Apart from working in clinics and hospitals, the Respiratory Therapist also works as a specialist in reparatory equipment manufacturing company as well as working for pulmonary rehab programs providing home services. There are certain openings for the disabled also in certain respiratory therapy segments.
A professional Respiratory Therapist needs to be licensed to practice as a professional therapist and this is mandatory for all the states of United States America. The NBRC (National Board of Respiratory care) prepares the test module for most of the states.
In post schooling stage the students need to undergo academic counseling to get into the right stream of studies, which is followed by job oriented career counseling in subsequent stages. Interest in biology, anatomy, specifically the pulmonary system and study of the lung diseases is particularly helpful in having a solid footing in this branch of the profession. The academic sequences start with one which has to go for secondary level training in respiratory therapy after graduation.
The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs accredits colleges for respiratory programs in the US. The commission's website offers full details of colleges, programs, private technical institutions who are recognized by the commission. This training is provided by the hospitals, some colleges and some branch of military leading to associate degree. The ensuing step is to go for licensing provided by National Board for Respiratory Care.
It is mandatory for the students to complete a certain specific number of hours of actual working in the related department of a hospital to have the exposure of treatment and management of the patients of all age groups in ICUs and pediatrics departments. In these departments a therapists learns to handle resuscitators, ventilators, performance of chest message therapy, and learns about arterial blood gas concentration etc.
To be up to speed in this profession one must continue their studies to keep abreast of the advancements in the domain; and go for continued credential advancing. Such advancing examinations, called registered Respiratory Therapy exams, are done by the National Board of Respiratory care. There is further segmentation of specialization in the respiratory care that relate to certification for a pulmonary function test as a Pulmonary Function Technician and a neonatal specialist. There is a statutory provision for renewal of the license after recorded validity. A Respiratory Therapist must keep a track of it for timely renewal.
The best exposure of all types of respiratory problems can be expected in critical care hospitals as such the professionals should try to associate themselves with such establishments to acquire a mastering confidence to tackle all types of situations.