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How to Become a Hyperbaric Technician: Getting to the Surface

Having a career as a hyperbaric technician, although challenging, can be a very rewarding career choice. Hyperbaric technicians control and monitor every aspect of a hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment. Therefore, they need to be able to communicate effectively with patients and physicians, operate the controls of the chamber, and tend to the patients themselves during the treatment process. Because the wellbeing of the patient is always at stake, Certified Hyperbaric Technicians (CHT) must remain alert and focused the entire time. Learn more about this healthcare profession by reading how to become a hyperbaric technician.

Hyperbaric Technician Education Degree Requirements

Although there are no formal education requirements to pursue certification as a hyperbaric technician, the complex nature of the work generally means that students seek out a certification or two-year degree in healthcare fields, such as respiratory therapy, biology or medical technology.

To become a CHT, you must complete an approved course, acquire 480 hours of clinical work experience, and complete continuing education courses. The National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology has more information about the requirements for certification.

Along with your coursework, good technical skills might be helpful for correctly operating the controls of the hyperbaric chamber and making adjustments as needed. Excellent interpersonal skills are also helpful for working with patients and other healthcare professionals.

Becoming a Hyperbaric Technician: Career Outlook

Certified hyperbaric technicians often perform a wide variety of tasks. In addition to providing treatments, hyperbaric technicians might also engage in research, particularly those that work for hospitals that are associated with universities. They might assist the researchers in designing the methods for the study, provide feedback on the study’s feasibility, operate the hyperbaric chamber during the study, and record the results for analysis. Studies such as these have been used by both NASA and the military to advance training and create better strategies for soldiers and astronauts.

Hyperbaric technicians usually work full-time in indoor environments. However, because treatments might be needed at all hours, hyperbaric technicians may be called in to work in the evening, during the night or on weekends and holidays. After gaining extensive experience, a hyperbaric technician might advance to a supervisory position.

Jobs for medical technicians are projected to grow about as fast as average in the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Medical advances that are incorporating hyperbaric treatments to treat a broader range of injuries as well as technologies that are allowing for greater and deeper sea exploration will likely comprise some of this growth. For hyperbaric technicians, the median annual wage is $42,724.

As technology allows a larger number of people to dive at greater depths and the overall popularity of diving grows, people will need hyperbaric technicians to assist them. Also, as hyperbaric chambers are increasingly being used to treat diseases and injuries, this will spur additional demand for hyperbaric technicians. Those who live near coastal regions, particularly those that are experiencing population growth, and have training and experience will likely have the best prospects in the job market. Be part of this emerging and dynamic profession by becoming a hyperbaric technician. Search for schools today!

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