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Student Spotlight

Questions to Ask During an Interview

Every respiratory graduate thinks the interview is the best time to make a good impression on an employer. "One thing candidates forget is the interview processes are a two-way street," said Julie Brooks, CHCR, immediate past president of the National Association of Health Care Recruitment and employment coordinator at Manatee Memorial Hospital in Bradenton, Fla. "The candidates need to be interviewing the hospital."

Here are some questions to ask:

  • Can starting respiratory therapists practice up to the full range of their training, including intubating patients, using ventilators, etc? If not, can experienced therapists?

  • What respiratory care plans and protocols exist?

  • Do new hires have a mentor or preceptor when they begin working?

  • What is the process to transfer to another unit? Is it based on seniority?

  • What professional growth opportunities does the hospital offer? For example, working in the ICU, rapid deployment team, flight transport team, asthma clinic, or as an ECMO perfusionist, etc.

  • Does the hospital offer continuing education, like certification on new equipment, to RTs and how often?

  • Is tuition reimbursement available for therapists who want to pursue their bachelor's degree or more?

Finally, inquire whether you can shadow a therapist for the day. Observe the staff interactions and the workload of a typical floor or ICU therapist.

Knowing more about candidate employers can help you find a job right up your alley.

Contact Kristen Ziegler at

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