Health Care Providers

Health Care Providers
Respiratory therapists care for people of all ages with restricted breathing problems such as emphysema, chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma. Respiratory therapists may work in hospitals, long term care facilities, physicians’ offices, and home health services. Respiratory therapists must have an associate’s degree, although most have a both an associates and bachelor’s degree from an accredited college. They are licensed in all states except Alaska (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012). Licensure requires passing a state certification or professional examination. Respiratory therapists teach patients how to use inhalers and aerosol machines. They provide counseling on smoking cessation. Also set-up, connects, and monitors ventilators for patients that cannot breathe on their own. Respiratory therapists also perform chest physiotherapy on cystic fibrosis patients to remove mucus from their lungs to make it easier for them to breathe. They also perform diagnostic testing such as Pulmonary Function Testing and Methocholine Challenge Testing. The Pulmonary Function Tests provides physicians information on the patient’s lung capacity and breathing ability to assist them in prescribing the appropriate medication. The Methocholine Challenge Test determines if the patient has reversible asthma disease.

The Respiratory therapist also performs a test called polysomnogram, a test to determine if a person has sleep apnea (breathing pauses during sleep). The annual median pay for Respiratory therapists as of May 2010 is $54, 280 (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012). Employment of Respiratory therapists is expected to grow 28% from 2010 to 20120 (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012) because of the rise in the in the number of elderly with increased incident of emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia and other respiratory diseases that restrict lung function or cause permanent damage. Also affecting the increase in the need for respiratory therapists is the continued use of all forms of smoking, air pollution and respiratory emergencies. A podiatrist is commonly known as a foot doctor, but is really a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM). Podiatrists treat and diagnosis conditions of the feet, ankles, and lower legs. Podiatrists must complete four years of training in a podiatric medical school, after earning a bachelor’s degree and three years of residency training in a hospital setting. Podiatrists must be licensed in every state. To become licensed they have to pay a fee and pass a state exam. Podiatrists can choose to specialize in various fields such as pediatrics, wound care, surgery, sports medicine, or diabetic care. Podiatrists can earn board certification by taking an exam after advanced training and clinical experience.

The American Board of Podiatric Medicine and the American Board of Podiatric Surgery are the two certifying boards. Podiatrists traditionally work in private offices either alone or with partners, hospitals, and long-term care. The median annual salary for a podiatrist as of 2010 was $118,030 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012). The job outlook for podiatrist looks very good in the future, partly due to the limited number of podiatric medical schools and the amount of older podiatrists retiring. Education for chiropractors is one of the stringent of today’s healthcare providers. The chiropractor uses spinal manipulation to relieve the symptoms of low back pain, neck pain, and headaches. Chiropractors believe your body has a natural way of healing itself, the body’s structure, nerves, bones, muscles, and joints are all enter-related, and chiropractic treatment helps to balance your body and promote self-healing.

When a person decides to enter chiropractor school he must have already completed fours of pre-medical undergraduate education. Once accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, four to five years of intense professional study is standard. Due to the hands on approach to chiropractic medicine most of the training is done in the clinical training. Because of their extensive training, chiropractors are able to diagnose health problems and refer patients to other healthcare providers as needed. Doctors of chiropractic are required to pass a national exam to become state licensed prior to practicing on their own. Chiropractors work in a variety of settings, hospitals, private practices, and schools. The median annual salary for a chiropractor varies depending on the location and setting, ranging from $ 31,120 to $142, 000 (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013).

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Respiratory Therapists, on the Internet at

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Podiatrists, on the Internet at

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