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Should I Become a Respiratory Therapist? - Quiz & Self-Assessment Test

Are you debating the pros and cons of becoming a respiratory therapist? Take a deep breath, then take our self-assessment test below to figure out if this is the right career for you.

Respiratory Therapist Career Suitability Quiz

Most respiratory therapists work in hospitals, helping people of all ages who struggle with breathing problems. To succeed in this career, you will need both academic training and a mix of technical and interpersonal skills. Answer the following questions to get an idea of how suitable this career is for you.

Are you compassionate? Yes or No
Do you enjoy working as part of a team? Yes or No
Are you patient? Yes or No
Are you comfortable with machinery and technology? Yes or No
Are you a people person? Yes or No
Are you willing to commit to career-long professional development? Yes or No
Are you physically fit? Yes or No
Do you have an aptitude for science and math? Yes or No
Are you organized? Yes or No
Do you have strong communication skills? Yes or No

Understand These Questions

Are you compassionate?

Breathing problems can be frightening for patients. To provide care, you will not only need to have knowledge and technical skills, but also be sympathetic, caring, and supportive.

Do you enjoy working as part of a team?

Respiratory therapists assess patients, develop treatment recommendations, and consult with doctors and other medical professionals to determine the best plan of care for each patient.

Are you patient?

Respiratory therapists work with patients who have a variety of conditions, including those who have chronic diseases such as asthma, and those who have had strokes. Because treatment may take long periods of time, you will need patience and persistence, and encourage the same in the patients you treat.

Are you comfortable with machinery and technology?

Respiratory therapists use various machines to administer treatment, and must be comfortable operating and monitoring this equipment. This includes mechanical ventilators and aerosol generators.

Are you a people person?

If you treasure solitude, respiratory therapy is probably not the career for you. Respiratory therapists spend most of their days collaborating with colleagues and working with patients. You should authentically enjoy meeting new people and building relationships.

Are you willing to commit to career-long professional development?

Research continues to provide new and better treatments for most medical fields, and respiratory therapy is no exception. Respiratory therapists need to keep abreast of developments in the field throughout their careers.

Are you physically fit?

A respiratory therapist's work requires strength, stamina and endurance. In this field, you may expect to work long shifts, regularly lift and move patients, and carry equipment.

Do you have an aptitude for science and math?

To earn a degree in respiratory therapy, you will need to complete coursework that emphasizes these subjects. Classes may include anatomy, chemistry, physics, statistics and pharmacology.

Are you organized?

Respiratory therapists typically work with many patients at once. Because each patient's well-being depends upon proper care, in this profession you will need to be highly organized and pay close attention to detail when administering and recording the results of treatments.

Do you have strong communication skills?

Many of a respiratory therapist's daily tasks - such as collaborating with colleagues, compiling reports, and educating patients regarding treatments - require the ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.

How to Pursue This Career

If you're still reading, you must have answered affirmatively to most of the questions above. If so, you should know that, while an associate's degree is the minimum education requirement for respiratory therapists, a bachelor's degree may provide you with more employment and career growth opportunities. In most areas, after earning a degree, you will need to be licensed by the state in which you plan to work.


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