Respiratory therapy is a fast growing field. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook’s analysis of this field in 2012, the respiratory therapy field is growing at a rate of 19%, which is faster than average for most fields (Bureau). Respiratory therapists care for patients with heart and lung problems. From being a member of an emergency team at a hospital to supplying home care, these professionals provide an important and lifesaving service.
Find Accredited Respiratory Therapist Schools in Rhode Island
The Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) has the state’s only accredited Respiratory Therapy program. Other schools, such as Rhode Island College, offer completion programs for Respiratory Therapy degrees, but not the full certification program.
How to get Certified in Rhode Island
CCRI offers a two year, fully accredited respiratory therapist program. To become fully certified, several steps are necessary. Successful completion of the academic program at CCRI earns an Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS). In addition, students need to pass an entry level CRT examination through the National Board for Respiratory Care in order to obtain a state license to practice respiratory care in RI.
Salaries for Respiratory Therapists in Rhode Island
In RI, respiratory therapists typically have an average starting salary of $22-25 per hour, but this can range to up to $30 per hour. The US average salary for this field is about $56.000 per year.
As the respiratory therapy field has grown, so have the employment opportunities. Respiratory therapists are needed in hospitals to care for premature babies, patients with asthma, elderly patients, and patients with any other number of breathing issues. In addition, employment opportunities can be found in nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, doctor’s offices, and home health care agencies. Common duties include performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, lung capacity, managing ventilator care for patients, and treating lung problems such as asthma and cystic fibrosis.
CCRI offers the only fully accredited respiratory therapy program in RI. Currently, the classes offered include classroom, laboratory, and on site experiences. The program classes and labs include, but are not limited to, science classes such as biology and chemistry, algebra, as well as respiratory courses. Students practice their skills and apply their knowledge on site in a hospital setting.
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