What Is Respiratory Therapy?
Respiratory Therapy treats patients with problems with their cardiovascular system. What’s that? It’s the system of the body that includes the heart, blood vessels, and blood along with the organs that have to do with breathing and carrying oxygen to the cells of the body, like the lungs, bronchi, and trachea. These are really important parts! So, practitioners in the field are concerned with everything that goes on between the heart and the lungs. So, what do the therapists actually do? They interview and examine patients, often doing specific tests, to determine exactly what’s going on, whether it’s a virus or disease, cancer, asthma, emphysema, or something else. They work with the doctors to come up with treatment plans, often helping patients with rehabilitation activities. And they operate a lot of pretty fancy equipment. So, there’s lots of patient contact in this field.
To get started, you need at least an Associate’s degree from an accredited program. Most Respiratory Therapists get a Bachelor’s degree or even Master’s to increase their job opportunities and earn better pay. This is another medical field that has a good job outlook for the next 10 years because of the aging population. Who’s cut-out for this field? People who are compassionate, organized, good problem-solvers, patient, and can attend to detail, especially when it comes to operating all the finely-tuned equipment that will be used. Is that you? Here are some jobs that you’ll find: Respiratory Therapist, Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT), Travel Registered Respiratory Therapist, Respiratory Therapy Manager, Director Respiratory Therapy, and Respiratory Care Coordinator – Sleep Specialist.