4 Tips for Respiratory Therapy School

If you’re interested in finding a high-demand job in the healthcare industry that doesn’t require you to spend 8 or 10 years of your life in an intense medical program, respiratory therapy school could be the perfect fit. But even though it’s not as extensive as medical school, it still comes with its fair share of pressure. 

Knowing how to handle these challenges will ensure you come out successful on the other end.

Helpful Advice for Respiratory Therapy Students

Respiratory therapy school isn’t for everyone. Between the challenging material, clinical requirements, and difficult exams, it could be easy to want to give up.

However, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Once you get your RT certification, a lot of doors will open for you in your career. Sticking with your program – even through the difficult times – will serve you well in the long run. 

Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your time as a student:

  • Make School a Priority

Your level of focus and dedication will ultimately determine how successful you are at any endeavor. Whether it’s school, a job, a hobby, or a relationship, your willingness to prioritize what you’re pursuing will heavily influence the outcome. And this is no different with respiratory therapy school.

If you find yourself getting distracted by shiny object syndrome and looking at other careers and opportunities outside of respiratory therapy, you might need to hit the reset button and consider why you’re here in the first place. 

Think back to what made you pursue a career as an RT. What made you decide to pursue this career? If you’re honest with yourself, it’s probably because you want a fulfilling career that promises decent pay, flexibility, and plenty of opportunities. And if you dig deeper, you’ll find an even more meaningful “why” – like providing for your family. 

  • Study Every Single Day

We’re not going to sugarcoat things. Respiratory therapy school is challenging. The material can be dense, the projects require lots of work, and the exams must be taken seriously. Then there are clinicals on top of that. If you don’t study daily, you’re going to fall behind.

You might not need to study for two hours every evening, but there’s something to be said for opening up your notes/books and spending at least 15 to 30 minutes studying and reviewing material every day (even on weekends). This approach ensures you never fall behind and have to resort to cramming (which rarely, if ever, works).

Learning and studying are two things that you’ll have to get used to if you want to be an RT. Even after you get your degree and certification and enter into the workforce, you’ll still have respiratory CEU courses to take on a regular basis. By developing these study “muscles” now, you’ll benefit for years to come.

  • Prepare the Night Before

This may sound like boring, straightforward advice, but it’s true. If you want to be successful as an RT student, you must show up to class. And if you want to consistently show up to class, you have to remove as much friction as possible. Anything that tempts you to stay home and skip class has to be removed.

One simple way to remove friction is to prepare the night before. This means organizing your notes, packing all of your books into your bookbag, laying out your clothes, prepping your meals for the day, etc. Then, when the alarm goes off in the morning, you have fewer excuses to stay in bed.

  • Connect With People in Your Classes

It’s difficult to thrive in respiratory therapy school if you’re isolated. You need social interaction and support from classmates in order to be successful. Do your best to form healthy relationships, join study groups, and work together with other students. There’s something about sharing a common experience that makes it more manageable when times get tough.

Give it Your Best Shot

As challenging as respiratory therapy school can be, it’s nice to know there are so many benefits waiting across the finish line. Upon finishing your program and passing your exams, you’ll have your pick of attractive job offers to choose from. And the more you put into your educational experience, the better your resume will look. Good luck!

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