Respiratory Therapist Salary: How Much Do RTs Make?
What is an RT?
A respiratory therapist is a specialized therapist who helps patients with respiratory conditions or those who may develop respiratory conditions. Respiratory therapists diagnose and educate patients with respiratory-related conditions of various degrees and prevent any chronic disease within their means. Keep reading to learn the average respiratory therapist salary and more.
To treat respiratory conditions, RTs need to know the anatomy and physiology of the respiratory system in detail and apply the pathophysiology of the diseases that constantly affect it. They need knowledge of X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound, etc. Their studies are advanced, and they can specialize in different branches or apply their knowledge in family medicine to attend to all types of patients in different situations.
Some of the functions they will perform daily are:
- Recommend treatments to physicians in charge of patients with pulmonary disorders.
- Performing chest examinations to find the best therapy for each patient and their disease.
- Analyze each patient’s breathing and composition to determine the levels of gases present, such as oxygen, to check the quality of each patient’s breathing.
- Support patients with ventilators or artificial breathing devices if they cannot breathe independently.
- Educate patients and their families about the best options to improve the quality of life in lung disease and how to prevent it.
Many RTs love their job because they can help save lives by improving their patient’s breathing. They also find many other advantages, such as a career in which they can constantly keep learning or find the challenge of finding solutions to all the illnesses they see. Regardless of the functions RTs perform, their work is essential and increasingly required in most healthcare facilities and hospitals, as more and more people need a respiratory therapist as part of their medical team.
How Much is a Respiratory Therapist Salary?
Respiratory therapists have a salary of over $62,000 per year, with constant growth, due to the high demand for these professionals in all areas. There is an accelerated growth in the need for respiratory therapists due to the increasing percentage of older adults who need respiratory treatments that accompany most of the diseases of the elderly.
Respiratory therapists can be found in many different settings, for example, in hospitals, in intensive care units, providing life support to patients, making the most important decisions that involve getting enough oxygen to the brain to keep patients alive, in emergency rooms, in newborns and pediatric units, in ambulances, in skilled nursing facilities, supporting older people with chronic conditions to extend their life and quality of life, and so on. There are many environments in which the work of an RT is highly valued. Therefore, the respiratory therapist’s salary varies from place to place, continuously according to the specialization that RTs perform.
How to Find PRN RT Jobs Near me?
Salary can vary greatly, primarily if RTs seek PRN jobs, which tend to pay more per hour than any healthcare facility offers in its long-term contracts. PRN shifts are temporary jobs, usually per diem or shift contracts, that RTs can get through their favorite healthcare staffing app for all healthcare staff.
There are many advantages to choosing PRN RT jobs, such as picking the hours they want (they can even supplement their work and take on some extra PRN shifts combined with their regular job). Another advantage is that the hourly wage is higher, and it is an excellent incentive to seek to supplement the salaries they have. Another advantage is the variety and challenge of constantly changing workspaces, a valuable tool for their profession since RTs must adapt quickly to new environments and types of patients and diseases. This professional growth can result in them continuing to advance their careers and become resilient and flexible, qualities employers value.
Whether it is attending patients, checking life support equipment, calculating oxygenation or saturation levels, making diagnoses, observing the positive response to the treatments given by the respiratory therapists, or whatever branch they choose, the work that RTs perform is noble and is a career that never ends in complexity and satisfaction. The nobility of health workers who dedicate themselves to improving respiratory processes and studying the lungs and the entire respiratory system exceeds the horizons of the imagination beyond measure. Everything is possible when they intervene, and the possibilities of improvement for patients are positive.