AAS vs. Bachelors

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Samantha in Rochester, Minnesota

82 months ago

I already have a bachelor's degree and am looking into RRT as a career change. I am wondering if I get an AAS in RT will that be good enough to get a good job or do i need another bachlor's? Does anyone else have a similar experience?

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Samantha in Rochester, Minnesota

82 months ago

thanks for your comment! I really appreciate it!

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Paul Myler in Peculiar, Missouri

81 months ago

I am continuing my education as an A.A.S. in Respiratory Care.

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Hollie in Tacoma, Washington

81 months ago

I am a recent RT graduate, My advice is to go through the program. During your second year in the program you can work as an equipment tech or even be placed in a internship position. Once you graduate you will have a associates in Respiratory. You are then eligible for the Certification exam. Once you pass the CRT you are eligible for the Registry Exam. This is a 2 part exam; clinical simulation and written. You will need to pass both to become registered. It doesn't make a difference in the kind of work you do as a therapist but it does give you a higher rate of pay. I am a RRT take all the exams close together and I highly recommend taking the Kettering prep. course which is usually offered at graduation time. I'm thinking of going for my BA in Resp right now but from what I have learned it does not matter what your BA is in only that you have one. I was also told that having a BA isn't really necessary unless you are planning on going into management or teaching. Either way more education can't hurt. So good luck with your endeavers!! You will love RT.

Samantha in Rochester, Minnesota said: I already have a bachelor's degree and am looking into RRT as a career change. I am wondering if I get an AAS in RT will that be good enough to get a good job or do i need another bachlor's? Does anyone else have a similar experience?

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Melissa in Cedar Hill, Tennessee

79 months ago

I am in the same situation! I am looking into Respiratory Therapy, and I have a M.S. in counseling. Borring desk job mostly. I need some excitement and I know I want to be in healthcare. There are B.S. and A.A.S. programs near me. Not sure which to choose??

Does anyone work in research or areas such as asthma education? As a lifelong asthmatic and numerous hospitalizations I would love to help others the way they helped me. :)

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BlondeAmbition in Dallas, Texas

79 months ago

Samantha in Rochester, Minnesota said: I already have a bachelor's degree and am looking into RRT as a career change. I am wondering if I get an AAS in RT will that be good enough to get a good job or do i need another bachlor's? Does anyone else have a similar experience?

Hi Samantha! I'm thinking about going to school for RT in the future. I understand that most professions in the medical field typically have a high burn-out rate. What would you warn me about and what's your practicing expectancy for an RT (R.R.T.)?

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Cough in Boston, Massachusetts

76 months ago

Unless you want to go into management, an associates or a bachelors degree is pretty much. However, if it came down to one position for 2 candidates, then the one with the bachelors degree would get the job (assuming everything else is equal).

Either way, it's best to obtain your RRT credential ASAP.

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nhan in Duluth, Minnesota

75 months ago

I wish to start a medical home care company but not really know exactly how to start. is there anyone out there that can give me some advises. I'm an RRT, AAS, B.A, and have about 2 years of experiences.

thank you, Really appreciate your response!

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henry brew, RRT-NPS in Yonkers, New York

69 months ago

hey guys i need some help. i am currently an rrt-nps with an a.a.s degree but i want to go on for my b.a degree. can anyone tell me how long it will take for my b.a degree i already have 100 credits, and i know b.a usually require 120 credits but with specific courses.and what degree is better to get economics, accounting or business administration.

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hello in Memphis, Tennessee

58 months ago

does earning a bachelors in respiratory therapy increase your pay rate. i just started the program and i've heard that it does increase the amount of money you earn, but i have also heard that earning a BA doesn't. can anyone give me the truth.

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Mark RCP in Texas

58 months ago

hello in Memphis, Tennessee said: does earning a bachelors in respiratory therapy increase your pay rate. i just started the program and i've heard that it does increase the amount of money you earn, but i have also heard that earning a BA doesn't. can anyone give me the truth.

A B.A in RT does not increase your salary. The only difference is the amount of course's you have, more english, history ,etc . There filler course's, that will only help, if you want to be a manager, but like most RT's , we dont. It' to much stress, politics, do you want to go to meetings all the time, etc.The push to make RT a B.A to begin with is just a ploy by the NBRC to make the field more professional, to compete with Nursing.What makes any individual more professional, is their character.

