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Respiratory Therapist Career

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Respiratory Therapist CareerWhat a Respiratory Therapist does:
A Respiratory Therapist (RT) specializes in the treatment of breathing difficulties and other cardiopulmonary (heart and lung) disorders.

The main duties of a Respiratory Therapist include:

  • Interviewing patients and performing physical examinations
  • Assessing and treating respiratory problems such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis
  • Measuring lung capacity and patients Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide and pH levels
  • Working closely with Nurses, Physicians, Speech Therapists and Physical Therapists
  • Following directions of a Physician
  • Supervising entry level Respiratory Therapists
  • Performing chest physiotherapy to remove mucus from the lungs of a patient
  • Consulting with Physicians on patient care
  • Administering complex therapy
  • Caring for patients in intensive care and on life support machines
  • Educating patients and the public about the dangers of smoking and other hazards

Education & Qualifications:
To become a Respiratory Therapist you need to qualify with an associate, bachelor's or master's degree form an accredited University or College.

Typical subjects covered in a Respiratory Therapy Program include: chemistry, physics, human anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, microbiology, pharmacology, and mathematics.

Additional advanced programs may include therapeutic and diagnostic procedures, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, clinical practice guidelines, patient care, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, respiratory health promotion, disease prevention, and medical recordkeeping and reimbursement.

Most states require that Respiratory Therapists are licensed. Licensure is granted on meeting the requirements of the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).

The Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential can be achieved by completing a program of study accredited by the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Salary & Job Prospects:
Salaries for Respiratory Therapists vary from $40,000 to $60,000 depending on location, experience and qualifications. The Job Prospects are predicted to be good, with most openings in hospitals. Due to the growth in Home Health Care, positions are also expected to grow outside of the hospital environment.

Below is a list of some of the various types of allied health careers / professions:

Links to Types of Allied Health Careers

Anesthesiologist Assistant »
Art Therapy »
Athletic Trainer »
Audiologist »
Cardiovascular Technician »
Clinical Laboratory Science »
Clinical Laboratory Technologist »
Cytotechnology »
Dental Assistant »
Dental Hygienist »
Dental Laboratory Technician »
Diagnostic Medical Sonography »
Dietitian / Nutritionist »
Dispensing Optician »
Electroneurodiagnostic Technician »
Emergency Medical Technician / Paramedic »
Epidemiology »
General Aide »
Genetic Counseling »
Health Information Management »
Health Care Interpreter »
Home Health Aide / Home Care »
Kinesiotherapist »
Massage Therapy »
Medical Assistant »
Medical Billing / Coding Specialist »
Medical Dosimetrist »
Medical Laboratory Technician »
Medical Librarian »
Medical Physicist »

Medical Technologist »
Medical Transcription »
Nuclear Medicine Technologist »
Nursing Assistant »
Occupational Therapist »
Ophthalmic Technician »
Optometrist »
Osteopath »
Pathologist Assistant »
Pedorthist »
Perfusionist »
Personal Trainer »
Pharmacy Technician »
Pharmacist Careers »
Phlebotomist »
Physical Therapist »
Physician Assistant »
Podiatrist »
Public Health Inspector »
Radiation Therapist »
Radiologic Technologist »
Reflexologist »
Rehab Therapist »
Respiratory Therapist »
Social Worker »
Speech Pathologist / Therapist »
Surgical Technologist »
Therapeutic Recreation Specialist »
Ultrasound Technician / Sonographer »

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