I really need some advice about respiratory therapy

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amy108 in Memphis, Tennessee

26 months ago

My story is kind of long.I'll try to be as brief as possible.I went to a community college several years ago and screwed up.I was young and wasn't focused.I'm now about to be either laid off from my job or my hours will be cut due to lack of business.I'm in the position now that I can go to school full-time.

My first choice is sonographer and my second choice is respiratory therapy.My mom's friend is a faculty member at the school that offers sonography.She said that I will never get in with my past record even if I make straight A's now.They only accept 15 or 20 people a year.It's hard enough for the applicants that have a perfect high school and college background.

She told me that I had a better chance with either nursing or respiratory therapy.I had a family member spend 6 weeks in the hospital before they died.I'm very familiar with what RT's do and I'm interested in it.Nursing would be my last choice.

I found a school that will let me take my prereqs even though my GPA is low.I was just wondering if I should go to school for respiratory therapy or not.Someone told me that you can't go by the number of job postings online.The schools have agreements with the hospitals for job placement.You might meet someone during your clinicals.They might make a position for you if they like you.

Thank you for your advice and opinions.

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AlphaBetaDelta32 in Michigan

26 months ago

Respiratory Care (RT) is not anything for the meek. I know you have said you are very familiar with what they do - but are you really? Do you realize just HOW MUCH an RT has to know and that they are responsible for the ventilators?

I would suggest job shadowing an RT in an ICU for a few hours. It will help you decide. RT school is very difficult, but it is completely worth it. I fell into it on accident and realized quickly I was meant to be in this profession. (I also wanted to be a sonographer and I am SO GLAD that didn't work out---way too slow/boring for my personality) RT is 110% meant to be for me. I love it with all my heart. It's true, you cannot go by the job postings online and it is a lot of who you know and who you meet during clinicals. Also, statistics show that a large population of respiratory therapists will be retiring in the next 5 years. Also, did you know as an RT you can specialize in cardiac rehab, asthma, education, sleep disorders, pediatic and/or neonatal intensive care?

It's extremely rewarding and there is so much you can do with it.
Good luck to you, I hope you end up loving it as much as I do!

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ICURRT in San Jose, California

26 months ago

Someone told me that you can't go by the number of job postings online.The schools have agreements with the hospitals for job placement.You might meet someone during your clinicals.They might make a position for you if they like you.

Thank you for your advice and opinions.

The schools do NOT have agreements with hospitals in regards to job placements. Some schools do have agreements with hospitals for clinical hours, but job placement is going to GREATLY depend on how much you impress the hospital staff when you are there as a student - so on that point you are close. If there are no positions, they cannot just create one, but if you impress, and keep on their radar, you will definitely be considered for a position once it opens. Don't shy away from registry work or per diem work just because you want a full time job. At my hospital, most positions are filled by persons who we got to know as per diem or registry staff and worked well with our group.

Good Luck on your endeavors!

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Sandy in Chino, California

25 months ago

I was just wondering what school current RT's might recommend. Should i go the community college route, or Concorde, or Platt college? So confused, please help?
Also, what is the best advice as far as making a good impression during clinicals, to ensure job placement after graduation?

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HunnyBunny in San Jose, California

24 months ago

Sandy in Chino, California said: I was just wondering what school current RT's might recommend. Should i go the community college route, or Concorde, or Platt college? So confused, please help?
Also, what is the best advice as far as making a good impression during clinicals, to ensure job placement after graduation?

Based on the education I got at community college versus some of my colleague's educations at expensive trade schools, I'd recommend a community college. The education is great, and the cost low.
I have heard trade schools cost from 28K to 40K. Just think of the student loans when you graduate?
The downside to community colleges is that they can be difficult to get in to due to high demand & small class sizes. You may have to wait a year or 2 to get in - it depends on the school & if they have a waiting list, lottery system or other way of determining who gets in each year.

