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If you’re interested in joining the hordes being hired to well-paying, engaging, and rewarding healthcare jobs, consider a career in respiratory care. Patients with respiratory problems stemming from lung disease and chronic conditions need specialized care from skilled professionals to stay on top of their treatments and get the most out of their physician. Respiratory care professionals are trained to work directly with patients and ensure that their treatments are effective.

The Respiratory Care Practitioner Program at Pickens Technical College trains students in the basic sciences, cardiopulmonary physiology, pathophysiology, mechanical ventilation, and pharmacology, all with direct clinical experience. Graduates will be eligible to take the NBRC and Registered Respiratory Therapist Exams.

The Respiratory Care Program at Pickens

If you join the Respiratory Care program, be ready to work hard in an environment that values and emphasizes hands-on experience. You’ll be moving and lifting heavy objects, communicating with patients, and reading vital signs.

The Respiratory Care program at Pickens has two primary instructors: Jamie Bear and Jackie Holland. Both Holland and Bear have many years of experience both as respiratory care practitioners and instructors. Bear earned an Associate’s degree at Front Range Community College and her Bachelor’s from CU Denver and has taught Respiratory Care at Pickens for over ten years. Holland has been at Pickens for seven years and is working on her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership at Regis University.

Students in the Pickens RC program can earn their Associate’s degree and continue their education with a smooth transfer to Metro State University.

Career Prospects for Respiratory Care Practitioners

After you become a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT), there are many opportunities for excellent positions throughout the healthcare system in the Denver area and the state. The demand for skilled respiratory specialists is rising along with the healthcare industry in Colorado. Respiratory therapists make over $60,000 starting out, so once you take your tests and get registered, you’re on your way to a promising and lucrative career.

Many RRTs start out in an hourly position, and make around $30 an hour, depending on responsibilities and the healthcare center they work at. There are some salaried positions available to new RRTs, but typically these are lower than the state average to start.

RRTs from Pickens not only get extensive training in all the skills they’ll need to assist patients and healthcare professionals in a real-time, fast-paced environment, they also get the experience they need to impress their employers and get raises and promotions quickly. As with all Pickens students, Respiratory Therapists get training in how to make a career. That’s more than learning the skills and gaining experience in a real healthcare situation. It means learning how to play the game—how to rise above the rest and find success for the long term. For more information, contact Jamie Bear for information on the 2019 registration and sign-up process, which is beginning for next school year.