How to Be Respiratory Therapy Instructor - Job Description, Skills, and Interview Questions

Respiratory Therapy Instructors play an important role in educating future respiratory therapists. These instructors teach the knowledge and skills necessary for students to become competent in the field of respiratory therapy. By providing high-quality instruction, they help ensure that graduates are knowledgeable and well-prepared for the challenging and rewarding career of a respiratory therapist.

In turn, this helps improve patient care, as well as the overall quality of healthcare within the medical community. As respiratory therapy instructors continue to help train and equip students, the profession of respiratory therapy is enhanced and strengthened, resulting in increased job opportunities and better patient outcomes.

Steps How to Become

  1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree. The minimum educational requirement for becoming a respiratory therapy instructor is a bachelor's degree in respiratory therapy, which can be obtained through a four-year college or university. A bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy typically includes courses such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, pulmonary pharmacology, and cardiopulmonary physiology.
  2. Obtain Respiratory Therapy Licensure. Most states require that respiratory therapists become licensed before they can practice. To obtain licensure, candidates must pass the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) certification exam.
  3. Obtain Clinical Experience. To become a respiratory therapy instructor, most employers require applicants to have at least two years of clinical experience as a respiratory therapist. Clinical experience can be obtained through an internship or by working as a respiratory therapist in a healthcare setting.
  4. Earn a Master's Degree. Many employers prefer or require applicants to have a master's degree in respiratory therapy or a related field. Programs typically include courses such as advanced pathophysiology, healthcare education, and evidence-based practice.
  5. Develop Instructional Skills. To become an effective instructor, aspiring respiratory therapy instructors should develop instructional skills, such as the ability to communicate effectively with students and present course materials in an engaging manner.
  6. Obtain Certification. The National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) offers certification for respiratory therapy instructors through its Certified Respiratory Educator (CRE) program. The certification requires applicants to have a minimum of two years of clinical experience and pass the CRE exam.

Staying ahead and capable in the field of respiratory therapy requires dedication and hard work. Taking proactive steps to stay knowledgeable in the latest trends and technologies can give a therapist an edge in the field. Continuing education courses, such as those offered through professional organizations or colleges, can help keep therapists up to date on the latest developments in the field.

keeping abreast of changes in regulations and standards, as well as participating in professional networking opportunities, can help ensure that therapists remain competent and skilled. Finally, developing relationships with professionals in the field and leveraging those resources to develop one's career can contribute to staying ahead and capable in the field of respiratory therapy.

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Job Description

  1. Develop and implement a comprehensive curriculum for Respiratory Therapy instruction.
  2. Monitor and evaluate student progress towards meeting program objectives.
  3. Develop and implement teaching methods, strategies, and materials to ensure student success.
  4. Maintain accurate student records and assessments.
  5. Monitor, document, and report student progress to the appropriate authorities.
  6. Provide student counseling services regarding course content and career goals.
  7. Maintain a safe and secure learning environment for students.
  8. Collaborate with faculty and administration to ensure successful program outcomes.
  9. Participate in clinical experiences to support student learning.
  10. Participate in departmental meetings, faculty committees, and other professional activities as needed.

Skills and Competencies to Have

  1. Knowledge of principles and practices of adult learning.
  2. Ability to effectively teach and assess student learning.
  3. Knowledge of respiratory care including anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and pathophysiology.
  4. Ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of lung disease.
  5. Ability to use and troubleshoot respiratory care equipment.
  6. Knowledge of applicable laws and regulations related to the practice of respiratory care.
  7. Knowledge of infection control protocols.
  8. Ability to develop and implement instructional plans for patients and students.
  9. Ability to develop and evaluate lesson plans and educational materials.
  10. Ability to work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals in a teaching environment.

A successful Respiratory Therapy Instructor must possess a wide range of skills and qualities, some of the most important being excellent communication, strong organizational skills, and a thorough knowledge of respiratory therapy and medical terminology. Effective communication is essential for a Respiratory Therapy Instructor to effectively teach their students. They must be able to clearly explain complex medical concepts and procedures in a way that is easily understood by their students.

Strong organizational skills are necessary for managing the time constraints of teaching, as well as the course material. A Respiratory Therapy Instructor must also possess an in-depth knowledge of respiratory therapy and medical terminology in order to effectively prepare their students for their certification exams. Finally, they must be able to provide constructive and supportive feedback to their students in order to help them become successful respiratory therapists.

