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Career and Education Opportunities for Respiratory Therapists in Henderson, Nevada

If you want to be a respiratory therapist, the Henderson, Nevada area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 700 people work as respiratory therapists in Nevada. This is expected to grow 36% to about 950 people by 2016. 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 approximately $30 per hour or $63,140 yearly on average in Nevada. Nationally they average about $25 hourly or $52,200 annually. Incomes for respiratory therapists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Alternative and Specialized in Nevada, and not quite as good as the overall Alternative and Specialized category nationally. Respiratory therapists work in a variety of jobs, including: staff respiratory therapist, respiratory care practitioner , and inhalation therapist.

There are nineteen schools of higher education in the Henderson area, including two within twenty-five miles of Henderson 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. It will take about two years to learn to be 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 Henderson 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.
  • 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.
  • Orthodontist. Examine, diagnose, and treat dental malocclusions and oral cavity anomalies. Design and fabricate appliances to realign teeth and jaws to produce and maintain normal function and to improve appearance.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sports Trainer. Evaluate, advise, and treat athletes to assist recovery from injury, avoid injury, or maintain peak physical fitness.
  • 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

College of Southern Nevada - Las Vegas, NV

College of Southern Nevada, 6375 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89146-1164. College of Southern Nevada is a large college located in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 27,035 students. College of Southern Nevada has an associate's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

Pima Medical Institute - Las Vegas, NV

Pima Medical Institute, 3333 East Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89121. Pima Medical Institute is a small school located in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 817 students. Pima Medical Institute has an associate's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated forty-four students in 2008.

LICENSES

Respiratory Therapist

Phone: (775) 688-2559
Website: Board of Medical Examiners

LOCATION INFORMATION: Henderson, Nevada

Henderson, Nevada
Henderson, Nevada photo by Katie Claypoole

Henderson is located in Clark County, Nevada. It has a population of over 252,064, which has grown by 43.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Henderson, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Henderson are valued at $135,800 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, 1,063 new homes were constructed in Henderson, down from 2,224 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Henderson are accommodation and food services, arts, entertainment, and recreation, and health care. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and arts, entertainment, and recreation. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 23.7% of Henderson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Henderson is 10.7%, which is less than Nevada's average of 12.6%.

The percentage of Henderson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 36.2%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Henderson is home to the Amargosa Substation and the Las Vegas Downs as well as Henderson City Park and O'Callaghan Park. Shopping malls in the area include Boulder - Lake Mead Shopping Center and Lake Mead Shopping Center. Visitors to Henderson can choose from The Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas, Railroad Pass Hotel & Casino and Fuego for temporary stays in the area.