When you are at clinicals: ask "well thought-out" questions, be proactive, ask to do things, be friendly and show an INTEREST in what you learning, AND BE PUNCTUAL. If someone cares so little to show up on time the first day, that sets a very bad precedent. If you don't know the EXACT location of the RT department, then by all means, go by the day prior to make sure you do know so on the day you need to be there you are hunting for the department. Dress professionally and don't wear perfume.

Students that don't do well during clinicals: those who are late, unprepared, stand back and don't show interest in report giving or other tasks. (If you are unsure how to do something, tell your preceptor, "I've never done that, can you show me how you do it and I will do it the next time..."). Those that just seem bored and uninspired.
If you don't care about your education, why should the preceptor.

If you like the hospital and people at your clinical location, let them KNOW.

Good luck

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HunnyBunny in San Jose, California

24 months ago

HunnyBunny in San Jose, California said: If you don't know the EXACT location of the RT department, then by all means, go by the day prior to make sure you do know so on the day you need to be there you are hunting for the department.

....so on the day you need to be there you are NOT hunting for the department.

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DudeManGuy333 in San Jose, California

24 months ago

Okay... so, I need to vent here. After looking into just about every "associate's degree" there is, here's what I've found: they all take more than to two years complete! I mean, don't most people get an A.A.S. because... well, they're supposed to take two years? Aren't "Two year degree", and "A.A.S." pretty much synonymous? Not even close (and, I found this out after doing at least 50 hours of research into the actual fields themselves).

I'm very surprised that no one has addressed this issue (not that I've seen anyway), but the fact is that, whether you're looking into RT, LVN, PTA, OTA or any other medically related "Two year program", you first have to take prerequisites, which I have absolutely no problem with. But, let's say you were going to school for a bachelor's degree in Art... your prereqs/Gen Ed requirements are included in your degree, NOT in addition to it.

So, again, if you want a B.A. in Art, if you go to college full-time (and, pass all of your classes, etc.), it will take you four years. Period. Every accredited community college that I checked out in the Bay Area requires AT LEAST one year of prerequisites (an advisor at Foothill College told me that it could take TWO YEARS to complete all of the prereqs), plus they're all on a "Lottery" (upwards of 175 students apply, and only 60-ish are accepted every year).

What does that mean? Let's take Foothill's RT program as an example... assuming that you have no transferable college credits, it will take two years to complete your prereqs, a year or two to be accepted into the actual program (IF you get stellar grades, and are lucky enough to have your name picked in the lottery), and then two years to complete the RT program (there again, this is assuming that you don't have to wait for any classes, and get good grades). Now, were my parents (or myself) rich, I probably wouldn't care, and would just be a sheep... "Bbbaaahhhh... six years for a two year degree? Bbbaaahhhh... okay!

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DudeManGuy333 in San Jose, California

24 months ago

But, neither my parents nor myself have money to burn, which is the whole reason I'm attempting to go back to school. What's hanging me up is that, I can't seem to reconcile the fact that it will take five or six years to get an A.A.S. degree (even though I have my heart set on becoming a respiratory therapist). At any University in the country, if you're just under the required number of credits to be considered a full-time student, you'll have a bachelor's degree in five years time. Six years of full-time study, and you'd better have yourself a master's.

That somehow leads me to my final rant on the whole situation... call a student counselor at Ohlone College in Fremont (ONLY after registering, of course). Relax while the phone rings, and goes directly to voice mail. After that, enjoy listening to the lovely, and "Happy" lady's voice mail message stating that they're very busy (which, by the way, I don't doubt), and to leave a message. Then, try to leave a message in a voice mailbox that's been full for the last four months. Send an email after that. See how long it takes you to get a reply (IF you get one!). It seems that the only people who care enough to get back to you at all, much less in a semi-professional manner, are the folks working at private colleges.

