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Monday, January 6, 2014

Would more education make better respiratory therapists?

Your question:  You said you are opposed to making the RT profession a four year program.  Isn't more education better?  Wouldn't that make us better RTs?

My answer:  I'm not opposed to more education, as I believe education is a great thing.  However,my point is I do not believe that requiring respiratory therapists to go to college for four years will make them any better at their jobs than they are already.  If anything it will make fewer of them.

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Anonymous said...

Right now (with the US recovering from recession) and into the future (with restructured payment schemes reducing hospital revenue), less RTs is a good thing. RT schools are pumping out droves of new RTs. The RT job market is becoming crowded and those with a 4-yr degree, who can read and write better, are more desirable. Hospitals are looking to cut expenses.

The attrition rate in 2-year schools is 40-50% while 4-year schools lose 10% of their students because they have already shown they can handle the coursework before they enter the RT part. Sure, moving to mandatory 4-year programs would mean losing a lot of really good RTs, but it would also mean the profession as a whole would be more educated and more selective.

Rick Frea said...

But that does not mean they will be better RTs.

Anonymous said...

Depends on your definition of better. No education is needed to run around giving nebs, set up bipap, and do ECGs with a smile and a friendly attitude. But we do work with the most critically ill patients and our ability to be taken seriously does suffer when we (as a profession) are some of the least educated members of the care team.

Sometimes the only difference between a nurse practitioner and a doctor is about 5 years of education and training, but the one with the MD behind their name is taken more seriously. The MD is who you go to when your disease is very complicated. This is the reason nurse practitioners will soon be required to have a PhD.

Before the proliferation of computers and easy background checks, there was a man who faked a resume and was hired as a chemical engineer at a very reputable company. He learned all he needed to know on the job and moved up the ranks to be one of their most senior engineers. When it was discovered that he never went to college, many wondered why we even go to college. But you must have some credentials to be hired for specialized jobs, right?

Ashton Mccants said...

I feel that the two year programs should have a more rigorous selection process and screenings to better ensure the success of their students.