Respiratory Therapy is a health profession that specializes in cardiopulmonary functions and health. Respiratory therapists help with prevention, assessing patients, treatment, diagnostic evaluation, education, and care. They treat patients from all ages, from babies to the elderly. The requirements on how to become a respiratory therapist is taking human anatomy, chemistry, pharmacology, microbiology, and mathematics at a high school or college level. To start the respiratory therapy program right out of high school you have to have a C or better in chemistry, anatomy, Algebra 2 minimum, and English.
You can go to college to get an associate’s degree and work but having a bachelor’s degree shows more knowledge about your profession and chances are higher getting a job right out of college and working about anywhere. Some of the disorders respiratory therapists treat are lung disease, heart disease, and neuromuscular disorders. They also do breathing disorders such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, COPD, Cystic Fibrosis, pneumonia. Not only can they treat disorders and breathing complications their job is also to diagnose the patient and follow diagnostics procedures.
Common procedure respiratory therapists perform are arterial blood gas analysis, pulmonary function studies, sleep studies, EKG and cardiac test, sputum specimens, and stress/exercise tests. The need for respiratory therapists is in high demand due to the increasing numbers in elderly people, environment; such as asthma, smoking and COPD, treatments for cardiopulmonary diseases, and premature babies. In May 2008 respiratory therapists help about 105,900 jobs, 81 percent worked in hospitals.
The numbers of therapists are expected to continue growing up to 21 percent from 2008-2018. Due to the high demand of jobs in the medical field, you will always have a job to fall back on in this particular profession. There are different places respiratory therapist can work besides in the hospitals. Laboratories, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, patients home, and physician’s office are also places RT’s can work. Daily tools respiratory therapist use is portable oxygen machines, nebulizers, mechanical ventilators, breathing tubes, face masks, and air bags.
These are all different types of equipment they use to either help treat or diagnose patients. In conclusion respiratory therapy is a health profession that specializes in both heart and lung functions. They work to evaluate, treat, and care for patients with lung and heart disorders. The demand is high due to increase in elderly, disease, disorders, and premature babies. Respiratory therapists have job security due to their profession and can work wherever they desire.