A private college is the only way to side-step the privilege of playing a free lottery, and having to take 80 years to finally get a two year degree. What's the problem... just go to a private college then, you say? The quality of education, from what I understand, is not on par with most CC's. That, and PC's cost about eight times more. All of that said... a person has one of three choices: 1) Go to a CC, spend about $5k per year, and get your two year RT degree in four or six years. 2) Go to a PC, spend $60k, and get your two year RT degree in, here's a novel idea - two years. Yay! 3) Forgo college altogether, become a motivational speaker, and, "... live in a van down by the river!"

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ajsRPSGT in Saint Louis, Missouri

23 months ago

If it makes you feel any better I've been going to school for a year and a half and am just now finishing pre reqs. The only community college program in my area is full for August so I won't get to start my 5 semester RT program until August of 2013 which puts me at 5 years for a two year degree. And then I get to enter a saturated job market with 20 qualified therapists for every available job. But no one said it would be easy and I want this more than anything I've ever done.

Perhaps you should look into another industry all together because nursing and radiology will be just as bad as far as pre reqs and competition to get into school. If you want to do something as cool as healthcare its worth it to invest the time. Get your CNA or med tech certification and start working in a hospital asap. Education starts out on the floors not in a classroom. You could learn a lot just by being around patients and other healthcare professionals and taking your time in school. It will be worth it if you're in it for the right reason.

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Sunnybee in Walnut Creek, California

23 months ago

- How is the job outlook for around Walnut Creek / Concord / Pleasant Hill area of CA?
- Would you recommend volunteering in an area where RTs work?
- How flexible and long are the hours? Same of that of a nurse's? 12 hours, 3 days?

I'm interested in this career but I don't know if it's for me. I'd love to shadow but I'm not sure where I can do that since most hospitals have very few shadowing opportunities.

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HunnyBunny in Los Angeles, California

23 months ago

DudeManGuy333 in San Jose, California said:
It seems that the only people who care enough to get back to you at all, much less in a semi-professional manner, are the folks working at private colleges.

What's the problem... just go to a private college then, you say? The quality of education, from what I understand, is not on par with most CC's. That, and PC's cost about eight times more. All of that said... a person has one of three choices: 1) Go to a CC, spend about $5k per year, and get your two year RT degree in four or six years. 2) Go to a PC, spend $60k, and get your two year RT degree in, here's a novel idea - two years. Yay!

Reply:
....seems like you answered your own question as to why only the private school are getting back to you - $$$$$

You are misguided that the community college route is only 2 years... NOT for a specialty program! The RT program ITSELF is 2 years. I have heard of a few who have done ALL of it (ALL prerequisites, GE, and core) in the 2 years, and am amazed that they could get through it, but those people did it many years ago. NOW the program is so impacted, that you pretty much have to have the prerequisites DONE in order to have a chance of getting in. Also, you are mistaken in you belief that they take 60 of 175 applicants - it is more like 30 from 200 applicants.

If you are hung up on the 2 year thing, you could look into Loma Linda and go 4 years for your B.S.

If you really want to do this, you need to just bite the bullet and DO IT & stop complaining that it will take more than 2 years for an A.S degree as that really is a moot point and won't change anytime soon.

Good luck on you decision, and if you do decide to do this, plan to work you butt off in getting your A.S.

Good luck

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HunnyBunny in Los Angeles, California

23 months ago

ajsRPSGT in Saint Louis, Missouri said: If it makes you feel any better I've been going to school for a year and a half and am just now finishing pre reqs. The only community college program in my area is full for August so I won't get to start my 5 semester RT program until August of 2013 which puts me at 5 years for a two year degree. And then I get to enter a saturated job market with 20 qualified therapists for every available job. But no one said it would be easy and I want this more than anything I've ever done.

Perhaps you should look into another industry all together because nursing and radiology will be just as bad as far as pre reqs and competition to get into school. If you want to do something as cool as healthcare its worth it to invest the time. Get your CNA or med tech certification and start working in a hospital asap. Education starts out on the floors not in a classroom. You could learn a lot just by being around patients and other healthcare professionals and taking your time in school. It will be worth it if you're in it for the right reason.

Well said!

