Respiratory Therapy Could Provide a Breather
However, there is also the advantage of being to farm yourself to multiple disciplines within medicine. Think about it:
In Dental Hygiene you just work with Dentists and on people's teeth. In Respiratory Therapy there is a chance to work in about a thousand different places as you earn more money AND get to work with lots of different people. Check out our options:
With the air quality not exactly being great nowadays you'll always be able to find work with a Pediatrician of Pediatric practice. Those Doctors always people who can work with little kids who have asthma. It isn't about giving the kid an inhaler and romanticizing about he could be just like Mikey in "The Goonies". Nope, you can really help the kids manage their asthma and their respiratory deficiency.
The exact opposite is true with older patients. If you wanted you could get work at a nursing home, geriatric practice, or assisted living facility. In these kinds of settings you're usually dealing with folks who are quite able to take care of themselves--hell, they've been doing that for at least 70 years.
However, now they can't breath really well and they need someone to take charge and show them how to deal with this new set of lungs they have that work like they used to. This is a matter of teaching an able-bodied person how to handle something that is new to them. Yes, it's a life-skill but not like the life-skills you would teach a child.
Also, you could just as easily work in hospital. There are pulmonary surgeons and doctors crawling all over hospitals and most of them hardly have time to administer treatment to patients. So, this is where you come in.
You could end working with any number of people who have a WIDE range of medical issues. This is when the job gets really interesting because it's like working in the ER. Anyone could ocme in at any time with any problem and you've got the solution.
This is also a way to diversify your work. Because Respiratory therapy happens in so many settings you may only be able to find part-time work. Well, take two part-time positions and combine them into a full-time job. This is an easy to get a schedule you want AND get to work in more than one place. It's pretty convenient for you because you're NEEDED and you need the money.
The combination of need and extra hours is a pretty good combination. Depending on how ambitious you are you could easily make the job "time and a half" or more. It really just depends on what you want to do, but either way you can do pretty for yourself. Don't discount the ease of working in two places...in an economy it may be all you can get--but it could be a godsend too!