If you are a motivated, compassionate person who is looking for a career that involves helping others, you may be considering some options within the healthcare industry. You may want to jumpstart your career, yet do not want to get hung up on years of costly medical school. This is why a role like Respiratory Therapist may be perfect for you.
Jumping into the field of Respiratory Therapy is a great decision if you’re looking to help patients in need and complete rewarding work. It is also a wise move if you want to enjoy a long and successful career, without putting in long hours to get there. With an associate degree—which takes just two years to complete—Respiratory Therapists (RTs) can become licensed and earn a comfortable salary. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that RTs earned a median salary of $61,330 in 2019.
Before you enter this profession, you may be wondering what it takes to become a Respiratory Therapist in your state. Which educational and certification requirements do you need to fulfill? Read on, as we break down the Respiratory Therapist requirements in Connecticut.
- An Associate Degree
Much like many other specialties within the healthcare industry, RTs must come equipped with education and certification. But let’s start with education. Respiratory Therapists must have an associate degree. In Connecticut, this degree program must be accredited by the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation, or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Your Respiratory Therapy program must also be in cooperation with the Joint Review Committee for Respiratory Therapy Education, or recognized by the Joint Review Committee for Respiratory Therapy Education or the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.
An associate degree in Respiratory Care, such as the one offered at Goodwin University, provides students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to become successful Respiratory Therapists. Students of this program learn to:
- Administer medications in aerosol form to help relieve breathlessness
- Obtain and analyze blood and sputum specimens
- Use ventilators to help patients who cannot breathe on their own
- Perform diagnostic tests for patients with sleep disorders
At Goodwin, the clinical partnerships with hospitals, health centers, and physicians expose students to real-life experiences where they learn by doing. These hands-on courses and clinical rotations are offered in the evenings and can be tailored to fit a busy schedule, too.
This type of program will prepare you for the exams needed for professional certification, which leads us to our next requirement.
- Respiratory Therapist Certification
Once you have an associate degree under your belt, you will be ready to take the Entry Level Examination and the Advanced Practitioner Respiratory Care exam, which are administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. Only one of these is required in the quest to becoming a Respiratory Therapist in Connecticut.
To practice, Respiratory Therapists must also be credentialed by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBCR) as a Certified Respiratory Therapy Technician or Registered Respiratory Therapist.
- State-Required Documentation
In addition to education and certification requirements, there are also some documents that aspiring RTs must submit to the Connecticut Department of Public Health. These include, but are not limited to:
- Proof of degree, from an accredited educational program
- Official verification of the passage of certification
- Official verification of all licenses held (current or expired)
- An application with photograph, which requires a $190 application fee
How to Get Started as a Respiratory Therapist
If you are looking to get started in the accredited Respiratory Therapy program at Goodwin University, you will want to check off the admissions requirements first. Prospective students must meet the following before being accepted into the program:
- Complete the application for admission. Applicants must first meet the requirements for admission and be accepted into Goodwin University before being accepted into the program.
- Complete the Respiratory Care program application.
- Present a signed attestation that applicant possesses the ability to perform the tasks as stated in the Essential Functions of a Respiratory Therapist.
- Earn a minimum GPA of 2.7 in the most recent course work. College GPA is based on a minimum of 12 completed credits.
- Complete the required College placement evaluations. Applicants must test into ENG 101. All remedial courses must be completed before entering the program.
- Complete all prerequisite courses.
- Complete the Chemistry and Math prerequisite courses with a grade of “C” or better.
- Complete the following prerequisite courses with a grade of “C+” or better:
- Biology – BIO 211, Anatomy & Physiology I, and BIO 212 Anatomy & Physiology II (Goodwin University) or equivalent completed within the last five years. (BIO 120 or BIO 121 (Goodwin University) or equivalent with a laboratory component is the prerequisite for BIO 211 (Note: Applicants meeting all other requirements can be admitted conditionally without completing BIO 212. However, this course must be successfully completed prior to starting the respiratory program)
- BIO 235, completed within the last ten years.
- Interview with the program director.
- Submit a personal essay.
These 10 steps will enable you to enroll in the Respiratory Therapist program at Goodwin, and prepare to practice in the state of Connecticut.
If you are ready to jumpstart your career as a Respiratory Therapist, contact Goodwin University today. Call us at 800-889-3282 or visit us online to request more information.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.