You have the right mindset and attitude for this profession and I suspect that you will do well once you get in.

Good Luck on your journey!

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DudeManGuy333 in San Jose, California

23 months ago

Wow... 30 out of 200? Even better.

I understand all of that, and apologize but I needed to vent. As I said, and all I'm saying, is that a two year degree should take two years to complete if you attend school full-time. If it takes more time, then it's a different degree. You can't sell a '94 Ford Escort for the same price as a 2009 Mercedes Benz. That's all.

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DudeManGuy333 in San Jose, California

23 months ago

Really, I'm not trying to start a war here, but it's not like I was WAY off, thinking that only 1 in every 5,000 students are accepted. Let's not get into semantics. Specialty program or not, forgive me for being frustrated that it's a misrepresented degree. I don't care what anyone says, 2 + 2 = 4, NOT 6. A.A.S. = two years. Period.

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HunnyBunny in San Jose, California

23 months ago

DudeManGuy333 in San Jose, California said: Really, I'm not trying to start a war here, but it's not like I was WAY off, thinking that only 1 in every 5,000 students are accepted. Let's not get into semantics.

Not trying to be argumentative, but rather informative. I was simply trying to point out the fact that you were being optimistic thinking it was 60 out of 174 (34%) but rather 30 out of 200 (15%) as that IS a significant difference for those extra 30 you thought were getting into the program but won't. I just wanted you to be fully informed.

Incidentally, it took me just under 6 years to complete my Bachelors degree, 1.25 years to complete the prerequisite classes that I didn't have: A&P classes, Psych 1, and microbiology (and I was LUCKY to actually be able to get INTO them!) and just under 2 years for the A.S RT program. Yes, that is almost 10 years of school to ultimately get the A.S. degree that pays my bills.

Consider yourself lucky that you KNOW what you want to do and don't have to bounce around in University for years trying to determine what direction you want to take.

Something else to consider when deciding to either go to expensive 2-year private college vs a 4-year community college. Since the students from Foothill (and to a smaller degree Ohlone) do their clinical rotations at hospitals in the San Jose area, you get INVALUABLE exposure to those hospitals. In THIS current economic downturn, there is a lot of truth to: it's WHO you know and not WHAT you know" so you can see how that access can be crucial for post-graduation job prospects.

Hope this info helps with your decision.

Whatever you do, just get started and hopefully by the time you graduate, the job market will have improved.

Best of luck on your decision.

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DudeManGuy333 in San Jose, California

23 months ago

Cool, I got you - thanks for the feedback, HunnyB! We'll see what happens... :)

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Dom in Pomona, California

23 months ago

Sandy in Chino, California said: I was just wondering what school current RT's might recommend. Should i go the community college route, or Concorde, or Platt college? So confused, please help?
Also, what is the best advice as far as making a good impression during clinicals, to ensure job placement after graduation?

1st of all dont be confused... being on this sight you are probably more educated then most before entering school.

i am a graduate of SJVC, if you have 2-3 years continue with the community college route... almost any is better then a tech school. that being said if you are in a rust to graduate SJVC takes 18mos and all you need is a high school diploma. i have helped with the hiring/interviewing process a few times lately. Concorde, ACC, and platt are the last to be considered for interviews. this means out of 200 applications and only 3 positions those people will never be seen.

if you are sure respiratory is the way you want to go just do your best and focus on school. as far as clinics go always be willing to do whatever abd always stay professional!!! we hire a lot of ex-student but we get asked 1st. and most the time we say... F=@k NO!

hope this helps!
good luck!

