Becoming a Cardiorespiratory Therapist

Cardiorespiratory Therapists work under a Physician to provide therapy to patients having deficiencies and abnormalities in cardiopulmonary system. Their patients range from premature infants with undeveloped lungs to elderly patients with emphysema. Their responsibilities include conducting diagnostic tests, determining breathing disorders, providing appropriate therapeutic treatments, educating the patients on how to use oxygen, improve lung function etc. They also assist in research, ECG interpretation, and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation.

Cardiorespiratory Therapists work in variety of medical settings such as public and private hospitals, community health centres, pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation centres, private practice, research and academic institutions so on and so forth.

Educational Requirements

To become a Cardiorespiratory Therapist, the aspiring candidates need to earn at least a 2-year associate degree in cardiorespiratory care from an accredited college. The students can pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree in cardiorespiratory care or related field for better job opportunities.

The students cover the syllabus including cardiac anatomy, physics, physiology, pathology, medical terminology, diagnostic testing, electrocardiography etc.

Licensure & Certification

Since the practice of Cardiorespiratory Therapist requires license in USA, the aspiring candidates have to pass the licensing examination after completing required academic courses. In addition, these professionals must have to obtain a certification from the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).

Skill Set

Besides the clinical knowledge, Cardiorespiratory Therapists possess various skills such as attention to detail, dexterity to perform procedures, competence with sophisticated equipments, high medical ethics, tolerance for long working hours, empathy towards patient, maintaining calm under pressure, management abilities, ability to perform duties with accuracy, work with compassion, pleasant communications and interpersonal skills, basic computer knowledge etc.

Job Outlook and Salary

The job outlook for a Cardiorespiratory Therapist remains excellent in USA. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 19% from 2012 to 2022, higher than the average for all occupations. The average annual salary of a a Cardiorespiratory Therapist was $55,870 in 2012.