Profile

Respiratory therapists are healthcare professionals who assist physicians with the diagnosis and treatment of lung disorders. Most respiratory therapists work in hospitals. You'll find them in neonatal nurseries, operating rooms, intensive care units, general wards, and emergency departments.

Their duties include:
Maintaining an open airway for trauma, intensive care, and surgery patients
Assisting in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and support
Providing life support for patients who can't breathe on their own
Assisting in high risk births
Stabilizing high risk patients being moved by air or ground ambulance
Assisting anaesthesiologists in the operating room
Administering inhaled drugs and medical gases such as asthma medication and oxygen
Conducting tests to measure lung function
Teaching people to manage their asthma or to quit smoking
Providing in-home respiratory care to adults and children with chronic lung disease
 


Respiratory therapists also work in the community, bringing their expertise to:
Home care
Asthma, emphysema, cystic fibrosis and other clinics
Teaching
Research
Rehabilitation
Diagnostic clinics and sleep disorder labs
Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment
Medical equipment sales and service

They need good judgment, excellent interpersonal skills, and the ability to maintain composure in critical medical situations.