Career and Education Opportunities for Respiratory Therapists in Huntington, West Virginia
Respiratory therapists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Huntington, West Virginia area. About 820 people are currently employed as respiratory therapists in West Virginia. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 22% to 1,000 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for respiratory therapists are expected to grow by about 20.9%. Respiratory therapists generally assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders.
The income of a respiratory therapist is about $20 hourly or $43,410 annually on average in West Virginia. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $25 hourly or $52,200 yearly on average. Earnings for respiratory therapists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Alternative and Specialized in West Virginia and not quite as good as general Alternative and Specialized category earnings nationally. Respiratory therapists work in a variety of jobs, including: staff respiratory therapist, respiratory therapy director, and certified respiratory therapist technician.
There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Huntington area, including four within twenty-five miles of Huntington 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 you can expect to spend about two years studying 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 Huntington 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Marshall Community and Technical College - Huntington, WV
Marshall Community and Technical College, 1 John Marshall Way, Huntington, WV 25755. Marshall Community and Technical College is a small college located in Huntington, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,533 students. Marshall Community and Technical College has an associate's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated sixteen students in 2008.
Shawnee State University - Portsmouth, OH
Shawnee State University, 940 Second St, Portsmouth, OH 45662. Shawnee State University is a small university located in Portsmouth, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 3,976 students. Shawnee State University has an associate's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated eleven students in 2008.
O C Collins Career Center - Chesapeake, OH
O C Collins Career Center, 11627 State Rte 243, Chesapeake, OH 45619-0000. O C Collins Career Center is a small school located in Chesapeake, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 550 students. O C Collins Career Center has a two to four year program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated fifteen students in 2008.
Ashland Community and Technical College - Ashland, KY
Ashland Community and Technical College, 1400 College Drive, Ashland, KY 41101-3683. Ashland Community and Technical College is a small college located in Ashland, Kentucky. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,550 students. Ashland Community and Technical College has an associate's degree program in Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist which graduated five students in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Huntington, West Virginia
Huntington is situated in Cabell County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 49,185, which has shrunk by 4.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntington, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntington cost $195,100 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, sixteen new homes were built in Huntington, down from thirty-five the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Huntington are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is health care, educational services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 22.4% of Huntington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.8%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Huntington is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 24.7% of Huntington's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.
The percentage of Huntington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Glorious Church of God in Christ, South Side United Methodist Church and Good Samaritan United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Huntington. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Huntington is home to the Northcott Hall and the Foster Memorial Home as well as Holderby Commons and United States Post Office and Courthouse Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Westland Plaza Shopping Center, Fairfield Plaza Shopping Center and Huntington Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntington can choose from Super 8, Cabell Huntington Hospital and Garden Park for temporary stays in the area.