Career and Education Opportunities for Respiratory Therapists in Clarksville, Tennessee
If you want to be a respiratory therapist, the Clarksville, Tennessee area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 2,500 people work as respiratory therapists in Tennessee. This is expected to grow by 24% to 3,110 people by 2016. 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. In general, respiratory therapists assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders.
Income for respiratory therapists is about $21 per hour or $45,420 per year on average in Tennessee. Nationally, their income is about $25 per hour or $52,200 per year. Incomes for respiratory therapists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Alternative and Specialized in Tennessee, and not quite as good as the overall Alternative and Specialized category nationally. Respiratory therapists work in a variety of jobs, including: certified respiratory therapist , oxygen therapist, and respiratory therapist .
There are twelve schools of higher education in the Clarksville area, including one within twenty-five miles of Clarksville where you can get a degree to start your career as a respiratory therapist. The most common level of education for respiratory therapists is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. 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
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 Clarksville 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.
- 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.
- 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
Tennessee State University - Nashville, TN
Tennessee State University, 3500 John Merritt Blvd, Nashville, TN 37209-1561. Tennessee State University is a medium sized university located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,005 students and an admission rate of 46%. Tennessee State University has a bachelor's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated sixteen students in 2008.
RESPIRATORY CARE THERAPIST
Licensing agency: Council on Respiratory Care
Address: Division of Health Related Boards, Department of Health, Cordell Hull Bldg 1st Floor, 425 Fifth Av North, Nashville, TN 37247-1010
Phone: (615) 367-6393
Website: Council on Respiratory Care Division of Health Related Boards Department of Health
LOCATION INFORMATION: Clarksville, Tennessee
Clarksville is situated in Montgomery County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 119,735, which has grown by 15.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Clarksville, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Clarksville cost $97,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-five new homes were built in Clarksville, down from 1,038 the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Clarksville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 19.8% of Clarksville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.8%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Clarksville is 8.8%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.
The percentage of Clarksville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Spring Creek Church, South Chapel and Saint John Baptist Church are among the churches located in Clarksville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Clarksville is home to the Industrial Historic District and the Trice Landing as well as Fairgrounds Park and New Providence Recreation Area. Shopping malls in the area include Governors Square Mall Shopping Center, Clarksville Square Shopping Center and Two Rivers Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Clarksville can choose from Comfort Inn North, Hampton Inn Clarksville and Guesthouse Clarksville for temporary stays in the area.