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Monday, October 22, 2007

The demographics of RTs will not change

Djanvk, in his blog Respiratory Therapy Driven, wrote on Friday his thoughts on why someone would choose respiratory. I thought recently about writing about this topic, but now I don't think I could word it better than he did. You can check it out here:

I have asthma, and my parents encouraged me to go into respiratory, but didn't think I could pass chemistry since I failed it in high school. A friend of mine told me she liked Ferris, and she provided me with an application. When I was filling it out I just happened to be sitting in my journalism class, so I selected "journalism."

The only thing I accomplished in those first 2 years of college was, as I tell my Friends now, joining the fraternity Tappa Kegga Brew. No that's not a real fraternity, but that pretty much sums it up.

While I did learn how to write, as you can see, I failed to make a career out of it. After I graduated I got a found a job, but after three months of stress I decided I couldn't do this the rest of my life. So I went on to get a BA in Advertising. After I graduated in 1993 I ended up spending the next year as front desk clerk for the Shoreline Days Inn while living with my parents. I decided I better go back to school to learn a trade.

As I think of the RT and Rt students I've met, I think Djanvk's list is accurate. I know several who tired of waiting to get into RN school, former construction workers, a former nurses, various moms, and a good share of asthmatics.

A friend of mine was invited to give a presentation about her career at her daughters school, and she asked me, "How am I going to explain what we do?"

"I don't know," I said. "How do you explain about suctioning, about ventilators, about being short of breath to 8 YO kids. I don't even think most adults, unless they have had use for an RT, would even know we exist."

She ended up showing the kids about BLS.

Unlike nursing, I think most quality hospitals are saturated with RTs. At least that's the case where I work. I've been next in line for a day job nearly 8 years now.

I suppose until the demand for RTs increases, the demographics of RTs will not change.


Djanvk said...

Thanks for the comment on about my posting. My wife was also a Journalism major, graduated from University of Iowa with a Degree, but now she is a Registered Nurse, funny how things change from when your fresh out of High School til later in life.

Hailee said...

I am so happy to know that others had received a degree in other areas before deciding to go into respiratory care. I received a BA in Criminal Justice at 22. Soon found out law school wasn't for me, nor were law enforcement careers. I'm also in Washington and hope to start a respiratory care program soon. Love your blog!

Rick Frea said...

I was a journalist, something completely unrelated to healthcare. I made the transition smoothly, and so can you. I also have a friend who used to be a truck driver, and now he's a good nurse. Many of my fellow RNs and RTs (myself included) were in our mid 20s and even in our 30s before deciding on our present careers. So it is doable.