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Rhode Island Respiratory Therapist Schools

So you are considering a career in respiratory therapy in the state of Rhode Island. There is a great deal involved in achieving a license to practice and it begins with the training you choose. Like any career, your education is the critical underpinning to your success. Choose the wrong school or program and you could lose valuable time not to mention the wasted money. That is why it is important to understand what is needed to meet the licensing requirements before enrolling for training.
In Rhode Island, licensing in the respiratory therapy field is overseen by the State of Rhode Island Department of Health. They define a respiratory care training program as a program accredited or recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) in collaboration with the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) or other such accrediting agency as may be approved by the Board."

Why Accreditation?

Training programs that have accredited status will provide you with the classes and hands on experience you need to carry out your duties as a respiratory therapist. They will also prepare you to pass the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) entry-level examination. This test is taken to determine the applicant's knowledge and skills needed to practice respiratory care in this state.

Degree Choices

The minimum required to enable someone to take the entry-level examination is a two year associate degree. However, some schools offer four years programs. Earning a baccalaureate degree could allow you to specialize and open up different opportunities. Also, some institutions will require more than a two year degree.

Areas of Specialization

Long term care is one area where a respiratory therapist might specialize. This would open up opportunities to work in long term nursing facilities, subacute care centers and rehab hospitals. This type of specialization usually requires advanced certification and can lead to management positions. Critical care, home care, neo natal care and pulmonary diagnostics are just a few of the areas where a specialty is required. Often these positions require not only additional training but years of on the job training too.

Choosing the School

Choosing the school you attend may be the most critical decision you make. Make sure the school has the required accreditation. This is the most important feature to secure a license to practice respiratory therapy in Rhode Island.

Next, choose the school that best suits your personal circumstances and schedule. If you are working full time, a school that offers flexible online classes may be the best choice. You can study and complete assignments on your own schedule and only have to attend class for the hands on clinical portions of your studies. Full time students may want to attend brick and mortar schools where they can totally submerse themselves in the curriculum.

If you intend to specialize, find out what classes your school offers. If you are attending a two-year program, you may need to transfer to a four year college when you complete your basic studies. Make sure your classes will transfer to the four year school of your choice ahead of time. Just as you are completing the last semester of your associate degree is not the time to find out that some of classes won't count at the four year school.