Breathe new life into your future with a career in respiratory care!
Have you thought about a career in health care but aren’t sure what direction to choose? Perhaps a career in respiratory therapy is for you!
Respiratory care practitioners (also known as respiratory therapists) work primarily in hospitals and assist in the evaluation, diagnosis and care of patients with breathing or other cardiopulmonary problems. Respiratory therapists are primary health care providers in the intensive care unit because they operate the life support equipment (or ventilator). They also provide care for premature infants, persons injured in automobile accidents, asthmatics, chronic lung patients and heart attack victims, as well as work for home care companies and in many other locations where patients need their expertise.
JCC offers an associate degree in respiratory care, which prepares students to sit for board exams in the field. An associate degree is required for entry into the profession.
Currently there is a shortage of therapists nationwide, said Ann Flint, respiratory care instructor and program coordinator. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of respiratory therapists is expected to grow by 28 percent through 2020, much higher than average for all occupations. Respiratory care graduates who have passed their credentialing exams have been entering the job market with starting salaries up to $42,000 a year.
National Respiratory Care week is observed Oct. 21-27. This is an annual event that recognizes the respiratory care profession and promotes awareness of lung health issues and practices. On Thursday, Oct. 25, JCC respiratory care students will be doing lung screenings, inhaler technique education, smoking cessation education, and distributing information on pulmonary health as well as the respiratory care program from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Robert Snyder Dining Commons, Potter Center. Students will also participate in a Ventilator Race at noon Friday, Oct. 26 outside the Health Laboratory Center. Students are collecting pledges to help raise funds for Camp Michi-Mac, a camp for children with asthma.
If you would like information on a career as a respiratory therapist, look over the program requirements on the web at http://www.jccmi.edu/healthcareers/alliedhealth/resp/index.htm. Respiratory care is a second-admit program, which means students first enroll in classes at the College and complete certain requirements before being admitted to the program.
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