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From respiratory therapist to PA


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I was just wondering how many PAs are on here are former respiratory therapist. I'm about to graduate next week from a respiratory therapy program. I just finished up my last day of clinical in the NICU and I LOVE being in the NICU. I want to find a job in a NICU and work for a few years and get my bachelors and then apply to a PA program somewhere. I would like to specialize in neonatology, is that a hard specialty to get into?

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many nicu jobs for non-physicians go to NPs (NNPs), but there is a PA postgrad residency in neonatology that would set you up nicely for a job in the field. RT is a great background for PA school. many of these folks end up working in critical care after graduation.

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many nicu jobs for non-physicians go to NPs (NNPs), but there is a PA postgrad residency in neonatology that would set you up nicely for a job in the field. RT is a great background for PA school. many of these folks end up working in critical care after graduation.

I did a job search yesterday for NICU physian assistants and I see hospitals will take an NNP or a PA. I found that there are two schools that have NICU residencies for PAs. Hopefully I can get into one of those schools one day.

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  • 3 years later...

I have often found myself wondering about advancing my career to a PA from being an RRT. I like being a RT, but I feel like I want to do more. my dilemma is the financial piece, paying for more school, and removing my income from my family, while attending school. I am interested to see who has done this and what did you do.

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On 7/24/2015 at 5:43 AM, krisephillips said:

I was RRT before entering PA school. Started as RRT in 1999 and started PA school in 2002. I was very well prepared for PA school and rotations. Somehow I ended up in orthopedics ?

So you're an ortho PA who actually knows how to use a stethoscope? ?

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2 hours ago, rrtbrad said:

I have often found myself wondering about advancing my career to a PA from being an RRT. I like being a RT, but I feel like I want to do more. my dilemma is the financial piece, paying for more school, and removing my income from my family, while attending school. I am interested to see who has done this and what did you do.

Recent PA grad, former RRT here.   It is challenging to go from getting a good paycheck to full-time student with no income.  I relied on student loans, which covered my tuition completely (state university so extremely affordable) and since I was a RT, I had decent savings to help me along with other expenses like car, etc.  Fortunately my spouse was able to handle most of our living expenses.  My school would notify us of scholarship opportunities that came up through the school, state PA association, etc during the year so there are always those options to help.  

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/21/2015 at 8:12 PM, kathudson77 said:

I was just wondering how many PAs are on here are former respiratory therapist. I'm about to graduate next week from a respiratory therapy program. I just finished up my last day of clinical in the NICU and I LOVE being in the NICU. I want to find a job in a NICU and work for a few years and get my bachelors and then apply to a PA program somewhere. I would like to specialize in neonatology, is that a hard specialty to get into?

two of our best students were resp therapists. Rad Tech and Resps seem to be a significant portion of actual medical trained students outside emts and paramedics

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