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Respiratory Therapists Career Video

Description: Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, check, and operate equipment.

Video Transcript

When it comes to health, there’s nothing more fundamental than breathing. Respiratory therapists support all aspects of patients’ breathing and lung functions. Respiratory therapists work with patients to make sure they are breathing as comfortably as possible and receiving adequate oxygen… whether patients have a chronic lung disease… underdeveloped lungs at birth… or are recovering from trauma such as a heart attack or near-drowning. Respiratory therapists monitor and perform tests to assess patients’ lung capacity, and assist with treatments such as nebulizers -- devices that administer medications into the lungs. They also assist with placement of breathing tubes and with drawing arterial blood to assess patient oxygen levels. Most respiratory therapists work in hospitals. There, much of their time is spent operating mechanical ventilators for patients with breathing tubes. They also work in long-term care facilities. These healthcare professionals generally work full time, and may work evenings, weekends, and serve on call. Respiratory therapists generally need at least an associate’s degree in respiratory therapy, and a license to practice. Some employers prefer a bachelor’s degree.