Are you considering a career in the medical field and wondering exactly how to become a Respiratory Therapist? Respiratory therapists play a vital role
1. Have a natural desire to want help people
First and foremost, you have to have the right mindset. It is important not to enter into the health field for the wrong reasons. Those who are “in it for money” or the prestige never tend to last, or they become miserable with their job and burn out easily. To be a respiratory therapist, you have to make sure you actually care about the people you are treating on a deeper level. You must be compassionate by nature. It must be more than just a paycheck.
2. Graduate from high school
To be accepted into a respiratory therapy program, it is a requirement to have your high school diploma. This is a
3. Take the required prerequisite courses
These are the collegiate courses you are required to complete before you are even eligible to apply. These courses will be different for every program. Check with the program that you are interested in applying to for the list of required prerequisites. You can check out our list of each of the respiratory therapy programs listed by state.
After completing all prerequisite courses and others requirements (observation hours, letters of recommendation, etc.), you will now become eligible to apply for a spot in the program. There are more than 400 accredited programs across the United States to choose from.
After being accepted, you can now enroll
6. Complete the required coursework
This will include participating in, and passing, the required classes within the respiratory therapy program,
7. Complete the required clinical experience
This step will occur simultaneously with Step 6. In most programs, you will complete hands-on clinical experience in the hospital while also taking classes. This is absolutely critical in your development into becoming a respiratory therapist. The things you learn and the mistakes you make during
8. Graduate with an associates degree
At the time of this writing, the majority of respiratory programs are two-year associates degree programs, although, bachelors degrees in respiratory are becoming more common. You must have your degree from an accredited program before you can move forward.
9. Take your national credentialing exam
This is a national exam offered by the National Board
10. Obtain your license
You will have to get your license to practice in whichever particular state you choose to work. This is a must, as you cannot work or practice without a license. Each state has
11. Apply for a job
You did it! You’re now ready to work as a Respiratory Therapist. Check with your local hospitals or online listings to apply for jobs near you. To see all the available positions in your area, you can use our Job Board. Oh yeah, before your job interview, be sure to review our top interview tips for new respiratory therapy grads.
12. Advance your Career as a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT)
Once you pass the national credentialing exam with the high-cut score, as mentioned in Step 9, making you a Certified Respiratory Therapist, you are now eligible to take the Clinical Simulations exam. Pass it and boom, you will officially be a Registered Respiratory Therapist.
There you have it, folks, a step-by-step guide on how to become a respiratory therapist. It sounds like a lot, but don’t get overwhelmed. You can do it, just take it one step at a time. I wish you the best of luck to you in all of your endeavors. No matter which career you choose, I wish you nothing but the best. For more information about respiratory therapy, be sure to follow us on Twitter and also like us on Facebook.