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Mike in La Verne, California

23 months ago

Dom in Pomona, California said: 1st of all dont be confused... being on this sight you are probably more educated then most before entering school.

i am a graduate of SJVC, if you have 2-3 years continue with the community college route... almost any is better then a tech school. that being said if you are in a rust to graduate SJVC takes 18mos and all you need is a high school diploma. i have helped with the hiring /interviewing process a few times lately. Concorde, ACC, and platt are the last to be considered for interviews. this means out of 200 applications and only 3 positions those people will never be seen.

hi dom. nice of you to post.

i'm starting sjvc next month, where do sjvc grads fall on your interview list? how long ago did you graduate and how long till you got hired out of school? also is it true from what i heard from the rt director at sjvc, that they are looked upon as highly or higher than the juco programs? you would also be surprised to hear that sjvc is developing a little bit of a waiting list with their program now too. it's not just a hs diploma and a heartbeat anymore. i almost didn't get in this term and was going to have to wait till the october term, luckily i had a great interview with the dept head and got his blessing. the admission process is alot stricter now. you have to take 3 test, submit a essay, and sit down for a hour interview with the rt dept head. they only want dedicated students who are serious and professional. they seem to prefer mid-20 to mid-30 aged students w no children in the programs.

also i've said the same thing to others on these forums, that it doesn't matter how many grads these crap schools like acc and concorde pump out. people complain they are ruining the job market, but how can they be flooding the market when there apps aren't even being taken seriously. thank you for confirming my suspicions on this.

look forward to hearing from you. than

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Dom in Pomona (AZ-?) in Phoenix, Arizona

23 months ago

Mike in La Verne, California said: hi dom. nice of you to post.

i'm starting sjvc next month, where do sjvc grads fall on your interview list? how long ago did you graduate and how long till you got hired out of school? also is it true from what i heard from the rt director at sjvc, that they are looked upon as highly or higher than the juco programs? you would also be surprised to hear that sjvc is developing a little bit of a waiting list with their program now too. it's not just a hs diploma and a heartbeat anymore. i almost didn't get in this term and was going to have to wait till the october term, luckily i had a great interview with the dept head and got his blessing. the admission process is alot stricter now. you have to take 3 test, submit a essay, and sit down for a hour interview with the rt dept head. they only want dedicated students who are serious and professional. they seem to prefer mid-20 to mid-30 aged students w no children in the programs.

also i've said the same thing to others on these forums, that it doesn't matter how many grads these crap schools like acc and concorde pump out. people complain they are ruining the job market, but how can they be flooding the market when there apps aren't even being taken seriously. thank you for confirming my suspicions on this.

look forward to hearing from you. than

mike,

all other schools are regarded as equal (unless of course the interviewer came from a local school, in that case its preferred)
I know its been a little while... i graduated in 2007 but i also had to go through testing, write an essay, and interview with ricardo, the directory of the program. im positive the wait is longer now but there was even a wait back then.

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Dom in Pomona (AZ-?) in Phoenix, Arizona

23 months ago

and i am not sure i agree with you about the flood in the market, mike.
yes, obviously the economy sucks and that will take a hit i the amount of jobs out there. but in a saturated market and especially a rough economy you rely heavily on your network and who you know.

so start getting in tight with someone. and i recommend start working in a hospital before your graduate.

good luck

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Dom in Pomona (AZ-?) in Phoenix, Arizona

23 months ago

and i am not sure i agree with you about the flood in the market, mike.
yes, obviously the economy sucks and that will take a hit i the amount of jobs out there. but in a saturated market and especially a rough economy you rely heavily on your network and who you know.

so start getting in tight with someone. and i recommend start working in a hospital before your graduate.

good luck

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NewRRT2012 in Memphis, Tennessee

19 months ago

Dom in Pomona, California said: 1 st of all dont be confused... being on this sight you are probably more educated then most before entering school.

i am a graduate of SJVC, if you have 2-3 years continue with the community college route... almost any is better then a tech school. that being said if you are in a rust to graduate SJVC takes 1 8mos and all you need is a high school diploma. i have helped with the hiring /interviewing process a few times lately. Concorde, ACC, and platt are the last to be considered for interviews. this means out of 200 applications and only 3 positions those people will never be seen.

if you are sure respiratory is the way you want to go just do your best and focus on school. as far as clinics go always be willing to do whatever abd always stay professional!!! we hire a lot of ex-student but we get asked 1 st. and most the time we say... F=@k NO!

hope this helps!
good luck!

