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Career and Education Opportunities for Respiratory Therapists in Louisville, Kentucky

Respiratory therapists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Louisville, Kentucky area. About 1,690 people are currently employed as respiratory therapists in Kentucky. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 31% to 2,210 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%. Respiratory therapists generally assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders.

Respiratory therapists earn about $21 hourly or $43,830 annually on average in Kentucky and about $25 per hour or $52,200 yearly on average nationally. Respiratory therapists earn less than people working in the category of Alternative and Specialized generally in Kentucky and less than people in the Alternative and Specialized category nationally. Jobs in this field include: respiratory therapy director, registered respiratory therapist , and oxygen therapist.

There are thirty schools of higher education in the Louisville area, including three within twenty-five miles of Louisville where you can get a degree to start your career 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 Louisville include:

  • Audiologist. Assess and treat persons with hearing and related disorders. May fit hearing aids and provide auditory training. May perform research related to hearing problems.
  • Cardiac Technician. Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary-functions, lung capacity, and similar tests.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Speech and Language Teacher. Assess and treat persons with speech, language, and fluency disorders. May select alternative communication systems and teach their use. May perform research related to speech and language problems.
  • 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

Ivy Tech Community College-South Central - Sellersburg, IN

Ivy Tech Community College-South Central, 8204 Hwy 311, Sellersburg, IN 47172-1897. Ivy Tech Community College-South Central is a small college located in Sellersburg, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,826 students. Ivy Tech Community College-South Central has an associate's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated twenty students in 2008.

Bellarmine University - Louisville, KY

Bellarmine University, 2001 Newburg Rd, Louisville, KY 40205-0671. Bellarmine University is a small university located in Louisville, Kentucky. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,001 students and an admission rate of 58%. Bellarmine University has a bachelor's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated six students in 2008.

Jefferson Community and Technical College - Louisville, KY

Jefferson Community and Technical College, 109 E Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202-2005. Jefferson Community and Technical College is a large college located in Louisville, Kentucky. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,560 students. Jefferson Community and Technical College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated one and fourteen students respectively in 2008.

LICENSES

Licensed Respiratory Therapist

Licensing agency: Kentucky Board of Respiratory Care
Address: Spindletop Administration Building, 2624 Research Park Drive, Suite 306, Lexington, KY 40511

Phone: (859) 246-2747
Website: Kentucky Board of Respiratory Care

Temporary Respiratory Therapist License

Licensing agency: Kentucky Department of Agriculture
Address: Office of Consumer and Enviromental Protection, Division of Environmental Services, 107 Corporate Drive, Frankfort, KY 40601

Phone: (502) 573-0282
Website: Kentucky Department of Agriculture Office of Consumer and Enviromental Protection Division of Environmental Services

LOCATION INFORMATION: Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky photo by File Upload Bot

Louisville is located in Jefferson County, Kentucky. It has a population of over 261,624. The cost of living index in Louisville, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Louisville are priced at $74,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2002, one hundred forty-six new homes were built in Louisville, down from two hundred seventy-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Louisville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 21.3% of Louisville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.7%, is higher than the state average.

About 21.6% of Louisville's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Louisville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 54.6%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Audubon Church, Expressway Church and Southern Baptist Seminary are some of the churches located in Louisville. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Louisville is home to the Oak Saint Yards and the Brooklawn Childrens Home as well as Central Park and Taylor Memorial Park. Visitors to Louisville can choose from The Galt House, Seelbach Hilton and Best Western Airport East for temporary stays in the area.