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: http://respiratorytherapydriven.blogspot.com/
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.