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How to Become a Respiratory Therapist in Connecticut

The Connecticut Department of Health is responsible for regulating respiratory care practitioners through a strict licensing process. Practitioners cannot use the title respiratory care practitioner or RCP in Connecticut unless they are licensed.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were as many as 1,500 respiratory therapists practicing in Connecticut,as of May 2013. That year, Connecticut was among the top states in the nation in terms of average RT salaries, with these allied health professionals earning between $61,690 and $75,870 per year.

To learn how to become a respiratory therapist in Connecticut, you must be prepared to complete the following steps:

Complete a Respiratory Therapy Program
Consider the Benefits of a Temporary Permit
Take and Pass the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) Examination
Apply for a Respiratory Therapist License
Keep your License Current

 


 

Step 1. Complete a Respiratory Therapy Program

If you want to achieve a license to practice respiratory therapy in Connecticut, you must first complete a respiratory therapy educational program approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

CoARC-accredited programs are available as Associate of Science (AS), Associate of Applied Science (AAS), or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree programs. The minimum educational requirement for licensure in Connecticut is an associate’s degree, although the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more employers are now requiring respiratory therapists to possess a bachelor’s degree. As such, many associate degree programs are designed to allow credits to be transferred into a bachelor’s degree program.

In Connecticut, there are five CoARC-approved educational programs: four associate degrees and one bachelor’s degree program.

The Connecticut Society for Respiratory Care has provided detailed information about Connecticut’s CoARC-accredited programs here.

A comprehensive respiratory care degree program includes science-based coursework, coursework in respiratory care, and a clinical practicum that allows students to gain supervised, practical experience in respiratory therapy. Clinical programs are completed in the presence physicians within hospitals, health centers and rehabilitation settings.

Typical respiratory therapy coursework includes:

  • Cardiopulmonary anatomy and physiology
  • Principles of respiratory care
  • Applied pharmacology
  • Integration of respiratory care skills
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Principles of critical care

 


 

Step 2. Consider the Benefits of a Temporary Permit

If you have completed a respiratory therapy program and want to begin working immediately, you may apply for a temporary permit, which allows you to practice under the supervision of a Connecticut licensed RCP.

A temporary permit is valid for a period of 120 days from the date of your application, and it is not renewable. You must take and pass the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) examination (See Step 3) before your temporary permit expires. If you take and fail the CRT examination, your temporary permit is void. In order to obtain a temporary permit, you must provide the Department of Health with the following:

Mail all applications and documents to:

Connecticut Department of Public Health
RCP Licensure
410 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06134

 


 

Step 3. Take and Pass the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) Examination

To achieve licensure as a respiratory therapist in Connecticut, you must take and pass the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) examination, which is administered through the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).

The CRT is the entry-level examination that is recognized by all 49 states that regulate the practice of respiratory therapists in the U.S. The CRT is a computer-based examination that can be taken at any one of the AMP testing center locations throughout the U.S.

In Connecticut, you may take the exam at the AMP testing center in either Southington or West Haven. Upon passing the CRT exam, you can apply for licensure as a respiratory therapist in Connecticut.

Taking the RRT Examination

However, many respiratory therapists, upon recognizing that many employers now seek employees with advanced credentials, choose to pursue the NBRC’s Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential. You must be a graduate of a CoARC-accredited program and possess a CRT credential to qualify to take the RRT exam.

In addition, the NBRC now requires graduates of CoARC-accredited respiratory therapy degree programs to achieve the CRT and RRT credentials within three years of graduation. The NBRC therefore encourages respiratory therapists to take the RRT examination upon achieving the CRT credential. If you apply to take the RRT examination within 60 days of passing the CRT exam, you may qualify for a discount to take the RRT examination.

Like the CRT exam, you must schedule to take the RRT exam through AMP.

 


 

Step 4. Apply for a Respiratory Therapist License

To apply for licensure in Connecticut, you must provide the Board with the following:

Mail all applications and documents to:

Connecticut Department of Public Health
RCP Licensure
410 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06134

 


 

Step 5. Keep your License Current

Respiratory therapist licenses must be renewed annually upon the completion of at least 6 hours of qualifying continuing education within the one-year renewal period. Qualifying continuing education includes (but is not limited to) courses offered by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), a regionally accredited college or university, or a state or local health department.

The cost of renewal of your respiratory therapist license in Connecticut is $100.

Networking and job opportunities for respiratory therapists in Connecticut are available through membership with the Connecticut Society for Respiratory Care.

Job opportunities for respiratory therapists in Connecticut can often be found through Connecticut’s hospital systems, such as:

  • Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven
  • Hartford Hospital, Hartford
  • St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport
  • St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hartford
  • Middlesex Hospital, Middletown
  • Danbury Hospital, Danbury
  • Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, New London

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