Respiratory therapists manage a patient’s airways and address oxygenation and ventilation; medication administration; intubation; and critical status of acute respiratory conditions.
Respiratory therapy is one of the fastest growing career paths, and to fill the need for skilled caregivers in this important field, Norton Healthcare is offering a paid 12- to-18 month Respiratory Therapist Apprenticeship Program.
This program prepares students to work in adult and children’s intensive care units, neonatal intensive care units, emergency departments and other critical care settings. Respiratory therapists manage a patient’s airways and address oxygenation and ventilation; medication administration; intubation; and critical status of acute respiratory conditions. Respiratory therapists also work in a variety of other areas, such as sleep medicine, education, transport, research and leadership.
A Tiered Approach
Applicants must be enrolled in a respiratory therapy degree program. The experience that this apprenticeship can provide is an unmatched complement to classroom learning. As participants in the first hospital-based respiratory therapy apprenticeship program in the Louisville area, students are given the opportunity to immediately apply their knowledge.
“Hands-on learning allows future practitioners to advance their skills even before they graduate, which opens the door to start looking at advanced practice positions much earlier in their careers,” said Lee Wisdom, manager of the pulmonary services and vascular access team at Norton Healthcare.
A tiered approach helps students gain experience prior to being able to complete independent clinical work. They’re given the supervision and support they need, working under the direction of an experienced respiratory therapist.
Upon completion of the first tier, they progress to the second tier and practice independently under the supervision of a licensed therapist. This gives them the freedom to grow in the field, with gradual transitions from one stage to the next for continuous development.
“Integrating the field with the classroom elevates students to the top of their scope of practice. This improves patient outcomes, creates efficiencies and stimulates employee engagement,” said Christian Ralston, director of workforce development for Norton Healthcare.
Graduates will leave this program confident in the abilities they need to hit the ground running and start performing at a high level. For respiratory therapists, preparedness saves lives, and this program puts practitioners in the best position to breathe easy.