The population grows fast and ages fast that is why the healthcare system depends on the medical personnel’s in providing patient care. These functions are not only being done by doctors or nurses, but also respiratory therapist, to ensure that the patient’s are receiving the best quality care. Respiratory therapists work in a hospital setting or private clinics. Respiratory therapist works with patients that suffer from cardiopulmonary or respiratory diseases and provide treatment and evaluation to them. They also give emergency care like operating mechanical ventilators or assisting with cardiopulmonary resuscitation. They also verify requirements in certain treatments like the type of duration, precautions and medications. It is also a part of the respiratory therapist’s job to monitor the patient’s response to treatments in a physiological aspect like vital signs, changes in blood chemistry and changes in arterial blood gasses. Respiratory therapists work as a member of the health care team that deals with the patients care. These respiratory therapists also have to make sure that all respiratory equipments are clean and functions well. They also educate the individuals including their families on proper management of diseases like the use of medications and exercises like deep breathing. Respiratory therapists also perform tests like electrocardiograms, stress test and lung capacity test. They provide with respiratory instruments and ask the patient to breathe into it. They will then record the levels of oxygen and determine the possible problems and treatments needed. They also analyze blood samples for blood gas analysis by checking the levels of both oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood.
What are the knowledge requirements? And how does it take to be a respiratory therapist? The first step in becoming a respiratory therapist is to have a respiratory therapist’s education and have an associate or bachelor degree. There are respiratory therapist schools that offer courses for this profession. Students are taught on how to treat diseases by managing the symptoms and giving treatments. Respiratory therapist schools offer subjects like psychology in order to understand the behavior and differences of every individual. They are taught on how to operate and manage equipments. Subjects like chemistry are also included in the course to understand the composition and structure of chemicals. Students also need to know the functions of the tissues and cells and how it is interrelated with each other and with the environment. After finishing the program, a person has two choices- either he or she wants to be a certified respiratory therapist or a registered respiratory therapist. If one chooses to be a certified respiratory therapist, he or she needs to finish an accredited respiratory care program and must pass the exam. If they will continue to take advance education and pass two national board exams then they are considered as registered respiratory therapists.
Respiratory therapist salary varies on the location and setting. Specializations also play a big part in determining how much a person will earn. For an hour, respiratory therapist may earn from $25-$32 per hour. Yearly, they will earn for $50,000. The lowest earning will be $36,000 a year and the highest is $66,000.