Education is the key to success of any individual and this is further enhanced when one can be able to attain a college degree since it opens other career avenues and choices. A college degree is therefore important for various reasons and this includes the fact that it provides an individual with an opportunity to have good learning experience in the particular area of work and career path that he/she is likely to choose (Buchbinder & Thompson, 2010). It is always important to note that the current job trends requires a college degree and this clearly illustrates that one is provided with an opportunity to pursue what they are interested in and be able to expand the knowledge which will very useful in providing the best of their careers. People who have attained a college degree have better chances of being employed and obviously receive a higher pay than those without. In the course of training, one can be able to learn more about the strengths, weakness, and the interesting aspects in their careers.
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A career like respiratory therapy can enable one to learn more what the ‘real world’ looks like and while a the college, the person is enabled to learn how to handle big responsibilities when they will be in the field. Furthermore, besides being advantageous to an individual, it is also beneficial to the family members and friends since one becomes a role model and will enable them to be able to choose successful careers like respiratory therapy. Contrary to a person who has not attended a college to obtain a degree, the individual is taught how to be ready for life and work and this gives a person a sense of pride for achieving such a big task. In addition a person gets the opportunity to network and meet different people and make new friends due to the socialization that exists in colleges (McConnell, 2004). With current and ever-dynamic world, it is essential for any individual to attain a college degree for careers that are basically related to health since one is sure to get a job. The assurance from the fact that health of and individual must always be at its best so that other activities can be carried out. One these careers are respiratory therapy.
By choosing respiratory therapy as a career, one is entering a field of endless opportunities especially with the rise in technological growth and development in the field of medicine, and other aspects. Respiratory therapy is a subject of clinical medicine and an exclusive health care profession that enables individuals to deliver what they learn and further offer therapeutic treatments to patients who have breathing problems or other cardiopulmonary disorders (Swanson, 2005). Such specialists are responsible for the evaluation of the status of the patients including performing diagnostic tests and limited conduction of physical examinations. They usually work under supervision of physicians and among the test they carry include determination of patients’ breathing capacity and determination of oxygen concentration in their blood. The nature of the works of a respiratory extends to include measuring the alkalinity and acidity of patients’ blood who may be infants, adults or even the elderly.
On of the colleges that someone can be able to get better training and qualifications as it regards to this profession is at the San Joaquin Valley College where one is adequately prepared to be able to evaluate, treat and manage patients with respiratory diseases and cardiopulmonary disorders. A professional experience for a therapist in this college is necessary since one is further taught to be a better decision-maker while handling a patient (McConnell, 2004). The career opportunities available for qualified therapists are found in areas like acute care agencies, durable medical equipment agencies, and other home-care agencies. To be able to qualify one has to undergo more than nine hundred teaching hours including extensive clinical practice. Learning encompasses other fields including microbiology, chemistry, computer applications and psychology. To ensure that an individual handles patient in a professional manner, they are taught work ethics. One also learns the basics of this profession which includes resuscitation, mechanical ventilation, oxygen delivery, and radiography and airway management.
The job market for a respiratory therapist in America has been increasing rapidly than the population according to the statistics projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics with an expected growth rate of more than 20% in the coming decade. It is however important to note that those in the lower scale of payment perform part-time and night jobs mostly in non-hospital sectors (Buchbinder & Thompson, 2010).One can be able to get the information of employment opportunities through advertisements in the recruiters, staffing and recruiting agencies, hospital websites, and even licensing boards. This shows how this career is advantageous since anyone who trains to be one is assured of an employment opportunity. The wide variety of places of working coupled with the possibility of a one having a private clinic widens the market scope for an individual. This clearly illustrates it rare to find a qualified respiratory therapist being idle with no job especially in the current increasing health awareness among individuals and other emerging respiratory diseases.
Just like any other professionals, a typical day of a respiratory therapist including performance of activities including, treating all types of patients including infants and the elderly, consulting other physicians and healthcare staff to help in development and modification of patients care plans, and provision of complex therapy that requires a non-erroneous judgment in the provision of healthcare support. Other activities expected of a respiratory therapist will involve the carrying out of diagnostic test like those aimed at determination of lung capacity and determination of blood pH (McConnell, 2004). They are also expected to treat patients using oxygen mixtures and aerosol medications, connect those who cannot breathe well to their bronchodilators so that pressurized oxygen can be delivered to the lungs. This clearly illustrates that a respiratory therapist is an important person in the lives of many people since it involves helping people to regain their health and giving hope to those have lost it. The other advantage for an individual is the legislations by the states in the United States that is aimed at reducing unemployment. This is done through licensing and any cross state market is always possible.
Regarding job mobility, a person who specializes in this field can work in any state in the uses he/she has been licensed by National Board for Respiratory Care. This shows that job dynamism is enhance for respiratory therapist and one will not necessarily be required to do another exam when he/she goes to another state (Swanson, 2005). The profession is very advantageous due to the fact that there exists a wide variety of fields that one can specialize including pediatric, allergy, and cardiopulmonary and an organizational structure in a hospital can create hierarchal positions that may including respiratory departments. A further option that diversifies this profession is the fact may be able to have additional studies in the fields of research, system management, and other fields. This shows that this field in not self-limiting as other careers may be due to its diversity and this illustrates how important this field is to an individual.
With the annual rise in the demand for respiratory therapists, the job outlook proves to be good especially for those who have bachelor’s degree and certification with the added experience in cardiopulmonary care skills or working with infants. Having the knowledge that most older Americans suffer from respiratory diseases like pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema, a therapist is expected to be able handle such ailments and this greatly determines the amount of the salary they receives. Data obtained shows that as of 2008, there more than 105,000 respiratory therapists employed and are expected to be over 128,000 employed by 1018. This projects that the job opportunities created in this field will be more than twenty percent and this is very promising even to individuals who are not yet in this field. In terms of earnings during the same year, statistics indicated that an average respiratory therapist makes an annual earning of $52,200 while the normal range is between $44,490 and $61,720. However, the same statistics indicate that the lowest earners fall at $37,920 while the highest paid therapists receive an annual pay of $69,800. The statistics therefore shows that this can be a lucrative profession since one can get enough cash for his/her upkeep (Buchbinder & Thompson, 2010).
As initially indicated, respiratory therapy is a field of vast opportunities with other daily emerging trends. Some of the changes that have been taking place in this field include increase in the use of expertise and noninvasive ventilation that corresponds to limited use of tubes that may bring complications during treatment of patients who have severe exacerbation of COPD. There has been an increase in the use of tissue of oxygen with less focus on the use of PaO2 as a primary goal of managing hypoxemic patients (Swanson, 2005). Other trends include the rise in the use of triage in the intensive care unit which include the determination of appropriate maximal supportive interventions for patients, observation of protocol in assessing the and managing patients, and increasing the presence an impact of respiratory therapist as coordinators in home care where they help in accelerating the progress of smoking cessation and prevention.
One can clearly conclude that obtaining a college degree with respiratory therapy as a career is live-long investment with endless job opportunities. It is however important to note that for one to succeed in any career, it requires determination and dedication. Challenges always exist in any profession and how we tackle determines our future in the career. A professional in this field will meet all kinds of patients; young and old with different levels of respiratory ailments and one should never be discouraged in their quest of saving lives and eliminating terminal ailments in the society. It is always advisable for people to pursue careers that are related to health (like respiratory therapy) since one should always be healthy if he/she has to do well in other sectors of the economy.
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