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Career and Education Opportunities for Respiratory Therapists in North Las Vegas, Nevada

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for respiratory therapists in the North Las Vegas, Nevada area. There are currently 700 jobs for respiratory therapists in Nevada and this is projected to grow by 36% to 950 jobs 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%. Respiratory therapists generally assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders.

Respiratory therapists earn about $30 hourly or $63,140 yearly on average in Nevada and about $25 per hour or $52,200 yearly on average nationally. Earnings for respiratory therapists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Alternative and Specialized in Nevada and not quite as good as general Alternative and Specialized category earnings nationally. Respiratory therapists work in a variety of jobs, including: staff respiratory therapist, clinical coordinator of respiratory therapy, and respiratory therapist .

There are nineteen schools of higher education in the North Las Vegas area, including two within twenty-five miles of North Las Vegas where you can get a degree to start your career as a respiratory therapist. Given that the most common education level 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 North Las Vegas 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.


Respiratory Therapist

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


North Las Vegas, Nevada
North Las Vegas, Nevada photo by Meridethmyers

North Las Vegas is situated in Clark County, Nevada. It has a population of over 217,253, which has grown by 88.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in North Las Vegas, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in North Las Vegas cost $207,700 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, eight hundred thirty-four new homes were built in North Las Vegas, down from 2,365 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in North Las Vegas 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 27 minutes. More than 10.2% of North Las Vegas residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 3.3%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in North Las Vegas is 14.3%, which is greater than Nevada's average of 12.6%.

The percentage of North Las Vegas 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.

North Las Vegas is home to the Craig Ranch Country Club and the Craig Road Speedway as well as Valley View Park and Highland Valley Park. Shopping malls in the area include Cheyenne Shopping Center and College Park Shopping Center. Visitors to North Las Vegas can choose from Starlite Motel, Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites and Texas Station for temporary stays in the area.