Respiratory Therapy Careers Guide

Are you interested in a career as a Respiratory Therapist? Are you ready to take the first step by finding a school or program in your area?

At Partnership For Healthcare we specialize in helping match prospective students with the best schools in their area for their chosen entry level healthcare career. We’ve outlined some simple steps to get started below.

Common Career Questions

What does a Respiratory Therapist do?

A respiratory therapist is a person who has specialized in helping people with medical problems related to the breathing system, such as asthma or pneumonia.

The tasks and duties of a respiratory therapist include helping people with respiratory problems in the hospital especially in the ICU and the critical wing of the hospital. The therapist assists the patients with breathing problems in exercises that will improve their breathing capacity by each day and ensures that their progress is positive. Apart from that, the therapist is also supposed to check whether the equipment that has been given to the patient is correct in terms of the diagnostics. During ongoing treatment, the therapist’s job is also to chart the progress and administer any necessary changes to either the drugs that any particular patient is being given or any helpful breathing aids issued like inhalers and such.

It is also a part of the therapist’s duties to notify the hospital administration of any problems he or she may come across with a patient when it is medically related. Apart from that, the therapist monitors the patient to ensure that they do not miss any treatment sessions. Furthermore, a respiratory therapist also ensures that each patient receives quality care from the hospital.

Skills Required

There are specific skills that are required in order for one to become a respiratory therapist. One of these is being able to pay attention to detail. This means that a therapist should be capable of noticing even the minute details in their patient as this is what determines if the therapy is helpful to the patient or not. Since the patients’ charts are what one needs to determine the kind of medication that one should have, a therapist should be able to determine any small details that may affect the patient from their charts.
A therapist is also required to have very good communication skills. These are what keep the therapist attached to the patient in order for the therapy to work. Good communication will enable the patient to trust the therapist enough so that they may divulge any news of anything which affects their health. Communication also enables the therapist to develop a good relationship with the patient when it comes to following doctor’s orders.

A good respiratory therapist should also be able to reason fast enough on their feet as this could mean the difference between life and death for a patient. They should be able to tell what any medications they prescribe will mean for the patient.

In terms of education, a respiratory therapist must have associate as well as bachelor’s degree in the field. They also must have interned at hospitals or centers where their skills were required. This is to ensure that the therapist has extensive knowledge of the procedures included in respiratory therapy. The education also comes in handy when diagnosing the patients and determining what kind of procedures are right for the patient.

Personal Attributes

A respiratory therapist has to have certain attributes if he or she is to help the patients. First, the therapist must be patient. This is a useful tool when dealing with patients because the recovery process may be slow and may in turn become frustrating to the patient. The therapist should be able to calm down the patient and show them that they should see the results soon.
Apart from that, the therapist must ensure that they have a generally kind outlook and attitude towards their patients. This is what will guide the patient to trust the therapist and make the healing progress much quicker.

It is also important for the therapist to build trust with the patients in order to help them recover.