Career and Education Opportunities for Respiratory Therapists in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for respiratory therapists in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina area. There are currently 3,140 jobs for respiratory therapists in North Carolina and this is projected to grow 29% to about 4,060 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for respiratory therapists, which sees this job pool growing by about 20.9% over the next eight years. Respiratory therapists generally assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders.
Income for respiratory therapists is about $23 hourly or $49,540 annually on average in North Carolina. Nationally, their income is about $25 hourly or $52,200 per year. Respiratory therapists earn less than people working in the category of Alternative and Specialized generally in North Carolina and less than people in the Alternative and Specialized category nationally. Jobs in this field include: inhalation therapist, certified respiratory therapist , and respiratory care practitioner .
The Winston-Salem area is home to eighteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Winston-Salem where you can get a degree as a respiratory therapist. Respiratory therapists usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years studying to be a respiratory therapist if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Respiratory Therapist
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 Winston-Salem include:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Forsyth Technical Community College - Winston Salem, NC
Forsyth Technical Community College, 2100 Silas Creek Pky, Winston Salem, NC 27103-5197. Forsyth Technical Community College is a medium sized college located in Winston Salem, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,748 students. Forsyth Technical Community College has an associate's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated ten students in 2008.
Licensing agency: NC Respiratory Care Board
Address: 1100 Navaho Drive, Suite 242, Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: (919) 878-5595
Website: NC Respiratory Care Board
LOCATION INFORMATION: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Winston-Salem is situated in Forsyth County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 217,600, which has grown by 17.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Winston-Salem, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Winston-Salem cost $76,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,032 new homes were built in Winston-Salem, down from 1,706 the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Winston-Salem are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 30.3% of Winston-Salem residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.0%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Winston-Salem is 9.0%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.
The percentage of Winston-Salem residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than both the national and state average. Wachovia Arbor Church, Mount Zion Church and Hope Church are all churches located in Winston-Salem. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Moravian Church in America.
Winston-Salem is home to the Stafford Center and the Dixie Classics Fairgrounds as well as Forest Park and Mineral Springs Park. Shopping centers in the area include College Plaza Shopping Center, College Village Shopping Center and Club Haven Shopping Center.