Considered some of the biggest heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic, respiratory therapists are vital professionals in the world of healthcare. Working in hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics, and even sleep disorder centers, they are trusted to keep patients breathing.
Respiratory therapists, or RTs, support patients battling various lung disorders and viruses. These can include asthma, lung cancer, bronchitis, COPD, and, most recently, coronavirus. Many have praised the profession in providing quality, comfortable care for those in critical conditions.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an even higher demand for respiratory therapists. Several hospitals around the world confirmed a lack of them compared to nurses, increasing the need for more RTs than ever before.
What does a respiratory therapist do?
According to Goodwin University, respiratory therapists are required to perform a large range of tasks to help patients breathe their best.
The job duties include:
- Running tests and exams to measure lung capacity
- Determining treatment through medication & physiotherapy
- Administration of oxygen
- Running blood tests
- Evaluation progress of patients
- Utilizing ventilators to aide breathing
- Training patients to use equipment on their own
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation when necessary
How do I become a respiratory therapist?
Due to its medical environment and delicate nature, the work of a respiratory therapist requires specialized education and training. At the minimum, a two-year Associate’s Degree is necessary, including an internship and clinical classes.
Additionally, students will have to take an exam through the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBCR) in order to obtain certification. This certificate allows the ability to apply for a state license and begin a career as a respiratory therapist.
Why should I become a respiratory therapist?
Respiratory therapists gain key experience working in critical care units and emergency situations. They are given opportunities every day to care for patients of different ages and conditions.
Many respiratory therapists choose this career path knowing they will make a significant difference in the quality of life of their patients. It is an optimal role for anyone seeking a rewarding and experiential profession in healthcare.
Check out our open positions in respiratory therapy and healthcare here.