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Dean Dickens in Turtle Creek, West Virginia

53 months ago

I teach a respiratory therapy AS Degree program in Charleston, WV. We give the degree trough Bridgemont Community College. Our complete program is about 7,000 dollars for the two year degree. This is abut what I paid for one semester in another school. If you are interested call Carver Career Center. Look-up information on Carver Career Center web site in Charleston West Virginia.

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archangel in Hartsdale, New York

53 months ago

henry brew, RRT-NPS in Yonkers, New York said: hey guys i need some help. i am currently an rrt-nps with an a.a.s degree but i want to go on for my b.a degree. can anyone tell me how long it will take for my b.a degree i already have 100 credits, and i know b.a usually require 120 credits but with specific courses.and what degree is better to get economics, accounting or business administration.

My personal advice is. Business Administration. is a good way to play it safe .
by the way I like Economics and feel Accounting can help a lot .

I am business major AND Have paid my dues in the corporate world.

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archangel in Hartsdale, New York

53 months ago

Mark RCP in Texas said: A B.A in RT does not increase your salary. The only difference is the amount of course's you have, more english, history ,etc . There filler course's, that will only help, if you want to be a manager, but like most RT's , we dont. It' to much stress, politics, do you want to go to meetings all the time, etc.The push to make RT a B.A to begin with is just a ploy by the NBRC to make the field more professional, to compete with Nursing.What makes any individual more professional, is their character.

outstanding!!! responce.
The character must be one that shares knowledge while learning from others, making patient the prime focus. Also , lets not forget humblness.

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reap in Perris, California

52 months ago

I really need some help, I live in CA and im currently in the progress of obtaining my Associates in RT, at the end i will be a CRT, Whats the Difference between CRT and RRT ? is there a difference in pay rate? Also, i wanted to know if getting my bachelors in RT would be a good idea if i plan on going to Medical School later for Pulmonology. would that be a good route to take?

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bouchie739 in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

50 months ago

I am currently attending my local community college and was thinking about the respiratory care program. My question is does it benefit more to get a bachelors? I haven't found any info on a bachelor's in respiratory care or anything even related to. I have only found info on AAS and certificate programs. I personally want to pursue a bachelor's in whatever I do. Makes me feel I might have better job security. My question... is it beneficial to get a bachelor's in this area? Will it pay more, or will I be racking up loans for nothing?

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Tom C. in Canton, Michigan

50 months ago

bouchie739 in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma said: I am currently attending my local community college and was thinking about the respiratory care program. My question is does it benefit more to get a bachelors? I haven't found any info on a bachelor's in respiratory care or anything even related to. I have only found info on AAS and certificate programs. I personally want to pursue a bachelor's in whatever I do. Makes me feel I might have better job security. My question... is it beneficial to get a bachelor's in this area? Will it pay more, or will I be racking up loans for nothing?

Most will say it's a waste of money because the pay isn't any better with a bachelors, however, I plan to continue on with my bachelors because I feel with the tough economy it may better my chances of getting a job......jmo though, others will disagree.

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Hollie in Tacoma, Washington

50 months ago

I haven't found much in the way of Bachelor's of Respiratory. There are a few online BA programs. When you graduate Rt school you with have an AA in arts and sciences and a Certificate in Respiratory. If you are smart about picking your classes you can graduate with two associates degrees. I did this you can then look into Oregon tech or something for their BA RT program. However it may bbetter to just go for a BA in management or Health Sciences which is more likely to give you a leg up later allowing for management roles with a facility. I highly recommend in addition to taking the certification exam immediately taking the Registry Exam also. The farther you push that out the more you forget and the harder the test becomes. The Kettering class is Fantastic for preparing you. It is a little spendy but worth every penny. Your RRT is kind of your golden ticket in our field. You can then go on to add credentials to the end of your name. There are several sub-fields to Respiratory and you will need to test for each. Good luck!

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Patrick in Grand Prairie, Texas

49 months ago

I am concerned about the market being flooded with recent grads. I know people who are having trouble finding a job in respiratory, but I still want to do it. Can anybody tell me how the job market in their area is?

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di in Akron, Ohio

49 months ago

Melissa in Cedar Hill, Tennessee said: I am in the same situation! I am looking into Respiratory Therapy, and I have a M.S. in counseling. Borring desk job mostly. I need some excitement and I know I want to be in healthcare. There are B.S. and A.A.S. programs near me. Not sure which to choose??

