How Do I Become a Respiratory Therapist in Vermont?

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    • 1). Graduate with a high school diploma or GED. This is the only prerequisite for enrolling into a respiratory therapy associate degree program. While in high school, focus on courses involving science, health, physics and biology.

    • 2). Enroll in an associate degree program in respiratory therapy. Vermont Technical College is one of the only colleges in the state offering this degree program. The Associate in Applied Science in Respiratory Therapy degree covers the theory and principles behind respiratory therapy. The courses in this program include patient assessment, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, disease prevention, respiratory health promotion, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and medical terminology.

      According to Vermont Technical College's website, 100% of the graduates passed the licensing exam for respiratory therapists in 2009.

    • 3). Complete a clinical practicum in a local medical facility. Medical facilities in close proximity to Vermont Technical College include Central Vermont Medical Center and Gifford Medical Center. A clinical practicum offers you an opportunity to observe and learn in a professional setting under an experienced respiratory therapist.

      Responsibilities may include assisting patients who are living with asthma or emphysema, mixing oxygen, administering aerosol medications and evaluating lung capacity.

    • 4). Obtain licensure with the National Board of Respiratory Care. Those who pass the licensure examination earn a Certified Respiratory Therapist designation. The exam is 160 multiple-choice questions and covers topics in respiratory equipment, therapeutic procedures and clinical data. Vermont requires that all respiratory therapists renew their license every two years by completing at least 12 hours of continuing education.

    • 5). Look for employment opportunities as a respiratory therapist. Careers in the state are available in hospitals, health clinics, physicians' offices, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. Some of the medical facilities in Vermont include Porter Medical Hospital, Veterans Affair Medical Center, Fletcher Allen Health Care and Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital. While many of these facilities may post career opportunities online, you may need to contact the human resources department of a medical facility to inquire of any openings.

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