I dont get for the life of me why there is so much negativity regarding where you go to school to receive your RRT degree. If I am not mistaken, all skills learned will have to be tested and passed on the national level in order for you to receive the RRT credential no matter what school you attend. If a school prepares you with the information needed to pass your CRT, and RRT credentials, that means we were all taught the same thing, had to have the same clinical exposure, etc. So if a student goes through RRT school and had the heart and guts to make it out, why look at them as any more of a joke than you would view yourself?

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NewRRT2012 in Memphis, Tennessee

19 months ago

I would look at how much time you have to devote to becoming a RRT. One thing I will tell you as a new graduate, I attended Concorde and it was the best experience ever. In my clincal settng, Concorde students were preferred over the community colleges and universities because we are all hands on from beginning. We get more clincal hours than the other colleges and universities in a shorter length of time and yes the entire program including pre reqs was 17 months.. hope this helps.

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Socal Kimi in West Covina, California

11 months ago

AlphaBetaDelta32 in Michigan said: Respiratory Care (RT) is not anything for the meek. I know you have said you are very familiar with what they do - but are you really? Do you realize just HOW MUCH an RT has to know and that they are responsible for the ventilators?

I would suggest job shadowing an RT in an ICU for a few hours. It will help you decide. RT school is very difficult, but it is completely worth it. I fell into it on accident and realized quickly I was meant to be in this profession. (I also wanted to be a sonographer and I am SO GLAD that didn't work out---way too slow/boring for my personality) RT is 110% meant to be for me. I love it with all my heart. It's true, you cannot go by the job postings online and it is a lot of who you know and who you meet during clinicals. Also, statistics show that a large population of respiratory therapists will be retiring in the next 5 years. Also, did you know as an RT you can specialize in cardiac rehab, asthma, education , sleep disorders, pediatic and/or neonatal intensive care?

It's extremely rewarding and there is so much you can do with it.
Good luck to you, I hope you end up loving it as much as I do!

Nice to read something positive from a happily employed RT.

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Karen in El Paso, Texas

11 months ago

hi everyone. I just wonder if anyone can help me please in this decision. I really like the diagnostic medical sonography program which im in process right now just staring it but if I would need a second option I will go for the Respiratory care program. The first program I would choose it would be the Sonography but people had tell me there is a waiting list and that is hard to get in, and if this is true I don't want to be waiting too much since I would get older and the earlier the best, since I need to start working the soon as possible and need to decide now if I might change now to the respiratory program. Can anyone tell me what would be the best and tell me if im wrong about the waiting list?

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Mark RCP in Somewhere out there

11 months ago

Karen in El Paso, Texas said: hi everyone. I just wonder if anyone can help me please in this decision. I really like the diagnostic medical sonography program which im in process right now just staring it but if I would need a second option I will go for the Respiratory care program. The first program I would choose it would be the Sonography but people had tell me there is a waiting list and that is hard to get in, and if this is true I don't want to be waiting too much since I would get older and the earlier the best, since I need to start working the soon as possible and need to decide now if I might change now to the respiratory program. Can anyone tell me what would be the best and tell me if im wrong about the waiting list?

Have you looked at the program at DABCC, they should still have a an echotech program. Not sure why choosing sonography but may look at echo. Also if you did go into the RT program at EPCC you would get out and not find any work in EP and the pay would be low and overall the work enviroments especially at Sierra is low end. Staff that that have been there since it opened and never advanced in their education same as Providence with a work load that overwhelming and then there's Del Sol and Las Palmas same situation the RTs are just as bad.

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StudentRRT 2013 in Cordova, Tennessee

10 months ago

NewRRT2012 in Memphis, I am a new student at Concorde Memphis ( graduate 9/2014). Were you able to find a job after you graduated and if you don't mind be asking...what is the starting salary for the Memphis area. Thanks

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