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Career and Education Opportunities for Respiratory Therapists in Killeen, Texas

Respiratory therapists can find many career and educational opportunities in the Killeen, Texas area. Currently, 7,420 people work as respiratory therapists in Texas. This is expected to grow by 37% to about 10,200 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for respiratory therapists are expected to grow by about 20.9%. In general, respiratory therapists assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders.

Income for respiratory therapists is about $23 per hour or $49,040 per year on average in Texas. Nationally, their income is about $25 hourly or $52,200 annually. Incomes for respiratory therapists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Alternative and Specialized in Texas, and not quite as good as the overall Alternative and Specialized category nationally. Jobs in this field include: clinical coordinator of respiratory therapy, staff respiratory therapist, and sleep lab technician.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Killeen where you can study to be a respiratory therapist, among six schools of higher education total in the Killeen area. Given that the most common education level 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

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 Killeen include:

  • 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.
  • 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

Temple College - Temple, TX

Temple College, 2600 S 1st St, Temple, TX 76504-7435. Temple College is a medium sized college located in Temple, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,182 students. Temple College has an associate's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated thirteen students in 2008.



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


Killeen, Texas
Killeen, Texas photo by Ed Schipul

Killeen is situated in Bell County, Texas. It has a population of over 116,934, which has grown by 34.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Killeen, 80, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Killeen are valued at $121,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, eight hundred fifty-five new homes were built in Killeen, down from 1,278 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Killeen are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is public administration, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 15.7% of Killeen residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 3.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Killeen is 7.4%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Killeen residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 47.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Power House Church of God in Christ and Primera Iglesia Bautista Church are all churches located in Killeen. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Killeen is home to Long Branch Park and Long Branch Park. Visitors to Killeen can choose from Best Western Killeen, Comfort Inn and Best Value Inn & Suites for temporary stays in the area.