Respiratory therapists evaluate, treat, and care for patients with breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders, including asthma. Practicing under the direction of a physician, respiratory therapists assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care therapeutic treatments and diagnostic procedures.
Respiratory therapists evaluate and treat all types of patients, ranging from premature infants whose lungs are not fully developed to elderly people whose lungs are diseased. Respiratory therapists provide temporary relief to patients with chronic asthma or emphysema, and they give emergency care to patients who are victims of a heart attack, stroke, drowning, or shock.
A typical work day for a respiratory therapist might include:
Respiratory Therapists work in a variety of care settings and specialties, including:
Check out the following video for additional information about the profession of respiratory care.