What is a respiratory therapist?
Respiratory therapists provide the hands-on care that helps people recover from a wide range of medical conditions. Therapists get to know their patients, and their patients’ families, and have the opportunity to help them through trying times. Whenever breathing is an issue, they are there.
Respiratory therapists, also known as respiratory care practitioners, provide treatment, evaluation, monitoring and management of patients with breathing disorders or cardiovascular problems.
Care provided by respiratory therapists may include:
- administration of oxygen
- cardiopulmonary resuscitation
- management of mechanical ventilators
- administering drugs to the lungs
- monitoring cardiopulmonary systems
- measuring lung function
Respiratory therapists treat all types of patients, ranging from premature infants whose lungs are not fully developed to elderly people with lung disease.
Source: American Association for Respiratory Care, Careers, What Is An RT?, on the Internet at http://www.aarc.org/careers/what-is-an-rt/ (visited January 19, 2018).