Respiratory Therapy Schools in North Carolina - NC
Many individuals suffer from some form of respiratory ailment. With nearly 24 million people suffering from asthma alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control, respiratory conditions can be very debilitating. Respiratory therapists are trained to evaluate, treat, and care for these cardiopulmonary illnesses, including not only asthma, but also such conditions as cystic fibrosis, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and even breathing problems associated with premature infants. Treatment methods may include such things as analysis of lung volume, blood gases and pH levels, administration of oxygen and aerosol medications, and patient education.
The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics anticipates a much better than average growth in jobs for respiratory therapists over the next ten years, with a projected growth of over 20%. North Carolina is no exception to this national trend, as its population ages, and people are living longer with more incidences of respiratory ailments. Respiratory therapists in North Carolina are primarily employed by hospitals, with approximately 80% employed in their respiratory care, anesthesia, and pulmonary medicine departments.
Education for Respiratory Therapists in North Carolina
All North Carolina respiratory therapist schools must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) in collaboration with the Commission of Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). A student is required to graduate from a CAAHEP/CoARC accredited education program in order to sit for the certified respiratory therapist (CRT) exam, the national certification exam for respiratory therapists. North Carolina uses the CRT exam as a requirement for licensure, as do most states. The CAAHEP/CoARC accreditation ensures the highest quality of respiratory therapist education, and that students in the programs are properly prepared for the exam, as well as entry-level employment in the profession.
There are two distinct types of respiratory therapy education programs. One is the associate’s degree program, a two year program, typically provided by junior or community colleges. The second is the bachelor’s degree program, a four year program, typically provided by four year colleges and universities. While both programs allow the student to sit for the CRT examination, a bachelor’s degree may be required for some opportunities for promotion. The education for a respiratory therapist includes a variety of cardiopulmonary assessment techniques and interventions, along with coursework in chemistry, psychology, microbiology, and human anatomy and physiology among others.Through campus or online programs, aspiring Respiratory Therapists in Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, Cary, High Point and Wilmington, North Carolina may be able to prepare themselves for the possibility of employment in some of the largest hospitals and healthcare facilities in the state including the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Forsyth Medical Center, Rutherford Hospital and Pitt County Memorial Hospital.