Respiratory Therapist Training

Contact Professional Associations

Anyone interested in entering a health care field should investigate respiratory therapist training at a university or community college. A respiratory therapist works in a variety of medical settings such as a hospital or rehabilitation center to help patients with breathing difficulties. Health conditions that may lead to needing therapies for breathing include congenital abnormalities, chronic asthma or recovering from pneumonia. In addition, emergency respiratory treatment is often necessary due to accidents or illnesses. To protect patients in medical facilities, each state has developed certification requirements concerning respiratory training programs. A great way to learn about schools that offer degrees in respiratory training are professional associations designed for perspective and current students along with graduates. A professional association will provide a list of approved respiratory therapy programs that offer associate or bachelor’s degrees.

Universities and Community Colleges

While learning about respiratory therapy, a student enrolls in traditional classes such as biology or anatomy. These classes are taught by professors or respiratory therapists in a lecture format as students take notes. To verify learning, students are required periodically to complete a quiz or test to confirm their understanding of material. In addition to learning from teachers in a classroom setting, a respiratory therapy student studies in a laboratory. Laboratories are filled with specialized equipment such as microscopes, slides and samples to learn about the human body and diseases. An important part of training in a health care field is studying in a practical environment with real patients. Of course, a student is supervised constantly during this training by physicians and certified respiratory therapists.

Students Can Specialize

Students enrolled in associate degree programs are typically enrolled full-time in classes for two years during the week and study during the evenings or weekends. Alternatively, a bachelor’s degree program in respiratory therapy is less intense, allowing students to attend classes part-time. One of the best things about attending a longer training program is that it gives students an opportunity to specialize in a particular type of respiratory therapy such as working with patients with cystic fibrosis, heart disease or sleep disorders. In addition, respiratory therapy training schools may allow a student to upgrade their education from an associate to bachelor’s degree with more class work and practical experience. Working in any health care field requires having a lot of physical stamina to lift and move patients during procedures.