Online learning can be a great asset in many fields of education, enabling students to learn while they are working.
Since many people are not able to stop working long enough to attend schooling to further their careers, or change professions, distance learning can provide a feasible option so that advancement is possible.
With regard to the medical and healthcare industries there are limited opportunities to take online education since so much of this learning is hands-on, and requires actual attendance of classes for demonstration and practice purposes.
However, there are due to its more technical nature, respiratory Online therapist students can find quite a number of respiratory therapist online schools, enabling them to more conveniently get the education they need to enter into, or advance in this very important profession.
Getting a Degree in Respiratory Therapy Online
While it is not possible to go from having no formal education in respiratory therapy and getting a degree entirely online, there are a number of options where online learning can end up being a significant portion of the learning process.
There are two degrees that you can earn – an Associate’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree – and they are vastly different in respect to distance learning and online classes. Understanding all of this can help students get the most out of their time spent learning, while remaining employed a large portion of the time.
Associate’s Programs in Respiratory Therapy
To being with, all prospective students must first enroll in an Associate’s degree program to gain their entry-level education and certification.
This will give them the core necessary study and training for a successful career in respiratory therapy. Associate’s degree programs usually run between two and two and a half years, (4 to 5 semesters), and include various clinical experience segments where students will be learning hands on by shadowing licensed professionals at different types of facilities where respiratory care is practiced.
Naturally, it is impossible for much of this learning to happen in any kind of simulated manner, so it must all be taking in person.
There are few online schools that offer more than a portion of their curriculum in this manner. Some of the basic and core education classes, as well as the more technical theory classes are sometimes offered in an online format however, depending on the individual school and its curriculum.
Completion of an Associate’s degree program in respiratory therapy enables graduates to sit for their CRT certification examination, and earn the credentials of certified respiratory therapist.
After obtaining employment and working in the field, CRTs may then take the next certification examination and earn the credentials of registered respiratory therapist, or RRT, without any further education other than keeping up with continuing education.
Bachelor’s Programs in Respiratory Therapy
Things are somewhat different with regard to the many Bachelor’s degree programs, however. Since graduates of Associate’s degree educational programs can become certified as registered respiratory therapists, these programs are usually only open to RRTs, and provide a means for students to expand their education in preparation to seek more advanced employment.
For this reason, most Bachelor’s degree programs are constructed to last another 4 to 5 semesters (2 years or more, depending on the program), but they are usually completely almost entirely online. Conversely to the Associate’s degree programs, most online schools are Bachelor’s programs.
Since the Associate’s degree programs are much more hands-on and clinically oriented, and graduates are already employed in the field, they are able to advance their technical and theoretical knowledge on their own, while working and without having to actually attend classroom sessions.
Although the information itself is not necessarily easy per se, and students are usually required to maintain a C or better average in all classes, it can end up being a lot easier in the long run for people to gain their second degree.
Continuing Education in Respiratory Therapy
Continuing education requirements differ by state, and by the license held by a CRT or RRT, but much of this type of learning is available online as well.
CE is generally geared toward working professionals who need to be kept up to date with important changes in their profession, but who are unable to keep taking time away from their job to do so.
Many respiratory therapist online schools offer various CE courses, as do medical facilities and professional associations in the field of respiratory therapy.