While most respiratory therapists (RT) are competent enough, there’s a clear difference between good RTs and great RTs. If you want to be a great RT, it takes a little extra work to get there.
4 Tips for RT Greatness
Greatness might seem like a strong word for an RT, but why should you settle for anything less? Just like athletes, scientists, and politicians strive for greatness in their respective fields, there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same.
Here are a few tips to help you accelerate your growth and get better results:
- Invest in Education
Education doesn’t stop with becoming a certified RT. If you’re serious about being the best in your industry, education must become a lifelong commitment. This happens in both informal and formal ways.
Informal learning is more accessible than ever before. YouTube videos, podcasts, online courses, subreddits, blogs, industry periodicals, and newsletters – the information is everywhere! You just have to make the time. If you aren’t spending at least an hour a day learning and growing, you’re not doing nearly enough.
As far as formal learning goes, use continuing education as a platform for expanding knowledge and growing your skillset. Don’t slack off or look at these courses as just another box to check off. Carefully select courses from the best respiratory CEU provider you can find.
Pay attention, take notes, and look for ways to apply what you learn.
- Take Networking Seriously
Networking is obviously an extremely important investment for real estate agents, financial advisors, business owners, salespeople, etc. But just because you’re in healthcare doesn’t mean you can forget about this. Networking matters, whether you’re looking for a job or you’re completely satisfied with your career.
Networking is basically relationship building. You don’t have to go into it with an agenda. The goal is simply to create relationships with people so you can enjoy opportunities and access when the time is right. Make it a point to do some sort of networking at least once a week. This could be attending an event or conference, grabbing drinks with someone in your field, or even just corresponding with your peers.
- Perfect Your Bedside Manner
Whether it’s fair or not, your bedside manner often dictates how people view you as an RT. That means your soft skills and ability to connect with patients are equally as important as your hard, technical skills.
It’s easy to become cynical and lose sight of the importance of bedside manner as you grow in your career, but don’t fall for this temptation. Be committed to constantly improving in this area and your patients will love you. And when your patients love you, your employer will too.
- Build Camaraderie With Coworkers
In addition to networking with the decision makers and power brokers in the healthcare world, you also have to pay attention to establishing healthy relationships with your peers and coworkers. In fact, building camaraderie on your floor or in your department is one of the single most important things you can do to elevate your career.
It’s easy for tension to build among RTs and nurses and doctors. There’s a lot of stress involved in caring for patients and there’s a natural tendency for healthcare professionals to view people outside of their niche as standing in the way.
But when you establish camaraderie, you create trust and understanding. You forge two-way relationships where people are willing to go to bat for each other. And when you look for new job opportunities, there will be a host of people to vouch for your character and skills.
Propel Your Career Forward
If you’re going to be a respiratory therapist, you might as well be the best one you can be. There’s no sense in being average or merely employable. You should be as committed to perfection as possible. And while it’s never completely attainable, the pursuit of perfection will lead you to a higher level of commitment and discipline.
Use the tips discussed in this article as fuel for growth. You might not notice any significant changes overnight, but the incremental progress will build. And when you look back in three months, six months, or two years, your growth will be evident to yourself and others.