Future of Respiratory Therapy
By entering the field of respiratory therapy, one is entering a growing field of opportunity. There are continually emergent job opportunities in this field whereas there is also a rise of growth in the technology and developments in the field such as medicines, techniques, and other aspects.
Respiratory therapy refers to both a subject area within clinical medicine and to a distinct health care profession. During the 20th century, there were many health care fundamental transformations. Here are 10 possible predictions of what may occur in the future of respiratory care: (1) Less focus on raising PaO2 as a primary goal in managing patients with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure. (2) More attention to the adequacy of tissue oxygenation in such patients, irrespective of PPaO2, and the emergence of “permissive hypoxemia,” analogous to permissive hypercapnia, in managing them. (3)
Smarter monitors that display information less but process it more, while interacting directly with ventilators and other devices to modify therapeutic interventions. (4) Increased use of and expertise with noninvasive ventilation, with a corresponding decrease in intubations and complications, in treating patients with acute exacerbations of COPD. (5) Increased use of triage in the intensive care unit, including earlier determination of the appropriateness of maximal supportive intervention. (6) Greater use of protocols in patient assessment and management, in all clinical settings. (7) Increased awareness of, expertise in, and resources for palliative care, with a more active and acknowledged role for respiratory therapists. (8) Accelerating progress in smoking cessation and prevention, and in early detection and intervention in COPD, led by the respiratory care profession. (9) An increasing presence and impact of respiratory therapists as coordinators and care givers in home care. (10) A continued and enlarging role for the journal RESPIRATORY CARE in disseminating research findings, clinical practice guidelines, protocols, and practical educational materials in all areas of the field.
The future of careers of respiratory therapists is also on the rise. Regardless of which level of education or credentialing one may choose there will be many opportunities within this field of study. The profession has grown quickly since its inception in the 1940s and demand for respiratory therapists in continually on the rise. Coupled with the ever-increasing number of lung disorders being diagnosed, those demands ensure that individuals who enter the profession will enjoy good career opportunities.
Respiratory therapy is a growing field, driven by the aging population and rise in respiratory ailments and cardiopulmic diseases. Statistics say our population is aging, so not only will respiratory therapists always have work, but also advancement placement opportunities as the baby boomers began to retire and become patients. Respiratory therapists will be in demand for a long time, and it is Obvious what happens to wages when demand exceeds supply. In 2000, respiratory therapists were making approximately $38,000 – in 2001, of nearly 83,000 respiratory therapists employed, half of them earned over $48,000. It is expected that within the next ten years the respiratory field will grow not just as fast, but at a rate of twice as fast as the average growth of most occupations. By 2010, the Bureau of Labor Services statistics predicts the demand of respiratory therapists to increase by one third. Judging by most graduates of the program one will be able to choose from multiple job offers with sign-on bonuses and will have a starting salary of $42,000.00 or higher.
In a move to transform the nation’s medical research capabilities and speed the movement of research discoveries from the bench to the bedside, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has laid out a series of far-reaching initiatives known collectively as the “NIH Roadmap for Medical Research.”
“There has been a scientific revolution in the last few years,” stated NIH director Elias Zerhouni, MD. “The opportunities for discoveries have never been greater, but the complexity of biology remains a daunting challenge. With this new strategy for medical research, NIH is uniquely positioned to spark the changes that must be made to transform scientific knowledge into tangible benefits for people.”
There has been remarkable progress in medical research in recent decades. “NIH-led research has changed the landscape of many diseases. However, very real and urgent needs remain. NIH is now drawing all fields of science together in a concerted effort to meet these challenges head-on.”
Soon after becoming NIH director in May of 2002, Dr. Zerhouni convened a series of meetings to chart a roadmap for medical research in the 21st century. This process identified major opportunities and gaps in biomedical research that the agency needed to address but no single institute could tackle alone. In setting forth an ambitious vision for a more efficient and productive system of medical research, the roadmap focuses on the most compelling opportunities in three main areas:
new pathways to discovery,
research teams of the future, and
re-engineering of the clinical research enterprise.
Scientific initiatives must be deemed of high potential impact, enhance the disease- and mission-specific activities of all 27 institutes and centers at NIH, and respond to public needs and concerns. NIH will begin to implement the initiatives next year. Those that build on existing research efforts are expected to achieve their goals rapidly, while newer or more complex endeavors may take several years to come to fruition.
Undoubtedly, the most difficult but most important challenge identified on the NIH Roadmap is the need to continue and even expand clinical research, which has become increasingly difficult to conduct over the years, while improving efficiency and better informing basic science efforts.
Ideally, basic research discoveries are transformed quickly into diagnostics, drugs, treatments or prevention methods. Although biomedical research has cured many diseases and converted many more from lethal to chronic, treatable conditions, the entire system of clinical research must be recast if such efforts are to remain successful.
At the core of this vision is the concept that clinical research needs to develop new partnerships among organized patient communities, community-based physicians and academic researchers. In the past all research for a clinical trial could be conducted in one academic center. That is unlikely to be true in the future.
Through its initiatives, NIH will promote the creation of better integrated networks of academic centers that work jointly on clinical trials and include community-based physicians who care for large groups of well-characterized patients. Implementing this vision will require new ways of organizing how clinical research information is recorded, new standards for clinical research protocols, modern information technology, new models of cooperation between NIH and patient advocacy alliances, and new strategies to re-energize the clinical research workforce.
There is a great future for respiratory therapy. The opportunities for careers are great. They are continually growing, with large incentives for people in the career path. Moreover, research is growing. It is apparent there will be great growth and opportunity for research in the future as far as respiratory therapy. New drugs will be found, new treatments will be accessed, and new equipment will help give support to future problems and will come to the aid of respiratory therapists.
Entrez PubMed- Analysis of contemporary and future respiratory therapy.
Retrieved December 15, 2004 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Job Outlook – American Association of Respiratory Care. Retrieved December 15, 2004
Respiratory Therapy : School of Allied Medical Professions. Retrieved December 15,
2004 from http://amp.osu.edu/future/rtherapy.cfm
Roadmap for Medical Research. Retrieved December 15, 2004 from http://
The Future of Respiratory Care. Retrieved December 15, 2004 from http://