Does anyone work in research or areas such as asthma education? As a lifelong asthmatic and numerous hospitalizations I would love to help others the way they helped me. :)

257

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di in Akron, Ohio

49 months ago

in the respiratory care field, we are always educating our patients on asthma,oxygen, CO2 retention, breathing techniques, the correct way to breathe to avoid a panic attack, to remain calm and get breathing under control, correct way to take medication, diaphragmatic breathing, pursed lip breathing....yes you will be giving back on a daily basis as a respiratory therapist

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di in Akron, Ohio

49 months ago

don't worry about a flooded field... we do not get the respect that nurses get, so there will be far more nurses!

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di in Akron, Ohio

49 months ago

reap in Perris, California said: I really need some help, I live in CA and im currently in the progress of obtaining my Associates in RT, at the end i will be a CRT, Whats the Difference between CRT and RRT ? is there a difference in pay rate? Also, i wanted to know if getting my bachelors in RT would be a good idea if i plan on going to Medical School later for Pulmonology. would that be a good route to take?

crt is basically entry level. they used to have a one year program. in order to be registered, you have to have the education..with the degree, we are actual RESPIRATORY THERAPISTS.CRT's are respiratory technicians. THEY DID A LOT OF CRYING...YOU KNOW THE"WE DO THE SAME JOBS" SO NOW WE ARE rcp'S! LPNS SAY THAT THEY DO THE SAME JOB AS RNS- BUT YOU DON'T SEE THAT CHANGE! ITS ALL ABOUT EDUCATION!

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di in Akron, Ohio

49 months ago

Dean Dickens in Turtle Creek, West Virginia said: I teach a respiratory therapy AS Degree program in Charleston, WV. We give the degree trough Bridgemont Community College. Our complete program is about 7,000 dollars for the two year degree. This is abut what I paid for one semester in another school. If you are interested call Carver Career Center. Look-up information on Carver Career Center web site in Charleston West Virginia.

UNIVERSITY OF AKRON IS A 2 YEAR DEGREE, BUT WITH THE PRE-REQUISITES, ITS 3 YEARS

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SUNNY in Akron, Ohio

49 months ago

Patrick in Grand Prairie, Texas said: I am concerned about the market being flooded with recent grads. I know people who are having trouble finding a job in respiratory, but I still want to do it. Can anybody tell me how the job market in their area is?

LOTS OF JOBS IN OHIO

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RRT crusader in Langley, British Columbia

49 months ago

Patrick in Grand Prairie, Texas said: I am concerned about the market being flooded with recent grads. I know people who are having trouble finding a job in respiratory, but I still want to do it. Can anybody tell me how the job market in their area is?

Take Nursing or Physical Therapy/ Physiotherapy. For sure, you can a find a job in no time.

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RRT crusader in Langley, British Columbia

49 months ago

Samantha in Rochester, Minnesota said: I already have a bachelor's degree and am looking into RRT as a career change. I am wondering if I get an AAS in RT will that be good enough to get a good job or do i need another bachlor's? Does anyone else have a similar experience?

First of all, RRT is a credential not a program. This is a highest credential you will ever get to be a Respiratory Therapist. just like in Nursing, RRT is the same with RN. AS in RT is good enough to qualify you for certification. you need a bachelor if you want to go in management level or be a Director of RT department, but before you would get to that level. you must be an expert of your field.

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CarolynRN in Corona, California

42 months ago

Melissa in Cedar Hill, Tennessee said: I am in the same situation! I am looking into Respiratory Therapy, and I have a M.S. in counseling. Borring desk job mostly. I need some excitement and I know I want to be in healthcare. There are B.S. and A.A.S. programs near me. Not sure which to choose??

Does anyone work in research or areas such as asthma education? As a lifelong asthmatic and numerous hospitalizations I would love to help others the way they helped me. :)

If you already have a bachelor's degree, then you should do a second bachelor's in nursing. The opportunities and pay are better, and you are a more versatile employee. The second bachelor programs only take 15-16 months to complete. As an RN, you would have many opportunities to work in an acute respiratory care unit or work outpatient as an educator.

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BSRC in Dallas, Texas

42 months ago

I have a BS in Respiratory Care from Texas State. The AAS went to a BS when I was there in 1994, so I have both. The BS required an additional 5 RT classes, and all the standard college Bachelor courses (like poli sci, economics, psych, etc).

I have found an easier path to management with a BS, as well as employers counting my schooling as additional years of experience (so consider it about a 6% premium). Management gives you a better schedule, but does not generally allow for overtime so the highest paid RTs are all regular staff with serious OT habits.

