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Vermont Respiratory Therapy Education

A career in respiratory care can be both personally fulfilling and financially satisfying. It is a career choice made by those who enjoy working with others, being of service and belonging to the medical community. The practice of respiratory therapy in Vermont is governed by the Vermont Secretary of State Office of Professional Regulation and in conjunction with other respiratory care agencies. It requires a serious level of commitment to excellence and education.

Initial Education

In order to be licensed to practice in Vermont, you will need to pass an exam administered by the National Board of Respiratory Care (NRBC). While the state does not require a degree in order to obtain licensing, many companies and hospitals do. It is also recommended before attempting the certification exam. A two year associate degree in respiratory care will suffice to help you learn the basics and pass the exam.

Specialized Training

There are many job opportunities within the broad title of respiratory therapy. Many starting out in the field begin work in a hospital where they can experience many different patients, techniques and areas of expertise through hands on experience. Sometimes this leads them to a decision to specialize. Other times an individual has a specialization preference before he even enrolls in the program. Areas where you might want to specialize might be in long term acute care, patient in-home services and neonatal or intensive care. These fields would require different and more focused courses and would lead to a baccalaureate degree. Therapists coming from specialty fields often rise to management positions.

On the Job Training

There is no better way to learn than through hands on experience. Some hospitals will provide additional training to staff but no matter where you work, you will learn something new almost every on the job when you work in respiratory care. From patient handling to diagnostic technique, the field is constantly evolving.

Continuing Education

Renewing your license to practice as a respiratory therapist must be done every two years. During each two year period, you are required to take 12 hours of continuing education. There are no stipulations as to the type of classes you are required to take, only that you maintain records of all the classes you take for seven years. This can be excellent opportunity to expand your knowledge base or maybe explore other areas of study within the respiratory care field. You can look into advanced techniques in patient care, the study of medical ethics, managing a respiratory care practice. The possibilities are endless.

Accredited Schools

Before you select the school where you will pursue your respiratory therapy training, make sure the school is accredited by organizations like the NBRC. Accreditation is important in the field because it demotes a standard of teaching that is accepted state wide and even nationwide. Programs from these schools are in tune with the latest accepted practices and will best prepare you for the certification test and the career that lies ahead.

Classroom Choices

Today, more and more programs are offering online versions of many of their classes. For the person holding down a full time job, raising a family or both, an online class option makes going to school a viable option. Vermont colleges offer online classes for those pursuing a respiratory therapy career. While some courses require physical presence and hands on teaching experiences, you can take many of the textbook based classes from the comfort of your own home.