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Career and Education Opportunities for Respiratory Therapists in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Murfreesboro, Tennessee provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for respiratory therapists. About 2,500 people are currently employed as respiratory therapists in Tennessee. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 24% to 3,110 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. In general, respiratory therapists assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders.

Respiratory therapists earn about $21 per hour or $45,420 per year on average in Tennessee and about $25 hourly or $52,200 yearly on average nationally. Earnings for respiratory therapists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Alternative and Specialized in Tennessee and not quite as good as general Alternative and Specialized category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: respiratory therapy director, sleep lab technician, and oxygen therapist.

There are forty-five schools of higher education in the Murfreesboro area, including one within twenty-five miles of Murfreesboro where you can get a degree to start your career 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 Murfreesboro 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.
  • Dentist. Diagnose and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums and related oral structures. May treat diseases of nerve, pulp, and other dental tissues affecting vitality of teeth.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Physician Assistant. Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.
  • 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

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.



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: Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee photo by Pollinator

Murfreesboro is situated in Rutherford County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 101,753, which has grown by 47.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Murfreesboro, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Murfreesboro are valued at $145,900 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, five hundred seventy-nine new homes were constructed in Murfreesboro, down from 1,157 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Murfreesboro are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 30.8% of Murfreesboro residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Murfreesboro is 9.6%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Murfreesboro residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Central Christian Church, Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church and Saint Pauls Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in Murfreesboro. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Churches of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Murfreesboro is home to the Clement Hall and the Military Park Brannons Redoubt as well as Old Fort Park and Jones Field. Shopping malls in the area include Northside Plaza Shopping Center, Northfield Crossing Shopping Center and Northfield Court Shopping Center. Visitors to Murfreesboro can choose from Doubletree Hotel Murfeesboro, Best Western Chaffin Inn and Hampton Inn Motel Fax Line for temporary stays in the area.