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Career and Education Opportunities for Respiratory Therapists in Aurora, Colorado

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for respiratory therapists in the Aurora, Colorado area. About 1,220 people are currently employed as respiratory therapists in Colorado. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 37% to about 1,670 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for respiratory therapists are expected to grow by about 20.9%. In general, respiratory therapists assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders.

Respiratory therapists earn about $25 per hour or $52,450 yearly on average in Colorado and about $25 hourly or $52,200 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Alternative and Specialized, people working as respiratory therapists in Colorado earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Alternative and Specialized nationally. Jobs in this field include: respiratory care practitioner , registered respiratory therapist , and respiratory therapy director.

The Aurora area is home to sixty-two schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Aurora where you can get a degree as a respiratory therapist. The most common level of education for respiratory therapists is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. You can expect to spend about two years training to become a respiratory therapist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory Therapist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, respiratory therapists assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. They also assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians.

Respiratory therapists read prescriptions, measure arterial blood gases, and review patient data to gauge patient condition. They also prepare and operate devices such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, and aerosol generators, following specified parameters of treatment. Equally important, respiratory therapists have to inspect, clean, test and maintain respiratory therapy apparatus to insure equipment is functioning safely and efficiently, ordering repairs when needed. They are often called upon to work as part of a team of physicians and other health care professionals to manage patient care by assisting with medical procedures and related duties. They are expected to monitor patients' physiological responses to therapy, such as vital signs, arterial blood gases, and blood chemistry changes, and confer with physicians if adverse reactions occur. Finally, respiratory therapists conduct tests, such as electrocardiograms (EKGs), stress testing, and lung capacity tests, to review patients' cardiopulmonary functions.

Every day, respiratory therapists are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for respiratory therapists to make emergency visits to deal with apparatus problems. They are often called upon to teach and utilize the assistance of students, respiratory therapy technicians, and assistants. They also perform pulmonary function and adjust apparatus to obtain optimum results in therapy. Somewhat less frequently, respiratory therapists are also expected to read prescriptions, measure arterial blood gases, and review patient data to gauge patient condition.

And finally, they sometimes have to explain treatment procedures to patients to get cooperation and allay fears.

Like many other jobs, respiratory therapists must have a strong concern for others and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Aurora include:

  • Dental Hygienist. Clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop X-rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.
  • Dentist. Diagnose and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums and related oral structures. May treat diseases of nerve, pulp, and other dental tissues affecting vitality of teeth.
  • Licensed Practical Nurse. Care for ill, injured, or disabled persons in hospitals, nursing homes, and similar institutions. May work under the supervision of a registered nurse. Licensing required.
  • Pharmacist. Compound and dispense medications following prescriptions issued by physicians, dentists, or other authorized medical practitioners.
  • Physical Therapist. Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, and decrease or prevent deformity of patients suffering from disease or injury.
  • Physician Assistant. Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.
  • Radiological Technician. Maintain and use equipment and supplies necessary to demonstrate portions of the human body on x-ray film or fluoroscopic screen for diagnostic purposes.
  • Radiology Technologist. Take x-rays and Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT or CT) scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's blood stream for diagnostic purposes. Includes technologists who specialize in other modalities, such as computed tomography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance.
  • Surgical Technician. Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon's assistants, hold retractors, and help count sponges, needles, and instruments.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Respiratory Therapist Training

Pima Medical Institute - Denver, CO

Pima Medical Institute, 7475 Dakin St Suite 100, Denver, CO 80221. Pima Medical Institute is a small school located in Denver, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 782 students. Pima Medical Institute has an associate's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated thirty-nine students in 2008.

Pickens Technical College - Aurora, CO

Pickens Technical College, 500 Airport Blvd, Aurora, CO 80011-9307. Pickens Technical College is a small college located in Aurora, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,066 students. Pickens Technical College has a one to two year program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Concorde Career Colleges - Aurora, CO

Concorde Career Colleges, 111 N. Havana Street, Aurora, CO 80010-4314. Concorde Career Colleges is a small college located in Aurora, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 686 students and an admission rate of 100%. Concorde Career Colleges has a less than one year program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated two students in 2008.

LICENSES

Respiratory Therapist

Licensing agency: Respiratory Therapy Licensure Office
Address: 1560 Broadway Suite 1340, Denver, CO 80202

Phone: (303) 894-2440
Website: Respiratory Therapy Licensure Office

LOCATION INFORMATION: Aurora, Colorado

Aurora, Colorado
Aurora, Colorado photo by Tom

Aurora is located in Adams County, Colorado. It has a population of over 319,057, which has grown by 15.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Aurora, 97, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Aurora are priced at $238,200 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, five hundred ten new homes were built in Aurora, down from 1,202 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Aurora are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 24.6% of Aurora residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Aurora is 8.2%, which is greater than Colorado's average of 6.6%.

The percentage of Aurora residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 30.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Lutheran Church.

Aurora is home to the Victory Grange and the Magee as well as Montview Park and Del Mar Park. Visitors to Aurora can choose from Corporate Housing Solutions, Comfort Inn-Airport and Denver Airport Marriott at Gateway Park for temporary stays in the area.