urgent care is more grounded than a MA. MAs also can't do education like a nurse can. Which is essential when a patient calls back asking about their meds or diagnosis.