Job Searching: Marketing Yourself to RT Departments

 Published: May 16, 2018

By: Heather Willden


If you’re getting ready to graduate from respiratory care school, then its time to start marketing yourself to future employers. Once you graduate, you no doubt have a lot on your plate. First and foremost, you need to earn your license to practice, so passing your credentialing exams is job one.

Once you mark that off the list, you need to find a job.

Depending on the job market in your part of the world, it could be a snap because there are more entry level openings than there are new grads to take them.

Congrats to anyone who drew that card!

But if you live in a place where there’s a bit of competition for entry-level spots, you are probably wondering how you can stand out from the crowd.

Do your homework

R.T. Dailey, II, MHA, RRT, RRT-ACCS, manages pulmonary diagnostics and respiratory therapy services at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville – a sprawling facility with 600 beds and 7,621 full-time equivalent staff members. Respiratory therapists who come under his purview may work in anything from the acute care hospital to the Heart Center to the pulmonary function testing labs.

When it comes to new grads, he’s looking for folks who have done their homework.

“By that I mean a prospective candidate would help themselves tremendously by researching and learning about the facility to which they are applying,” Dailey said. He wants job candidates to come into the interview with a good understanding of his facility and the ability to articulate what they will be able to provide to the organization to help it meet its goals and objectives.

He also expects new grads to be up to speed on evidence-based practice and current trends in the literature — and he wants them to come into their interviews with a clear understanding of their own profession and the organizations that oversee it.

“When asked this question during an interview, the AARC and NBRC often are mentioned,” Dailey said. “However, very often the candidate has little or no knowledge of what these organizations do relative to the candidate’s profession.”

Strategies that work

Researching the facility you want to work at is easy. Nearly every hospital out there today has a wealth of information available to anyone who wants to know more.

Just go to the facility website and click around to learn more about its mission and the services it provides. Then make yourself a “highlights” list and be ready to talk about them during the interview.

Keeping up with the medical evidence is a little more difficult, but most managers simply want to know that you are aware of its importance and are reading the pertinent journals – most importantly, RESPIRATORY CARE – to stay apprised of the latest thinking.

Pick out a couple of recent studies that you feel could have a significant impact on respiratory care practice and cite these studies as examples of the type of thing you read on a regular basis.

How can you learn more about your professional organizations? As luck would have it, if you are a member of the AARC, look no further than your June issue of AARC Times.

The June issue is devoted to the professional organizations in respiratory care – the AARC, NBRC, ARCF, CoARC, state societies, and state licensure boards – and the role they play in keeping the profession up and running and driving it forward.

Spend an hour or two with this edition of the magazine and you will come away well versed in these groups and how they impact your new profession.

Check Out AARC Times

Email with questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you.

Heather Willden

Heather Willden is the Director of Governance and Strategic Initiatives for the AARC where she works with state affiliates as the HOD liaison. She also manages DEI efforts and strategic initiatives. Connect with her about these topics by email, AARConnect or LinkedIn. When she's not working, you can find her podcasting with her husband, exploring new hiking trails, photographing, and spending time with her family.

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