Career and Education Opportunities for Respiratory Therapists in Fargo, North Dakota
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for respiratory therapists in the Fargo, North Dakota area. About 260 people are currently employed as respiratory therapists in North Dakota. By 2016, this is expected to grow 21% to about 320 people employed. 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.
The income of a respiratory therapist is about $20 per hour or $42,770 yearly on average in North Dakota. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $25 per hour or $52,200 annually on average. Earnings for respiratory therapists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Alternative and Specialized in North Dakota and not quite as good as general Alternative and Specialized category earnings nationally. People working as respiratory therapists can fill a number of jobs, such as: oxygen therapist, clinical coordinator of respiratory therapy, and director of cardiopulmonary services.
There is one school within twenty-five miles of Fargo where you can study to be a respiratory therapist, among eight schools of higher education total in the Fargo area. 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 Fargo 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.
- Pharmacist. Compound and dispense medications following prescriptions issued by physicians, dentists, or other authorized medical practitioners.
- 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.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Respiratory Therapist Training
North Dakota State University-Main Campus - Fargo, ND
North Dakota State University-Main Campus, 1301 12th Avenue North, Fargo, ND 58108-6050. North Dakota State University-Main Campus is a large university located in Fargo, North Dakota. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 13,229 students and an admission rate of 80%. North Dakota State University-Main Campus has a bachelor's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated twelve students in 2008.
Phone: (701) 222-1564
Website: ND State Board of Respiratory Care
LOCATION INFORMATION: Fargo, North Dakota
Fargo is located in Cass County, North Dakota. It has a population of over 93,531, which has grown by 3.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fargo, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fargo are priced at $139,800 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred four new homes were constructed in Fargo, down from four hundred forty-seven the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Fargo are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 15 minutes. More than 34.4% of Fargo residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.5%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Fargo is 3.5%, which is greater than North Dakota's average of 3.2%.
The percentage of Fargo residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.8%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.
Fargo is home to the Elm Tree Square and the Market Square as well as Roosevelt Playground and Oak Grove Park. Shopping malls in the area include Valley North Mall, Northport Mall and West Acres Shopping Center. Visitors to Fargo can choose from Rodeway Inn Fargo, Wingate Inn and Sleep Inn Fargo for temporary stays in the area.