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Career and Education Opportunities for Respiratory Therapists in Providence, Rhode Island

Respiratory therapist career and educational opportunities abound in Providence, Rhode Island. There are currently 300 working respiratory therapists in Rhode Island; this should grow 17% to 350 working respiratory therapists in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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 $27 per hour or $56,320 yearly on average in Rhode Island. Nationally they average about $25 per hour or $52,200 annually. Incomes for respiratory therapists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Alternative and Specialized in Rhode Island, and not quite as good as the overall Alternative and Specialized category nationally. Respiratory therapists work in a variety of jobs, including: sleep lab technician, oxygen therapist, and respiratory care practitioner .

The Providence area is home to fifty-five schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Providence where you can get a degree as a respiratory therapist. Respiratory therapists usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so 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 Providence 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Community College of Rhode Island - Warwick, RI

Community College of Rhode Island, 400 East Ave, Warwick, RI 02886-1807. Community College of Rhode Island is a large college located in Warwick, Rhode Island. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,612 students. Community College of Rhode Island has an associate's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

Massasoit Community College - Brockton, MA

Massasoit Community College, One Massasoit Boulevard, Brockton, MA 02302-3996. Massasoit Community College is a medium sized college located in Brockton, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,394 students. Massasoit Community College has an associate's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated twenty students in 2008.


Respiratory Care Practitioner

Licensing agency: Office of Health Professionals Regulation
Address: R.I. Department of Health, 3 Capitol Hill, Providence, RI 02908

Phone: (401) 222-2827
Website: Office of Health Professionals Regulation R.I. Department of Health

LOCATION INFORMATION: Providence, Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island
Providence, Rhode Island photo by Flickr_upload_bot

Providence is situated in Providence County, Rhode Island. It has a population of over 171,557, which has shrunk by 1.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Providence, 105, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Providence are valued at $75,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, seventeen new homes were constructed in Providence, down from forty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Providence are educational services, health care, and miscellaneous manufacturing. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and miscellaneous manufacturing. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 24.4% of Providence residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Providence is 14.5%, which is greater than Rhode Island's average of 12.2%.

The percentage of Providence residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 63.6%, is more than both the national and state average. United Pentecostal Church, United Presbyterian Church and Providence Assembly of God Church are some of the churches located in Providence. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Episcopal Church.

Providence is home to the Fall River Iron Works and the Broadway-Armory Historic District as well as Burnside Park and Customhouse Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Silver Lake Plaza Shopping Center, Shopperstown Shopping Center and Corliss Landing Shopping Center. Visitors to Providence can choose from Historic Jacob Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast Inn, Agora Restaurant & Bar and Old Court Bed & Breakfast for temporary stays in the area.