Many people want to work in the medical field, but there are a large number of specialties to choose from. While most people think about becoming a doctor or nurse, there are hundreds of fulfilling and well-paid medical careers that you may not be aware of. One field that is growing in popularity and visibility is respiratory therapy. Respiratory care encompasses a lot of things, so you can focus on hospital or outpatient jobs depending on which environment you prefer. If you want to learn more, keep reading to find out if you can study respiratory therapy online.
What is respiratory therapy, and can you study it online?
Before getting into how to study respiratory therapy, it’s a good idea to make sure you understand what working in the field means. Respiratory therapy involves working with patients who are diagnosed with diseases that relate to the lungs or respiratory system. This can include patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, lung cancer, or any other respiratory or lung-related illness. As a respiratory therapist, you’ll have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings while performing assessments, managing chronic conditions, and participating in patient education.
The good news for anyone who prefers online study is that you can find reputable and trustworthy online respiratory therapy programs that can help you pursue a career in the field. This online program consists of 50 credit hours that you can take in the fall, spring, or summer semesters. The curriculum will give you all of the knowledge, skills, and technical expertise that you need to begin your career as a respiratory therapist.
Respiratory therapy is a growing practice area, and graduates can feel confident that their skills will qualify them for a range of well-paid and reliable positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average respiratory therapist in the United States makes over $62,000 per year. It’s also considered to be one of the best health care jobs in terms of work-life balance and overall career satisfaction.
How can you prepare for a career in health care?
The health care industry is diverse and fascinating, and there is a range of careers that you can pursue within it. However, it’s important to keep in mind that working in health or medicine can present unique challenges and stressors that you should be prepared for. Stress can be a major problem for employees in the health care field, so it’s essential that you find stress management techniques that work for you.
Working in health care is also more difficult now than it has been in recent years due to the ongoing public health threat caused by COVID-19. Given that COVID-19 has been shown to impact the lungs in many cases, it’s likely that respiratory therapists will have to be educated about the virus in order to be effective in their work. Even if you don’t work in a hospital setting, you may see patients who are in the process of recovering from the virus in an outpatient or rehabilitative environment. It’s a good idea to stay up to date on studies and literature related to the pandemic so you’re informed about recent developments.
Respiratory therapists are able to make a meaningful difference in the lives of their patients while still maintaining a healthy work-life balance that can be difficult to find in the medical field. Anyone who wants a career in health care that will allow them to work with patients with more accessible educational requirements should consider respiratory therapy. Keep in mind that it’s likely COVID-19 will impact the field of respiratory therapy for years to come, so it’s always in your best interest to learn as much as you can about the disease and its effects. Reach out to a current professional in the field if you want to learn more about the day-to-day experience of being a respiratory therapist.