Respiratory Therapy (BS)
What is A Respiratory Therapy (BS) Degree?
Respiratory Therapy treats patients with problems with their cardiovascular system. What’s that? It’s the system of the body that includes the heart, blood vessels, and blood along with the organs that have to do with breathing and carrying oxygen to the cells of the body, like the lungs, bronchi, and trachea. These are really important parts! So, practitioners in the field are concerned with everything that goes on between the heart and the lungs. So, what do the therapists actually do? They interview and examine patients, often doing specific tests, to determine exactly what’s going on, whether it’s a virus or disease, cancer, asthma, emphysema, or something else. They work with the doctors to come up with treatment plans, often helping patients with rehabilitation activities. They operate a lot of pretty fancy equipment. So, there’s lots of patient contact in this field. To get started, you need at least an Associate’s degree from an accredited program.
Most Respiratory Therapists get a Bachelor’s degree or even a Master’s to increase their job opportunities and earn better pay. This is another medical field that has a good job outlook for the next 10 years because of the aging population. They may also give emergency care to stroke and heart attack victims, and those that have experienced shock or drowning. Most respiratory therapists work in a hospital using highly technical equipment and the latest medical procedures to administer care, but they also may be employed in other settings. To earn the BS in Respiratory Therapy you will take coursework in general education and foundational science courses, followed by courses in respiratory care procedures and practice, clinical pharmacology, pulmonary functioning, neonatal respiratory care, health care management ethics and law, and other courses. Coursework will be followed by a clinical practicum experience. Depending on where you are, you may need to take a comprehensive knowledge and skills exam and/or be licensed to work in the field.