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Monday, September 25, 2017

Should You Become A Respiratory Therapist?

I get a lot of emails from people who are considering going to college to become a Respiratory Therapist. But because of something a respiratory therapist said, you are now having second thoughts. My humble advice to you is:

Don't fail to do something you think you'd enjoy because of something someone else said. 

Okay? Don't do it. Don't let someone else's negativity towards their own job sway you from doing something.

Let me just give you some of my own examples. I'm 47 years old now. Often I wonder what my life would be like today if I had become a teacher. I had thought long and hard about choosing the career of teaching long before I ever became a respiratory therapist.

So, here I was a Senior in High School. I had two teachers I really respected. I asked both these guys if teaching was a good profession. To my dismay, they were both very negative about the job, "There's a lot of burnout! The pay isn't good!" Are some of the negative comments they made about their job.

I did not go into teaching simply based on what these two teachers said. And, to be honest, I have regretted it ever since. I have always thought I would have been a great teacher. I think I would have loved that profession.

The same with counseling. I had actually thought of becoming a counselor at one time. However, I had a friend who was a counselor, and she said, "There's a lot of burnout! The pay isn't good!"

I sort of became a respiratory therapist by default. It was never at the top of any of my lists. However, since I didn't have a friend trash that profession, that's what I chose.

And, don't get me wrong, I love being a respiratory therapist. It's one of the better things to happen to me in my life. It has taught me a lot about my own asthma, allowed me to meet a lot of great people, and has to lead me to this profession as a health blogger.

That said: I'm burned out, and the pay isn't that good. See my point! All jobs lead to, or most, lead to a time when you're going to realize your pay is poor and you are burned out. It's a fact of life. It's why many people switch jobs or go back to school at certain times in their lives.

Some high school students tell me that they were told by a respiratory therapist that there is no respect for the profession. Sure, there are some things that need to be improved.

But, respect isn't one of them.

Our profession is a new one, and so there is still some room for the profession to grow. And you can be a part of making it better. So, if you are thinking about becoming a respiratory therapist: Go for it!

And if you decide later on that you want to do more and make more money, then the profession of respiratory therapy is a great stepping stone for other healthcare jobs, including a Physician's Assistant. I can surely tell you that any PA with an RRT background is going to be one hell of a PA.

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