As for respect - you have to earn it. RNs do get more because they have to compile more (twice the work for 1.25 the salary IMO), but if you really know your stuff, you will make good friends with the MDs, and RNs won't touch you. I would not be an RN myself, but it does provide more diverse opportunities (after 2 years of entry level hell) like insurance, school nursing, CRNA. I love the RT field because it is so diverse on a daily basis. I can be in the ER intubating a patient one minute, and cutting a chord in L&D 30 minutes later. Some days can be hell, but others are cake. I work 2 days and take off 3 (sometimes only 2 off), have newer rides, a big house, and full benefits. Life is good - but I am also married to an RN 8>). She definitely has more work than I do (especially charting)...

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Edward in San Juan, Puerto Rico

42 months ago

HI IM STUDYING TO GET A ASSOCIATES WITH RT. IN PUERTO RICO. AND IM PLANNING ON MOVING TO MIAMI FLORIDA. AFTER I GRADUATE. WOULD I NEED TO GET THE EXAMS OVER THERE TO GET THE LICENSE?? OR ONCE I GRADUATE I CAN APPLY FOR A JOB WITH MY RT ASSOCIATES DIPLOMA. LET ME KNOW ANY ONE THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

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RRT crusader in Delta, British Columbia

42 months ago

Hi Edward !

Your RT associate is good enough. you don't need to get a BS degree in RT. But, before you can practice as RT in any states, you need to get a credential from the NBRC meaning passing the board exam for CRT and RRT. Once you're done that then, you have to get a licensure in the state that you wish to practice to.

Hope everything is clear to you now.

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respiratorytim in Avondale, Arizona

42 months ago

nhan in Duluth, Minnesota said: I wish to start a medical home care company but not really know exactly how to start. is there anyone out there that can give me some advises. I'm an RRT, AAS, B.A, and have about 2 years of experiences.

thank you, Really appreciate your response!

Hey, did you ever start your company? I am an RRT that graduated in 2008 and Im interested in starting a similar business.

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martinez in Baltimore, Maryland

42 months ago

What is the difference between doing an associates degree for RT first at a community college then pursuing a bachelors at a university AND just doing a bachelors right away?

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Jho in Long Beach, California

40 months ago

I got my license as a RCP by the Resp Care Board,graduated from a different country with a BS in resp,been working here in acute hosp for 6 yrs now,Before i did homecare for over 5yrs,had my license for over 10 yrs now,i asked NBRC if i qualify to go for RRT they said no because my school is not credited school coz its out of the country,is this true? I can work in a different state though right??? Im confused help !

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crtrcp in Memphis, Tennessee

37 months ago

i am in a pickle, i am a CRT RCP since 1985, licensed in 5 states. i have mega experience but the problem is it has cost $60,000 to get my son into high school and now there is an Ivy league tuition looming. I had to decide upon whose education was more important and since the economic turn that decision has now cost me in seeking another position. I find it difficult to believe that there are Human resource people who would rather hire a person with a limited skill set but a higher education level then a higher skill set with the basic education requirements. basically, does a first year RRT have greater, on the scene, ability over a 20 year veteran CRT? Your remarks please

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Rehab Tech II in Dothan, Alabama

37 months ago

I have finished my field in Resp. therapy and I didn't pass my test. What should I do? Is there anything that I can do to get back on track and in my field?

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Rehab Tech II in Dothan, Alabama

37 months ago

I have been out of school for a while. I have gotten my AAs degree, but never past my test. What do I do from here?

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Rehab Tech II in Dothan, Alabama

37 months ago

I have been out of school for a while. I have gotten my AAs degree, but never past my test. What do I do from here?

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Hollie in Indianapolis, Indiana

37 months ago

I have a BS in Heath Science.. Is is possible to pursue a career in Respiratory Therapy with that degree or do I have to do some other degree?? Please help someone!!

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Don't do it!!! in Colton, California

37 months ago

Hollie in Indianapolis,

You have to go to respiratory school regardless of your current degree. Granted that some of your classes from your bachelor's degree may take care of the general education portion of the training.

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jeff in Marietta, Ohio

37 months ago

Rehab Tech II in Dothan, Alabama said: I have finished my field in Resp. therapy and I didn't pass my test. What should I do? Is there anything that I can do to get back on track and in my field?

