What is a Respiratory Therapist?
Occupation 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.
Respiratory Therapist Responsibilities
- Educate patients and their families about their conditions and teach appropriate disease management techniques, such as breathing exercises or the use of medications or respiratory equipment.
- Demonstrate respiratory care procedures to trainees or other healthcare personnel.
- Perform bronchopulmonary drainage and assist or instruct patients in performance of breathing exercises.
- Set up and operate devices, such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, or aerosol generators, following specified parameters of treatment.
- Use a variety of testing techniques to assist doctors in cardiac or pulmonary research or to diagnose disorders.
- 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.
What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Respiratory Therapist?
These are the skills Respiratory Therapists say are the most useful in their careers:
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.
Types of Respiratory Therapist Jobs
- Respiratory Therapy Director
- Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Respiratory Therapist
- Inhalation Therapist
- Clinical Coordinator of Respiratory Therapy
- Cardiopulmonary Technician and EEG Tech (Cardiopulmonary Technician and Electroencephalogram Technician)
Job Demand for Respiratory Therapists
In 2016, there was an estimated number of 130,200 jobs in the United States for Respiratory Therapist. 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. The BLS estimates 9,800 yearly job openings in this field.
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.
Do Respiratory Therapists Make A Lot Of Money?
Respiratory Therapists make between $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 different U.S. states?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$78,540|
What Tools do Respiratory Therapists Use?
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Respiratory Therapists may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Database software
- MEDITECH software
- Calendar and scheduling software
- Electronic medical record EMR software
How do I Become a Respiratory Therapist?
Learn what Respiratory Therapist education requirements there are.
How many years of work experience do I need?
Who Employs Respiratory Therapists?
Below are examples of industries where Respiratory Therapists work:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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