What do Respiratory Therapists Do?

There are over 131,000 respiratory therapists working in the United States. This is a field that is in demand. Nebraska Medicine Nebraska Medical Center looks at just what respiratory therapists do.

People working respiratory therapist jobs help people breathe better. They may give nebulizer machines for asthmatics or intubate a patient so they can be safely given anesthesia during surgery.

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They also make sure equipment is properly sanitized before and after use. They may give lung expansion therapy to treat air sacs in the lungs that have collapsed during surgery, disease, or injury. Respiratory therapists can also help make diagnoses of breathing problems. You can work in the emergency room, the operating theater, a hospital’s daily rounds, or in physical therapy.

Another good portion of a respiratory therapist’s workday is maintaining all of the equipment needed to use on the job. There is something different to do every day. You also keep learning every day.

Respiratory therapists need to have at least two extra years of schooling at an accredited school. After that, you need to take certification exams and get a state license in order to be considered qualified for a job. There are also four-year and master’s degrees offered in their field.