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Respiratory Therapists problems?

Discussion in 'Clinicians [ RN / NP / PA ]' started by lancerdancer01, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. lancerdancer01

    2+ Year Member

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    I am a respirstory therapist and was wondering what all of you think of our profession out there? One big problem we have is having bachelors and associate degree programs out there. It is too hard to learn all the physiology and still get adequate clinicals in only two years (or even some associate programs are three years, why not go one more and have a bachelors). There is also a problem with the NBRC giving two different credentials. A lot of hospitals do not have a pay grade difference between a CRT and RRT ( or at least a significant pay difference). This is just a plot by the NBRC to make more $ because the tests are expensive and you have to take the CRT then the RRT. If respiratory therapists want to be reimbursed by Medicare then we need to be more professional and have higher education. There is no time for research in an associates program, and research is what grows a profession. This is similar to the LPN and RN difference. I think associate program graduates can get the CRT and work in non-critical care areas. Then they could take more classes while working to get their BS and their RRT. I dont doubt there are plenty of great clinicians who only have an associates degree out there, but if we want to addvance our profession we have to make some changes. Also I think it is absurd to make BS graduates take the CRT exam before taking the RRT exam. That would be like making a RN get credentialed as an LPN first. I am not trying to make any RTs mad but we seriously need to make changes in our profession to get to the same level as nurses, PT, OT.
     
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  3. RAMPA

    RAMPA Pimpiro
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    sadly thats one reason why im not in this for the long run. :cool:
     
  4. lancerdancer01

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    I plan to go on further also. It could be such a great profession but until they can get their problems under control they will never be taken seriously.
     
  5. poresofkohn

    poresofkohn Pulmonary Padawan
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    I competed in a sputum bowl as a student in the advanced program I graduated from. It also happened to be an A.A.S. prgram, we competed against a B.S. program and spanked them unmercifully. I can assure you the graduates level of preparedness comes from the program they attend, whether its an associates or bachelors. I've compared many 2yr and 4yr programs and the clinical time is identical, the only difference I've seen is the 4 yr programs offer additional "fluff" coures such as management and PE. The SUNY Stony Brook B.S. program has a cadaver disection class that admittedly seems pretty interesting. Check out www.coarc.com (the accrediting agency for RC programs) and you'll see that the minimun requirements for accredidation is the same for 2yr and 4yr schools. The community college I graduated from is considered among the top 5 in the country and I personally guarantee my critical care skills as a new grad were equal to or better than any 4yr program in the country. I did many of my clinical hours at a 1200 bed level 1 trauma center outside NYC, as well as the level 1 NICU in the same facility. Some of your comments come across as uninformed and inexperienced, with all due respect, it sounds like you want special treatment because you went to a 4yr?
    Now as far as setting the entrance level at a B.S. and doing away with the CRT credential, thats a whole different story. I agree that years ago the CRT was a way to credential many of the OJT's in the workforce, but now many of those OJT's are gone and it seems like nothing more than a revenue generator and added exam stress. I agree its important to advance our profession, and perhaps raising the entrance standard is the way to do that. But your comment about "reaching the level of nurses" is confusing, an associates is entry levl for RN.
     
    #4 poresofkohn, Jan 3, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2009
  6. RT2MD

    RT2MD Now searching for substance P
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    Good points, pores. I agree that probably the biggest delineating factor on quality of RTs would be their clinical experiences. The BS vs the AAS does not make a bit of difference. Like Pores said, the main difference between the two degrees are the "fluff" stuff like Management, Education, etc. As long as you are at an AAS program like the one described above (great exposure to a variety of things), you can come out VERY well prepared.

    That being said, one of the AAS programs around here (that I am the most familiar with), is not close to the same level of clinical exposure that the BS program gets. This is mainly due to the fact that the BS program goes above the required hours. The grads from the AAS program that I am talking about are VERY green, however they do make good RTs after they have a bit more experience - just need that extra exposure.

    I don't have a single problem with the AAS route, and the pay difference where I work between an AAS and a BS degree is minimal. I think the bigger issue with school is that you get out what you put into it. That theme continues into your career as well. There are jobs that you can get where all you do is sling nebs and not have to think a day in your life. There are also jobs where you can get very involved with patient care, command a fairly high level of respect from the physicians and use your noggin every day that you are at work.

    I love my job as an RT. I get up in the morning and truly enjoy going to work. I am fortuante enough to have one of those "thinking" jobs that I talked about above. In my opinion, the major downside to RT vs nursing is the lack of advancement opportunities for RTs. The only way to go up in RT is management... and I would probably rather wipe poop!:laugh:
     
  7. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Started out as an RRT then picked up the Peds/Perinatal certification. I loved working in PICU, traveling and generally enjoyed the profession. I decided to pursue a Ph.D in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (was a Chemistry major as an undergraduate) but still dabbled in RT as a contract therapist. When I entered medical school, turns out that respiratory was quite useful in terms of acing Physiology (knew my Cardio and Respiratory inside and out). Now, I am a vascular surgeon and was one of the few residents who actually understood how the oscillator worked in the SICU. Enjoy folks, RT is a great profession that gives you loads of great experience that you can transfer into any direction or hang in there and enjoy being a "snot jockey". My RRT number certificate hangs on the wall of my office right next to my other degrees.
     
  8. KNC

    KNC
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    You go boy......(or girl?)!!!!
     
  9. nev

    nev Senior Member
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    I'm an RRT too and I definately feel your concern. I became an RT just for the clinical and hands on experience which i felt would be an asset for me if i get into medical school. I hate being a neb jockey and I especially hate it when some nurses enter orders for specific neb treatments for patients without having an RT consult first! As critical care clinicians, airway specialists and ventilator managers, I think there should be a bridging program for RTs to become Anesthesiologist assistants or a similar group. If RNs can become CRNAs with basic ventilator management experience, I think RTs could fair equally good.

    I guess getting certified in neurodiagnostics and hyperbaric technology would increase our marketability in the future.

    Nev
     
  10. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    There is a "bridge program" already out there. It's call Anesthesia Assistant school and you are totally free to apply at any time. Those folks who become CRNAs have a bit more additional training than just ventilator management.

    While your clinical experience is useful and helpful for many aspects of other careers, it's not a substitute for mastery of the material that you need to perform those professions. I can't count how many times many nurses thought that they could do my job because they have watched me do what I do. It's not happening any more than someone who has not attended respiratory school knows the technical aspects of mechanical ventilation.

    While respiratory therapy is a wonderful profession, it's not a "stepping stone" to other health care professions. It stands alone and thus you can make the most of your experience but your experience is not a substitute for the things that other folks learn in their professional schools.
     
  11. jacketwrestler

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    I think what neb is referring to is that for RT's to get into AA school, there are alot more classes (the pre-med prereqs) that you have to take in addition to your B.S. in RT education. Contrast this to the BSN program who only need to have experience on top of their education to get into a CRNA program. I don't think he means that RT training is substitute for any type of clincial experience or education in another professional program.

    I'm fortunate enough to have taken most of my "pre-med prereqs" before getting into an RT program (I was thinking about pharmacy when I first decided to get into healthcare), so my transition into going to AA school was not as difficult as some RT's who are thinking about it.
     

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