OLATHE, Kan. — Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, ventilators have been in high-demand – and so have the respiratory therapists who operate them.
“Hospitals across the country were offering massive incentive packages and high pay for respiratory therapists to relocate,” Chad Sanner, director of Respiratory Care and Neurodiagnostics at Johnson County Community College, said.
Each year JCCC welcomes welcomes a new class of students for its two-year respiratory care program.
“There are four accredited respiratory therapy programs in the Kansas City Metro area, just four,” Sanner said. “We have all these hospital systems that are hiring, so we have 100% placement rate. All of our students end up with a job prior to graduation.”
But need for respiratory therapists was growing even before the pandemic hit. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 19% from 2019 to 2029 – “much faster than the average for all occupations.”
“If you like to be in the emergency setting, taking care of patients at their most critical moment then you’ll enjoy respiratory therapy,” Sanner said.
Applications for the JCCC’s Respiratory Care program are due March 15.