May is the month for graduating college students to begin job searches. Still, health care graduates make their decisions much earlier, thanks to the increasing demand by hospitals and outpatient facilities. In particular, respiratory therapy (RT) bachelor of science graduates have little trouble finding well-paying jobs in their fields at area hospitals, typically beginning at $35 to $40 per hour.
Crystal Dorvil, a graduating RT, is one of 38 in the Class of 2022 who had job offers from two metro Atlanta hospitals and two additional pending applications in March. She leaves Georgia State with a new job at Wellstar Cobb waiting for her.
Originally a nursing major at Kennesaw State University, Dorvil switched to respiratory therapy after an experience working at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital.
“Watching the nursing staff at work, I decided that wasn’t the career for me. Then I discovered RT while at work working a code blue,” said Dorvil. Code blue is a hospital term for a patient in critical condition, often a cardiac or respiratory emergency.
Dorvil didn’t decide to switch majors lightly. She started working in the hospital as a patient transport when she finished high school and was exposed to many functions and job opportunities throughout the hospital. Now, she is confident that RT is the right field for her.
“Respiratory therapy is a career path that not many know about, but it is a very rewarding profession,” said Dorvil. “[As an RT], you are working mostly on your own to treat your patients in every part of the hospitals, home care, sleep labs, etc. Every day on the job allows for you to further your skills, as no day is the same, and respiratory therapists are constantly learning.”
Dorvil said she chose Georgia State University due to the program’s reputation. Its graduates boast a 100 percent pass rate for licensure board exams, and the faculty are well-known in respiratory therapy circles. She also liked the downtown Atlanta location and the diversity of the student body.
Dorvil and her classmates graduate on May 6, and she will sit for her licensure exam later in the month.
story and photo by Angela Go