Career and Education Opportunities for Respiratory Therapy Technicians in Charleston, South Carolina
For those living in the Charleston, South Carolina area, there are many career and education opportunities for respiratory therapy technicians. The national trend for respiratory therapy technicians sees this job pool shrinking by about 1.1% over the next eight years. Respiratory therapy technicians generally provide specific, well defined respiratory care procedures under the direction of respiratory therapists and physicians.
A person working as a respiratory therapy technician can expect to earn about $19 hourly or $40,750 per year on average in South Carolina and about $20 hourly or $42,430 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical, people working as respiratory therapy technicians in South Carolina earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Healthcare Technical nationally. Respiratory therapy technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: life support technician, respiratory therapist, and registered respiratory therapist.
The Charleston area is home to fourteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree as a respiratory therapy technician. Respiratory therapy technicians usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years training to become a respiratory therapy technician if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Respiratory Therapy Technician
In general, respiratory therapy technicians provide specific, well defined respiratory care procedures under the direction of respiratory therapists and physicians.
Respiratory therapy technicians ready and test devices such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, aerosol generators and electrocardiogram (EKG) machines. They also keep patient therapy records, completing all needed forms. Equally important, respiratory therapy technicians have to use ventilators and various oxygen devices and aerosol and breathing treatments in the provision of respiratory therapy. They are often called upon to administer breathing and oxygen procedures such as intermittent positive pressure breathing treatments, ultrasonic nebulizer treatments and incentive spirometer treatments. They are expected to explain treatment procedures to patients. Finally, respiratory therapy technicians monitor patients during treatment and report any unusual reactions to the respiratory therapist.
Every day, respiratory therapy technicians are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.
It is important for respiratory therapy technicians to furnish respiratory care involving the application of well-defined therapeutic techniques under the supervision of a respiratory therapist and a physician. They are often called upon to teach or oversee other staff who furnish respiratory care services. They also recommend and review bedside procedures, x-rays, and laboratory tests. They are sometimes expected to interview and examine patients to collect clinical data. Somewhat less frequently, respiratory therapy technicians are also expected to monitor patients during treatment and report any unusual reactions to the respiratory therapist.
They also have to be able to monitor patients during treatment and report any unusual reactions to the respiratory therapist and clean, sterilize, check and maintain respiratory therapy apparatus. And finally, they sometimes have to assess patients' responses to treatments and modify treatments in line with protocols if needed.
Like many other jobs, respiratory therapy technicians must have strong self control in the face of challenging situations and be reliable.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Charleston 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.
- Health Information Systems Technician. Compile, process, and maintain medical records of hospital and clinic patients in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, and regulatory requirements of the health care system. Process, maintain, and report patient information for health requirements and standards.
- Medical Laboratory Technician. Perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.
- Medical Laboratory Technologist. Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff.
- 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 Therapy Technician Training
Trident Technical College - Charleston, SC
Trident Technical College, 7000 Rivers Avenue, Charleston, SC 29423-8067. Trident Technical College is a large college located in Charleston, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,758 students. Trident Technical College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated six and twelve students respectively in 2008.
Biomedical Electronics Technician: Biomedical electronics technicians are expected to obtain knowledge of the principles of modern biomedical techniques, the proper procedure in the care, handling and maintenance of biomedical equipment and to display an attitude/behavior expected of an electronics technician who works in a hospital or healthcare environment.
For more information, see the ETA International website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is situated in Charleston County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 111,978, which has grown by 15.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston cost $157,600 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, five hundred eight new homes were built in Charleston, down from eight hundred seventy-eight the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 37.5% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.9%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Charleston is 10.5%, which is less than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.
The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Plymouth Congregational Church, Lutheran Church of the Redeemer and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.
Charleston is home to the United State Department of Agriculture and the The Center as well as Harmon Field and Stoney Field. Shopping malls in the area include Church Creek Plaza Shopping Center, Citadel Mall Shopping Center and South Windermere Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from French Quarter Inn, Fulton Lane Inn and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.