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Old 11-28-2012, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
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Hello, I have a question that has been on my mind for awhile. In a few years time I will be leaving my military service and once again joining the civilian sector and I wish to pursue something in the medical field, quite possibly respiratory since it is a fast growing field with good pay. I will most likely be moving to Indianapolis Indiana or South Bend Indiana to pursue this career. In South Bend it will either by the community college, Ivy Tech, or Indiana University South Bend for the 4 year program. If I go to Indianapolis it will either be the community college, Ivy Tech, or Indiana University-Purdue University for the 4 year program.

My question is this, what is the advantage of having a 4 year degree vs a 2 year degree? I have 6 maybe 9 college credits that I acquired back in 2008, so it has been awhile. I'll be 26 in 2 years and I'm not that interested in going for a 4 year degree and graduating at 30 or 31, which is why I'm more apt to go after the 2 year associates instead.

Would an employer look down on someone from a 2 year community college and decrease my chances of having a job? Please, all advice, questions, and anything else are appreciated.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:34 AM
 
9,345 posts, read 15,780,146 times
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I have heard that it is an oversaturated field, but that may just be a regional problem, I don't know. Personally, I would call some hospitals that you are interested in working at and ask them how many Rts they actually hire and what education level they prefer.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
6,205 posts, read 8,352,813 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe from dayton View Post
I have heard that it is an oversaturated field, but that may just be a regional problem, I don't know. Personally, I would call some hospitals that you are interested in working at and ask them how many Rts they actually hire and what education level they prefer.
That is actually a very good idea. Thank you.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Syracuse IS Central New York.
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I'm a Registered Respiratory Therapist. I would go for the Associates. To initally get a job, you need to have your license. To get your license you need credentials, either CRT (Certified Respiratory Therapist) or RRT (Registered Respiratory Therapist). The CRT requires one board exam, the RRT requires passing the CRT plus two more exams, although the exams for the RRT credential will soon be changing to 2 exams.

Your eligibility for taking these exams are not impacted whether or not it's an Associates degree or Bachelors in Respiratory. Either one will permit you to sit for these exams. Trust me, they are TOUGH!

Hospitals generally do not hire new CRT's,and it is tough for new grad RRT's to get hired. You will find that those with Bachelors degrees whether in Respiratory or something else, have more potential to move into supervision or management. However, if you are looking to enter the field, get your Associates, pass your boards, get a job, work on the Bachelors while working. There is a possibility that your employer might even pay for your Bachelors while you are working.

Also remember that within Respiratory there are other employment options besides hospitals such as doctor's offices, sleep labs, home care.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
6,205 posts, read 8,352,813 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Easybreezy View Post
I'm a Registered Respiratory Therapist. I would go for the Associates. To initally get a job, you need to have your license. To get your license you need credentials, either CRT (Certified Respiratory Therapist) or RRT (Registered Respiratory Therapist). The CRT requires one board exam, the RRT requires passing the CRT plus two more exams, although the exams for the RRT credential will soon be changing to 2 exams.

Your eligibility for taking these exams are not impacted whether or not it's an Associates degree or Bachelors in Respiratory. Either one will permit you to sit for these exams. Trust me, they are TOUGH!

Hospitals generally do not hire new CRT's,and it is tough for new grad RRT's to get hired. You will find that those with Bachelors degrees whether in Respiratory or something else, have more potential to move into supervision or management. However, if you are looking to enter the field, get your Associates, pass your boards, get a job, work on the Bachelors while working. There is a possibility that your employer might even pay for your Bachelors while you are working.

Also remember that within Respiratory there are other employment options besides hospitals such as doctor's offices, sleep labs, home care.
Any tips on getting hired then? Is it all about making the right connection while going to school? Or would volunteer work at a certain hospital get me better connected? Is the pay between a brand new RRT with an Associates different from a brand new RRT with a bachelor's?

Also, I had heard that Respiratory is beginning to phase out the Associates degree requirement, beginning to prefer people with Bachelor's degrees, any truth to that?

Glad to have an actual RT on here, gives some real insight.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Syracuse IS Central New York.
8,516 posts, read 3,811,413 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
Any tips on getting hired then? Is it all about making the right connection while going to school? Or would volunteer work at a certain hospital get me better connected? Is the pay between a brand new RRT with an Associates different from a brand new RRT with a bachelor's?

Also, I had heard that Respiratory is beginning to phase out the Associates degree requirement, beginning to prefer people with Bachelor's degrees, any truth to that?

Glad to have an actual RT on here, gives some real insight.

Developing personal connections during your clinical rotations will be most helpful in getting hired. Especially focus on the Director of Respiratory Care if you get the opportunity to meet them, they are the hiring decision makers!

I know people who are going the volunteer work route at specific hospitals. Unfortunately, you can't be a volunteer RT due to insurance regulations. So far, I know of no one who has gotten a job through this route. It might work for somebody, but since I haven't seen any results, I remain skeptical.

There is a move to eliminate the Associates degree, and turn Respiratory into a Bachelors. But this will be years and years away, probably a decade or more. I can see the reasoning behind this, the Respiratory Care programs are flat out DIFFICULT!!! One of the challenges to this is the number of two year programs that are run out of community colleges and how to integrate into a four year program.

Brand new grads whether they have a Bachelors or an Associates essentially are paid at the same rate. You are viewed as inexperienced. I do have a BA in an unrelated field, and got my Associates in Respiratory as a second career. I do think the BA has helped in getting the job, but I also know fellow therapists who only have the Associates who are great therapists. The Bachelors only comes into play when trying to move into a supervisory/management capacity, and you will have to have a few years of clinical experience anyway.

My advice to you is to try to take as many of the prerequisites that you can: Anatomy and Physiology is a great one to get out of the way. It's a lot of work on its own. Respiratory Care programs are very difficult. and just when you think it's over, then there's board exams. For two years of your life, your studies own you. I'm not kidding. You will need to study every single day! without fail!!!It's a tremendous time commitment. Be absolutely certain that you want to do this, and have the passion to do this.Try to do a RT job shadow.

I would focus on the two year programs, get the RRT credential, then work on getting the Bachelors while you're working.

I want to mention one other thing. I'm a recently new grad myself, graduated about a year ago. Out of the 24 people who started in our class, only six of us have completely passed all the boards to be an RRT and are working. Fourteen graduated. The others either dropped out, most in that first semester, or along the way. There are a number who have passed only the CRT exam, and are struggling to pass the rest for the RRT credential.

Hope this helps! Advising potential Respiratory students is one of my favorite things to do. (FYI: I also tutor Respiratory students in the classes behind me. I enjoy doing it, and it brings me in a little extra money.)
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
6,205 posts, read 8,352,813 times
Reputation: 4617
Thank you for the great advice, this really helped me out a lot on the decision making. I appreciate it very much.
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