Respiratory therapy is a very important part of patient care. Many people in the community wonder about the roles of a respiratory therapist. A respiratory therapist's job description has many different aspects depending on the level of care provided.

The Job of a Certified Respiratory Therapist

A C.R.T. (certified respiratory therapist) is normally located in a non-critical care unit. This area mainly deals with less sick patients. A respiratory therapist in this area will be involved with respiratory treatments also known as nebulizer treatments. Nebulizer treatments also are called breathing treatments or aerosol treatments. A nebulizer changes liquid medicine into a fine mist. These patients usually show symptoms associated with asthma and C.O.P.D. (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder). With the medical equipment provided, a RT is able to control patients' diseases. There are also P.F.T.'s (pulmonary function test) and H.A.S.T. (high altitude simulation test), which are special tests that respiratory therapists' perform in this area. A P.F.T. measures the different volumes in your lungs, and H.A.S.T. will simulate high altitudes to make sure patients are able to fly on airplanes.

Registered Respiratory Therapist Job Duties

At an advanced level of respiratory therapy, a RT may be found in more critical settings or the I.C.U. (intensive care unit). A respiratory therapist in the I.C.U. must have R.R.T. (registered respiratory therapist) credentials and deal with patients that are much sicker than the floor level patients. These particular patients are usually on breathing machines called ventilators, because they cannot breathe by themselves or live with their disease process. In the I.C.U, a respiratory therapist is responsible for the maintenance of all patients on ventilators. R.R.T's are also involved in more evasive procedures such as: placing arterial lines to monitor blood pressures and checking cardiac balloon pumps in patients that had C.H.F. (congestive heart failure).

Regardless of what area you work in, a respiratory therapist's job description is to always help improve lung function through medical treatments and equipment.