All About Respiratory Therapists
Job 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.
What Do Respiratory Therapists Do On a Daily Basis?
- Monitor patient’s physiological responses to therapy, such as vital signs, arterial blood gases, or blood chemistry changes, and consult with physician if adverse reactions occur.
- Inspect, clean, test, and maintain respiratory therapy equipment to ensure equipment is functioning safely and efficiently, ordering repairs when necessary.
- Perform endotracheal intubation to maintain open airways for patients who are unable to breathe on their own.
- Use a variety of testing techniques to assist doctors in cardiac or pulmonary research or to diagnose disorders.
- Teach, train, supervise, or use the assistance of students, respiratory therapy technicians, or assistants.
- Enforce safety rules and ensure careful adherence to physicians’ orders.
Skills Needed to be a Respiratory Therapist
When polled, Respiratory Therapists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
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
- Oxygen Therapist
- Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Respiratory Therapist
- Clinical Coordinator of Respiratory Therapy
- Inhalation Therapist
- Staff Therapist
Is There 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. 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.
How Much Does a Respiratory Therapist Make?
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
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?
What education is needed to be a Respiratory Therapist?
How Long Does it Take to Become a Respiratory Therapist?
Where do Respiratory Therapists Work?
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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