Possessing these skills and qualities will enable a Respiratory Therapy Instructor to be successful in their role.

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Frequent Interview Questions

  • What experience do you have teaching respiratory therapy courses?
  • What methods do you use to engage students and ensure they understand the material?
  • How do you use technology as part of instruction in your respiratory therapy courses?
  • How do you assess student learning and performance in your classes?
  • What strategies do you employ to help students who struggle with the material?
  • What techniques do you use to promote active learning in the classroom?
  • How do you handle questions and discussions during class?
  • How do you ensure that students stay on track with the course content and objectives?
  • How do you handle difficult conversations or confrontations with students?
  • What do you do to stay current on developments in the field of respiratory therapy?

Common Tools in Industry

  1. SimMan 3G. A full-body patient simulator used to teach and assess clinical skills. (e. g. intubation, airway management, ventilator management).
  2. Ventilator. A device used to assist with breathing, typically in patients with respiratory illnesses. (e. g. BiPAP, CPAP, mechanical ventilators).
  3. Bronchoscope. An instrument used to examine the inside of the airways. (e. g. flexible bronchoscope, rigid bronchoscope).
  4. Spirometer. A device used to measure lung capacity and flow rates. (e. g. peak flow meter, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1)).
  5. Oxygen Therapy Equipment. A variety of devices used to deliver oxygen to patients with breathing difficulties. (e. g. nasal cannula, non-rebreather mask).
  6. Respiratory Therapist Workstation. A computerized system used to monitor and manage a patient’s respiratory care. (e. g. ventilator settings, patient data).
  7. Pulse Oximetry. A device used to measure oxygen saturation levels in a patient’s blood. (e. g. fingertip pulse oximeter, wrist-worn pulse oximeter).
  8. Respiratory Monitoring Equipment. A range of devices used to measure and monitor a patient’s respiratory status. (e. g. end-tidal carbon dioxide monitor, capnography).

Professional Organizations to Know

  1. American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC)
  2. National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC)
  3. American Thoracic Society (ATS)
  4. American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP)
  5. International Society for Respiratory Protection (ISRP)
  6. European Respiratory Society (ERS)
  7. American Lung Association (ALA)
  8. National Association for Medical Direction of Respiratory Care (NAMDRC)
  9. American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)
  10. Association of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Program Directors (APCCMPD)

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Common Important Terms

  1. Ventilation. The process of moving air in and out of the lungs to provide oxygen to the body and remove carbon dioxide.
  2. Oxygen Therapy. The administration of oxygen to a patient who has a decreased oxygen level in their blood.
  3. Respiratory Therapy. A health care specialty that focuses on diagnosing and treating patients with breathing or other respiratory problems.
  4. Pulmonary Function Tests. A series of tests used to measure how well the lungs are functioning.
  5. Mechanical Ventilation. The use of a machine to assist or replace breathing.
  6. Bronchoscopy. The use of an endoscope to examine the trachea and bronchi for abnormalities.
  7. Respiratory Care. A health care specialty that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and management of patients with breathing or other respiratory problems.
  8. Respiratory Therapy Education. Education related to respiratory therapy, including courses in anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology.

Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifications are required to be a Respiratory Therapy Instructor?

A Respiratory Therapy Instructor should possess a minimum of an associate degree in Respiratory Therapy, as well as a valid state Respiratory Care Practitioner license. Additionally, most employers prefer that the instructor have at least two years of experience in the field.

What is the job outlook for Respiratory Therapy Instructors?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for Respiratory Therapy Instructors is expected to grow much faster than average, with an expected growth rate of 19% through 2026.

What is the average salary for a Respiratory Therapy Instructor?

The median salary for a Respiratory Therapy Instructor is approximately $63,000 per year.

What are the duties of a Respiratory Therapy Instructor?

The primary duties of a Respiratory Therapy Instructor include teaching classes, providing clinical supervision, creating lesson plans, and evaluating student performance. Additionally, the instructor may be responsible for developing and updating curriculum, as well as providing support to students.

What type of environment does a Respiratory Therapy Instructor typically work in?

Respiratory Therapy Instructors generally work in academic or clinical settings, such as hospitals, colleges, universities, or technical schools.

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