Life As a Respiratory Therapist
Respiratory Therapist Definition 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.
Life As a Respiratory Therapist
- Use a variety of testing techniques to assist doctors in cardiac or pulmonary research or to diagnose disorders.
- Make emergency visits to resolve equipment problems.
- Monitor cardiac patients, using electrocardiography devices, such as a holter monitor.
- Set up and operate devices, such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, or aerosol generators, following specified parameters of treatment.
- Work as part of a team of physicians, nurses, or other healthcare professionals to manage patient care by assisting with medical procedures or related duties.
- Conduct tests, such as electrocardiograms (EKGs), stress testing, or lung capacity tests, to evaluate patients' cardiopulmonary functions.
Respiratory Therapist Required Skills
Respiratory Therapists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Related Job Titles
- Inhalation Therapist
- Clinical Coordinator of Respiratory Therapy
- Respiratory Care Practitioner (RCP)
- Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT)
- Respiratory Therapist (RT)
Job Outlook for Respiratory Therapists
In the United States, there were 130,200 jobs for Respiratory Therapist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 23.3% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 30,400 new jobs for Respiratory Therapist by 2026. There will be an estimated 9,800 positions for Respiratory Therapist per year.
The states with the most job growth for Respiratory Therapist are Utah, Idaho, and Arizona. Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Maryland, or Nebraska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
What is the Average Salary of a Respiratory Therapist
The salary for Respiratory Therapists ranges between about $43,750 and $83,520 a year.
Respiratory Therapists who work in California, Alaska, or District of Columbia, make the highest salaries.
How much do Respiratory Therapists make in each U.S. state?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$78,540|
Tools & Technologies Used by Respiratory Therapists
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Respiratory Therapists:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Database software
- MEDITECH software
- Calendar and scheduling software
- Electronic medical record EMR software
How to Become a Respiratory Therapist
What education or degrees do I need to become a Respiratory Therapist?
How many years of work experience do I need?
Respiratory Therapists Sector
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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