Career and Education Opportunities for Respiratory Therapists in Dallas, Texas
If you want to be a respiratory therapist, the Dallas, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 7,420 jobs for respiratory therapists in Texas and this is projected to grow by 37% to 10,200 jobs 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. Respiratory therapists generally assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders.
A person working as a respiratory therapist can expect to earn about $23 hourly or $49,040 annually on average in Texas and about $25 per hour or $52,200 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for respiratory therapists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Alternative and Specialized in Texas and not quite as good as general Alternative and Specialized category earnings nationally. People working as respiratory therapists can fill a number of jobs, such as: staff respiratory therapist, respiratory therapist , and director of cardiopulmonary services.
The Dallas area is home to eighty-three schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Dallas where you can get a degree as a respiratory therapist. The most common level of education for respiratory therapists is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. You can expect to spend about two years training to become 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 Dallas 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.
- 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.
- Certified Prosthetist. Assist patients with disabling conditions of limbs and spine or with partial or total absence of limb by fitting and preparing orthopedic braces or prostheses.
- Chiropractor. Adjust spinal column and other articulations of the body to correct abnormalities of the human body believed to be caused by interference with the nervous system. Examine patient to determine nature and extent of disorder. Manipulate spine or other involved area. May utilize supplementary measures, such as exercise, rest, and nutritional therapy.
- 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.
- 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
Collin County Community College District - Plano, TX
Collin County Community College District, 4800 Preston Park Blvd., Plano, TX 75093. Collin County Community College District is a large college located in Plano, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,000 students. Collin County Community College District has an associate's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated seventeen students in 2008.
Tarrant County College District - Fort Worth, TX
Tarrant County College District, 1500 Houston St, Fort Worth, TX 76102-6599. Tarrant County College District is a large college located in Fort Worth, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 39,596 students. Tarrant County College District has an associate's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.
ATI Career Training Center - Dallas, TX
ATI Career Training Center, 10003 Technology Blvd. West, Dallas, TX 75220-4316. ATI Career Training Center is a small school located in Dallas, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,140 students. ATI Career Training Center has an associate's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated seventy-four students in 2008.
El Centro College - Dallas, TX
El Centro College, 801 Main, Dallas, TX 75202-3604. El Centro College is a medium sized college located in Dallas, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,114 students. El Centro College has an associate's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated nine students in 2008.
RESPIRATORY CARE PRACTITIONER
Licensing agency: Respiratory Care Program
Address: Texas Department of Health, 1100 West 49th Street, Austin, TX 78765-3183
Phone: (512) 834-6632
Website: Respiratory Care Program Texas Department of Health
LOCATION INFORMATION: Dallas, Texas
Dallas is situated in Dallas County, Texas. It has a population of over 1,279,910, which has grown by 7.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Dallas, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Dallas cost $295,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, 1,198 new homes were constructed in Dallas, down from 2,090 the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Dallas are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.7% of Dallas residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.6%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Dallas is 8.7%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Dallas residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.1%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Samaritano Methodist Church, Penuel Seventh Day Adventist Church and Peoples Baptist Church are all churches located in Dallas. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Dallas is home to the Camp Wisdom and the North Bishop Avenue Commercial Historic District as well as Trinity River Greenbelt Park and Buckner Park. Shopping centers in the area include Wynnewood Village Shopping Center, Valley View Center Shopping Center and Galleria Shopping Center at Dallas. Visitors to Dallas can choose from Benjamin West Dallas LLC, Bucks Bar and Candlewood Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.