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Career and Education Opportunities for Respiratory Therapists in Eugene, Oregon

Eugene, Oregon provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for respiratory therapists. About 1,060 people are currently employed as respiratory therapists in Oregon. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 25% to about 1,320 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.

Respiratory therapists earn approximately $26 per hour or $55,580 annually on average in Oregon. Nationally they average about $25 per hour or $52,200 annually. Earnings for respiratory therapists are better than earnings in the general category of Alternative and Specialized in Oregon 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: inhalation therapist, staff respiratory therapist, and respiratory therapy director.

The Eugene area is home to seven schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Eugene where you can get a degree 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 Eugene 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.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Respiratory Therapist Training

Lane Community College - Eugene, OR

Lane Community College, 4000 E 30th Ave, Eugene, OR 97405-0640. Lane Community College is a large college located in Eugene, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,290 students. Lane Community College has an associate's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated eighteen students in 2008.

LICENSES

Respiratory Care Therapist

Licensing agency: Oregon Health Licensing Office
Address: 700 Summer St NE, Suite 320, Salem, OR 97301

Phone: (503) 378-8667
Website: Oregon Health Licensing Office

Respiratory Care Therapist: Temporary License

Licensing agency: Oregon Health Licensing Office
Address: 700 Summer St NE, Suite 320, Salem, OR 97301

Phone: (503) 378-8667
Website: Oregon Health Licensing Office

LOCATION INFORMATION: Eugene, Oregon

Eugene, Oregon
Eugene, Oregon photo by Ccmpg

Eugene is located in Lane County, Oregon. It has a population of over 150,104, which has grown by 8.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Eugene, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Eugene cost $197,200 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-one new homes were constructed in Eugene, down from two hundred ninety-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Eugene are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 37.3% of Eugene residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Eugene is 9.9%, which is less than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Eugene residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 24.5%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.

Eugene is home to the Eugene Country Club and the Balboa Park Drag Strip as well as Acorn City Park and Monroe City Park. Visitors to Eugene can choose from Hawthorn Inn & Suites, Best Value Inn and Marriott Residence Inn for temporary stays in the area.