Respiratory Therapy Programs in New Mexico - NM
Respiratory therapists are involved in the evaluation, care, and treatment of cardiopulmonary conditions. Under the direction of a physician, the respiratory therapist can assess lung volume, lung function, and concentration of gases in the blood. In addition, the respiratory therapist is involved in treatments such as oxygen therapy, chest therapy to alleviate mucus build-up, and aerosol medications. Patient education is also very important to the respiratory therapist.
According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the job outlook for respiratory therapists over the next ten years is very good, with an anticipated 21% growth in jobs nationwide. New Mexico is definitely a state that is included in this trend. Hospitals are the primary employers of respiratory therapists in New Mexico, usually in departments of anesthesiology, respiratory care, and pulmonary medicine.
Education for Respiratory Therapists in the State of New Mexico
New Mexico respiratory therapist schools offer programs that will include a focus on both traditional classroom instruction as well as a clinical education component. Classes for respiratory therapy include, in addition to those specific to respiratory therapy, subjects such as anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, chemistry, psychology, and microbiology.
All respiratory therapy education programs in New Mexico must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) in conjunction with the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). This ensures that the education program is teaching the appropriate material for the student to become a successful entry-level professional. There are two types of programs that can become a CoARC-accredited respiratory therapy education program, associate’s degree programs and bachelor’s degree programs. Associate’s degree programs are typically found in junior or community colleges and take two years to complete, while bachelor’s degree programs require four years to complete and can be found in four year colleges and universities.
While both types of programs will allow for successful entry-level employment, a bachelor’s degree may be required for career advancement.
After the student successfully completes the education program, s/he will need to take the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) Examination, administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. (NBRC). This is required for state licensure in New Mexico.