How to Find a Mentor as a Respiratory Therapist blog hero image

How to Find a Mentor as a Respiratory Therapist

Updated By Staff Writer on April 20, 2020

Interested in becoming a respiratory therapist? Not only does this occupation offer versatile and rewarding job opportunities, but it’s also one of the positions in the medical field that doesn’t require 8-plus years of education. Though you’re not required to attend medical school in order to become a respiratory therapist, having an associate's degree or bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy is key if you wish to be successful and build a solid foundation for professional growth.

Whether you’re a hard-working parent ready to pursue a career you love, a former member of the military who still wants to help and serve others, or someone who is simply not interested in enrolling in a traditional four-year college, a respiratory therapy program gives you the education and resources you need to become successful. With respiratory therapy programs like those offered at Independence University, you can benefit from having the reliable support of a mentor throughout the duration of your program.

Why Having a Mentor Is Key

At Independence University, we understand that traditional education isn’t the best fit for all students. That’s why we go above and beyond to provide all respiratory therapist students with access to mentor support. By having someone you can turn to for advice and support, you’ll find that navigating the respiratory therapy program isn’t quite as daunting as it may seem. Additional benefits of having a respiratory therapy mentor include:

  • Network assistance: Having someone who is already familiar with the medical community and has connections to others in the industry is invaluable when it comes to finding a job you love.
  • Course guidance and beyond: While mentors are helpful when it comes to determining course loads, aiding in networking efforts, and offering overall guidance, they can be even more beneficial post-graduation when it comes time to take the next steps in your career. Whether you want to work in a private clinical setting or public hospital, your mentor can typically be of great assistance.
  • Additional support: Completing your degree as a respiratory therapist comes with highs and lows, especially if you’re juggling school with a job, kids, family life, etc. And while having a mentor can undoubtedly help you in the educational sense, it can also be helpful to have someone there to support you when life feels overwhelming.

How to Find a Mentor

The benefits of having a mentor are undeniable. If you’re interested in finding someone to have your back while you complete the program, consider these three tips on how to find the perfect mentor for you.

1. Ask Around

First and foremost, start by asking your advisor or someone in the respiratory therapy department about what types of student support they offer. Some programs, like those at Independence University, provide each student access to a learning coach, or an associate dean whose job is to help you succeed. Furthermore, all of the online instructors at IU provide individual mentoring for one-on-one support.

2. Make a List

If you’re interested in seeking out your own mentor, start making a list of instructors, fellow students, etc. who you feel a connection with. Keep an eye out for individuals who have similar career goals, a positive work ethic, and good people skills. Independence University students may also consider adding the practicing respiratory therapist at their clinical site to the list. Then, start by asking the first person on your list if they’d be interested in establishing a mentoring relationship.

3. Think Outside the Classroom

Connect with others who share the same interested by engaging in online forums or discussions hosted by your instructors. Engage with others in your program via IU’s social media hub, and explore your student portal to connect with people who share the same interests, goals, and lifestyles as you. Not only is this a great way to expand your network and get involved with your community, but it’s also the perfect chance to make connections with possible mentors.

Whether you’ve had a bit of college experience in the past or are jumping back into college courses after years away from the classroom, Independence University’s respiratory therapy program gives you access to the support and mentorship you need to be nothing short of a success. Request more information today.

For graduation rates, the median debt of graduates, and other data, see