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Career Profile: Respiratory Therapist - Dennis Brown

Career Profile: Respiratory Therapist - Dennis Brown

Dennis Brown, A.S., Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT), Critical Care Medicine Department, Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

National Institutes of Health: Office of Science Education

I chose this career because…

I chose to become a respiratory therapist because I was impressed with the college curriculum and the role of the respiratory care professional in the hospital setting. Actually, I could not make up my mind which career to pursue after high school until I attended a career day. After speaking with a respiratory therapy instructor, I was sold. I had always been interested in the medical profession, and the coursework provided me with the flexibility to choose another medical profession if I found respiratory care was not what I believed it to be. Aside from the specific courses related to respiratory care, all the other classes I took could have been easily transferred to a pre-med or nursing program. After completing my education in respiratory care, it was clear that this was the profession for me.

More on Respiratory Therapy

Salary: $35,200 - $64,190
Min. Education: Associate's
Related Careers: Cardiovascualar Technologist & Technician, Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Several of my friends, in a class ahead of me, provided mentorship in the area of respiratory care. They inspired me, by keeping me informed about the job market, and the ever-expanding role of the respiratory care professional. My friends were actually able to work in a respiratory care department while going to school. This allowed them to earn extra money while going to school. Even though they were not able to take care of patients at that time, they were able to work on the equipment routinely used in respiratory care.

• Currently enrolled in BS/MA Program in Healthcare Administration; California College for Health Sciences, National City, California
• Associate of Science, California College for Health Sciences, National City, California
• Respiratory Therapy Technician Program, California College for Health Sciences, National City, California
• Respiratory Therapist Program, Columbia Union College, Takoma Park, Maryland

Equipment I use on the job…

• Bronchoscopy System – a diagnostic system used to visualize and photograph the inside of a patient’s lungs. From this procedure we can determine the etiology (cause) of breathing problems and provide the patient with the appropriate care.

• Mechanical Ventilator – a life support system that helps the patient breath, or breathes for a patient who is unable to breath on their own.

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