From what I found on the NBRC there is no deadline for the CRT but there is a 3 year deadline to take the RRT exam after graduation. If you fail to take the RRT in 3 years you must take the CRT over again to gain eligibility for the RRT.

NBRC.org has practice CRT exams online for free

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BCollazo in San German, Puerto Rico

35 months ago

Edward in San Juan, Puerto Rico said: HI IM STUDYING TO GET A ASSOCIATES WITH RT. IN PUERTO RICO. AND IM PLANNING ON MOVING TO MIAMI FLORIDA. AFTER I GRADUATE. WOULD I NEED TO GET THE EXAMS OVER THERE TO GET THE LICENSE?? OR ONCE I GRADUATE I CAN APPLY FOR A JOB WITH MY RT ASSOCIATES DIPLOMA. LET ME KNOW ANY ONE THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Edward, Puerto Rico does not have RT programs that are acredited with the NBRC. They won't recognize your certification because of that. I myself have been looking for a way to get around that since I am also studying RT in Puerto Rico and would like to relocate to the states. In order to qualify for the NBRC test, you have to have a degree from an acredited school.
"Foreign respiratory therapy education does not allow you to qualify for admission to the CRT Examination. You must have a minimum of an associate degree from an accredited respiratory therapy education program. For a list of accredited education programs, please visit the CoARC website at www.coarc.com."
I'm beginning to think that if I really want to be an RT, I should move out of PR first, and then study in the state that I go to.

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Leo in San Diego, California

34 months ago

Edward I agree with the person before you, and how they replied to about school, I just graduated from an college here in san diego, with my A.A.S. in respiratory and I know that they have an one line course you take but you would have to find a way or a hospital to do your clinical rotations on your own the name of the school is called independance university, check them out good luck..:) the funny thing is I finished school here and im looking to move to puerto rico..lol

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terry in Akron, Ohio

31 months ago

Samantha in Rochester, Minnesota said: I already have a bachelor's degree and am looking into RRT as a career change. I am wondering if I get an AAS in RT will that be good enough to get a good job or do i need another bachlor's? Does anyone else have a similar experience?

You can very much get a job with AAS in RT.... jobs are a dime a dozen. This one thee most growing career field out there. Report growth of 21% over next 8 years

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Chris in Juneau, Alaska

18 months ago

di in Akron, Ohio said: crt is basically entry level . they used to have a one year program. in order to be registered, you have to have the education ..with the degree, we are actual RESPIRATORY THERAPISTS.CRT's are respiratory technicians. THEY DID A LOT OF CRYING...YOU KNOW THE"WE DO THE SAME JOBS" SO NOW WE ARE rcp'S! LPNS SAY THAT THEY DO THE SAME JOB AS RNS- BUT YOU DON'T SEE THAT CHANGE! ITS ALL ABOUT EDUCATION!

You are correct, CRT is NOW considered the entry level in the field of respiratot care. However, being a CRT,I do know that the NBRC, ( I assume you are familiar with this organization ?) defines the CRT as a Certified Repiratory Therapist, not a technician, There are no 1 year programs that are AMA approved. I never cried once, I have allways known there is NO comparison in regards to a CRT & RRT as that of an RN & LPN, Also both CRT's & RRT's have always been RCP's if they worked in a licensure state, the requirements are all the same for CEU's in most all 49 states that are licensed, As a licensed Therapist in 3 states, It is my responsibility to know my profession's requirements. And for the record, there is no such definition just a respiratory technician, one is either a student, a graduate, or a credentialed therapist. ! RRT or CRT / I hope I have helped you with a little history in the filed of Respiratory Therapy ?

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DNA in Royal Oak, Michigan

18 months ago

A bachelor's in respiratory is absolutely not necessary, especially if you already have a bachelor's degree. Don't waste your time and money only to find out that you earn the same as those with an associate degree and can only move up to management. RTs having a BSRT are a rarity, so I wouldn't worry about it being an advantage for anyone. In fact, I don't think there's any colleges that offer a BSRT in Michigan.

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Mark RCP in Somewhere out there

18 months ago

DNA in Royal Oak, Michigan said: A bachelor's in respiratory is absolutely not necessary, especially if you already have a bachelor's degree. Don't waste your time and money only to find out that you earn the same as those with an associate degree and can only move up to management. RTs having a BSRT are a rarity, so I wouldn't worry about it being an advantage for anyone. In fact, I don't think there's any colleges that offer a BSRT in Michigan.

