Career and Education Opportunities for Respiratory Therapy Technicians in Columbia, South Carolina
Respiratory therapy technicians can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Columbia, South Carolina area. The national trend for respiratory therapy technicians sees this job pool shrinking by about 1.1% over the next eight years. In general, respiratory therapy technicians 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 annually on average in South Carolina and about $20 per hour or $42,430 annually 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: oxygen equipment technician, certified respiratory therapist , and respiratory care practitioner.
There are twenty schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including two within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a respiratory therapy technician. Given that the most common education level for respiratory therapy technicians is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, 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 Columbia 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.
- Sonographer. Produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.
- 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
Midlands Technical College - West Columbia, SC
Midlands Technical College, 1260 Lexington Drive, West Columbia, SC 29170-2176. Midlands Technical College is a large college located in West Columbia, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,157 students. Midlands Technical College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated seven and eight students respectively in 2008.
Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College - Orangeburg, SC
Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College, 3250 Saint Matthews Rd, Orangeburg, SC 29118-8299. Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College is a small college located in Orangeburg, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,605 students. Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College has an associate's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated thirteen students 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: Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia is located in Richland County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 127,029, which has grown by 9.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia cost $142,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred thirty-four new homes were built in Columbia, down from seven hundred the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 35.7% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.3%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Columbia is 16.1%, which is greater than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.
The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Progressive Church, Bishop Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church and Lutheran Seminary are among the churches located in Columbia. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Columbia is home to the Booker T Washington Center and the Longstreet Annex as well as Irwin Park and Columbia Historic District II. Shopping centers in the area include Five Points Shopping Center, Market Place Shopping Center and Columbiana Centre Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Marriott Columbia, Hampton Inn Columbia-SE-Fort Jackson and Embassy Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.