Breathing is a natural exercise that is automatic and doesn’t involve any conscious muscle movement. Besides being one the simplest functions of the body, it is also the most essential. Lack of oxygen in the body can have dire consequences, especially to the brain. It can have permanent effects. With an increase in respiratory problems among the elderly and the middle-aged probably owing to the rise in pollution levels all over the world, respiratory therapists and respiratory therapy assistants are now highly demanded. Generally, the assistants or technicians help the respiratory therapists to diagnose and treat patients with respiratory problems which could culminate into something more serious and more dangerously, fatal like a heart attack or a stroke.
Respiratory therapy assistants generally earn a decent income. On an average, a respiratory therapy assistants salary is between $ 18,000 and $ 25,000 annually. Thus, though respiratory therapy assistant salary isn’t too much, the job is in high demand which has led to an increase in their wages. In fact, it is debated that respiratory therapy assistant’s salary is much lesser in proportion to the amount of work that has to be done. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2009 reported that the average remuneration for respiratory therapy assistants was $ 45,680 per year. Plus there are some industries which pay a higher sum to the technicians. For example, specialty hospitals pay an annual wage of $ 48,110.
Well, you must be wondering what exactly a respiratory therapy technician or assistant has to do on a daily basis. The job basically entails assisting the respiratory technician in treating patients who have respiratory and cardiopulmonary problems. Moreover, they have to maintain the respiratory equipment. They have little interaction with the patients at most changing their respiratory equipment. They also inspect the cardiac arrest resuscitation equipment. So the basic job of a technician involves assisting the therapist and ensuring the equipment is in proper order. They also test patients and teach them how to use home equipment. Another job that has to be done by the respiratory therapy assistant is maintaining the records of the patients. Given the wide array of responsibilities, respiratory therapy assistant salary is bound to shoot up.
As far as the educational qualifications are concerned, to become a respiratory therapy assistant or technician, you need to have a high school diploma and two year experience in health care related field. Plus you need to have knowledge of respiratory care & basic medical terminology. You also need to complete a one year course of study at a technical school or hospital and pass a written national exam.
And lastly, as far as the job prospects are concerned, you do not need to worry. As mentioned before, the rise in respiratory problems among people of all ages has led to an increase in the demand for therapists and assistants, specifically in the travel healthcare field. This avenue does seem promising!
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