BS in RT is the far fetched scam by the NBRC, I recently worked at hospital in west texas and I mentioned I wanted to go back for my Bachelors but did not state in RT. The manager asked why..I said to better myself and have my bachelors. So point in case, a bachelors in RT is only or may get you a Managers position, but really?? do you wnat to run an RT dept, deal with the bitchy Nurse managers, payroll,schedule complaints, having to find coverage for a sick employees and much more bs. A bachelors in RT does NOT make you a better RT, your skill and experience does and time. Getting your BS or BA in Healthcare Adm will take you farther and pay you better than any RT degree, also you wont be 60 (in time)and walking the halls being a neb jockey and waking up at 5am to work a 12.

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Mark RCP in Somewhere out there

18 months ago

Chris in Juneau, Alaska said: You are correct, CRT is NOW considered the entry level in the field of respiratot care. However, being a CRT,I do know that the NBRC, ( I assume you are familiar with this organization ?) defines the CRT as a Certified Repiratory Therapist, not a technician, There are no 1 year programs that are AMA approved. I never cried once, I have allways known there is NO comparison in regards to a CRT & RRT as that of an RN & LPN, Also both CRT's & RRT's have always been RCP's if they worked in a licensure state, the requirements are all the same for CEU's in most all 49 states that are licensed, As a licensed Therapist in 3 states, It is my responsibility to know my profession's requirements. And for the record, there is no such definition just a respiratory technician, one is either a student, a graduate, or a credentialed therapist. ! RRT or CRT / I hope I have helped you with a little history in the filed of Respiratory Therapy ?

For reasons not understand , yes there are Respiratory technicians= they are and in most hospitals still have equipment techs which they still call technicians.
Also CEU for every state is Not the same. Wa is 30 ceus, Tx 24 half must be in person( conference or acls/nrp/pals) and rest can be online. AK is the only state that does not require a license, they abolished there board years back. Some others are 15 ceu's so they do differ as I have 6 states. And as far as no comparision to RN to RT we are equal, same time in school(2yrs) and if you feel we are not, ask a RN how many pieces of equipment they have to know vs an RT and can a RN work in every dept ..NO. They cannot just jump into NICU or PICU, ICU , MICU, We can. Also I have and known alot of RTs both CRT and RRT more than you have and most have known through travel and many of the and yes very smart RRTs have appreciated that had a CRT working with them. To add LVN/LPN have no degree just a certificate. LVN is not a degree.

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DNA in Royal Oak, Michigan

18 months ago

I agree about the 12 hour shifts. The three days off in a week that many love are something I found overrated--I would much rather work regular hours and have the weekend off. I hated going into work when dark and leaving when dark. Kudos to those who do it for years and years, especially the older people.

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Blake in Salt Lake City, Utah

13 months ago

Mark RCP in Somewhere out there said: BS in RT is the far fetched scam by the NBRC, I recently worked at hospital in west texas and I mentioned I wanted to go back for my Bachelors but did not state in RT. The manager asked why..I said to better myself and have my bachelors. So point in case, a bachelors in RT is only or may get you a Managers position, but really?? do you wnat to run an RT dept, deal with the bitchy Nurse managers, payroll,schedule complaints, having to find coverage for a sick employees and much more bs. A bachelors in RT does NOT make you a better RT, your skill and experience does and time. Getting your BS or BA in Healthcare Adm will take you farther and pay you better than any RT degree, also you wont be 60 (in time)and walking the halls being a neb jockey and waking up at 5am to work a 12.

The BS in Resp Therapy is not "far-fetched," it is inevitable. When I got my AAS in RT 12 years ago, the Associates degree was so heavy that even though I had two other degrees, it took 63 credits of just higher-level courses to finish. I only needed 12 more credits for a BS after that. Considering the speed at which our field is growing, it will undoubtedly require a 4-year degree.
Nevertheless, I only got a raise when I became an RRT, from CRT. The BS means nothing in terms of wages. The hospital system I work for requires RRT within 1 year of employment, and ACLS, PALS, and NRP, along with BLS. It is an exceptional job, and offers lots of opportunities for growth or lateral movement into other medical careers including nursing, nurse anesthetist (CRNA), physician's assistant programs, or even medical school. It's an excellent job to get you working in critical care very quickly.
I will add that it seems highly unlikely that a student can become a truly competent RRT through an online program, unless it is combined with mentored clinical experience in a teaching hospital.

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