There is a lot of talk among the respiratory care profession about changing the RT degrees. One idea as proposed by the National Alliance of Respiratory Care Professionals (NARCP) is to create a new profession of Respiratory Care Practitioners. As noted on a recent Facebook entry:
Much like nurse practitioners help to fill the shortage of doctors, we strongly advocate for the creation of cardiopulmonary practitioners and critical care practitioners; a mid-level Masters program for Respiratory Therapists that specializes in critical and cardiopulmonary care to help fill the shortage of critical care specialists and the rising number of patients with cardiopulmonary disease.My argument is in opposition to the NARCP. In response to the above, I wrote:
I think we are already qualified to do that. i see no need to go to school for 3-6 years to learn what we already know after 2 years.Their response to me was:
Frea: An mid-level provider will require more than an AS degree, and there is a vast amount to learn about cardiopulmonary disease and treating it. We have the best foundation to advance to these levels.
That argument didn't settle me, and I wrote:
It would make more sense if physicians would learn to respect what we already are - well qualified. More schol will not make us smarter, IMO. If someone wants to become a practitioner, they go to practitioner school. If someone wants to be an RT, they go to RT school, for 2 years. If the RT program was more than that, many of us wouldn't be here, and the profession would be losing out.
I think this is so true. School is expensive, and most of us chose this profession because it was less costly, and less time consuming, than pursuing a bachelor's or doctorate's degree. And I can personally contest to the idea that the only reason I became an RT was because I could start working right away, and have a degree in only a few short years. If the profession was anything more, your humble author here would not be doing this (or I'd be doing this for some other profession).A later response was by Jason Cook, who wrote:
We need both clinicians as well as technicians, and it depends on your personal mastery of the concepts. I have met 2 year CRTs who knew more and could diagnose better than a physician, and likewise, I have met some RRTs with Master's degrees who couldn't wean their way out of a wet paper bag. We need groungpounders as well as Top brass. I'm just sayin, "Don't be hatein. Somebody has to do the dirty work while the manager goes home to do whatever it is they do...So, what are your thoughts on this?