Respiratory Therapy Job Description and Duties, Roles/Responsibilities, Qualifications

Respiratory Therapy job description: Respiratory therapists help patients who are having trouble breathing. Chronic respiratory diseases such as emphysema and asthma are examples of these. Patients range from infants with undeveloped lungs to adults with lung disease. They may also provide emergency care for breathing difficulties, heart attacks, drowning, and shock.

A respiratory therapy technician is another name for them. Patients with breathing or cardiopulmonary disorders are interviewed and examined by respiratory therapists. Patients with breathing difficulties, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, are cared for by respiratory therapists (COPD).

Medical practices that want to hire the best people often start the job description with a few sentences that tell job seekers about the things that make your company environment unique and the value you bring to new employees. This is your chance to make your hospital, clinic, or medical facility stand out from the crowd of therapist job postings.

For consideration, you must have a degree in respiratory therapy from an accredited program or college, as well as an RCP license.
Strong knowledge of pulmonary function and rehabilitation, as well as experience with respiratory equipment, are essential for success in this role.

Responsibilities of a respiratory therapy

  • Monitoring patient physiological responses to therapy, such as arterial blood gases, vital signs or blood chemistry changes, and changes in lung function, and consulting with physicians if there are any adverse effects.
  • Assisting with medical procedures as part of a team of health care professionals to manage patient care.
  • Configuring and operating therapeutic gas administration apparatus, mechanical ventilators, environmental control systems, and aerosol generators.
  • Treatment parameters must be followed.
  • Providing emergency care, such as external cardiac massage, artificial respiration, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation assistance.
  • Inspecting, testing, cleaning, and maintaining respiratory therapy equipment to ensure safe and efficient operation.
  • Keeping records that include patient identification and therapy information.
  • Measuring arterial blood gases, reading prescriptions, assessing lung capacity, and reviewing other information to determine the patient’s condition.
  • Delivering blood analysis results to a doctor.
  • When necessary, making emergency visits to resolve equipment problems.
  • When necessary, ordering equipment repairs.
  • To gain cooperation from patients, explain health care treatment procedures.
    Examining patients’ pulmonary function.
  • By planning and administering medically prescribed respiratory therapy, the patient’s pulmonary function is restored, pain is relieved, and life is supported.
  • Meets the goals and needs of the patient while also providing quality care by performing pulmonary function tests, assessing and interpreting evaluations and test results, and determining respiratory therapy treatment plans in consultation with physicians and by prescription.
  • Assists patients in carrying out their treatment plans and maintaining their quality of life by administering inhalants, operating mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, and aerosol generators.
  • Performs bronchopulmonary drainage, assists with breathing exercises, and monitors physiological responses to therapy, such as vital signs, arterial blood gases, and blood chemistry changes, to administer respiratory therapy treatments.
  • Treatments are directed by aides, technicians, and assistants.
  • Evaluates the effects of a respiratory therapy treatment plan by observing, noting, and evaluating the progress of the patient and recommending adjustments and modifications.
  • Consults with physicians, nurses, social workers, and other health care workers to complete discharge planning; participates in patient care conferences.
  • Assures that the therapeutic plan is followed after discharge by designing home exercise programs and instructing patients, families, and caregivers on how to use them.
  • Outpatient or home health follow-up programs are recommended and/or provided.
  • Charts in patient and department records to document patient care services.
  • By keeping information confidential, you can maintain patient trust while also protecting hospital operations.
  • Maintains a safe and clean workplace by adhering to procedures, rules, and regulations.
  • Adheres to infection-control policies and protocols to protect patients and employees.
  • Provides information and develops and implements in-service training programs for respiratory therapy staff.
  • Complies with federal, state, and local legal and certification requirements by researching existing and new legislation, anticipating future legislation, enforcing compliance, and advising management on appropriate actions.

Duties of a respiratory therapy

  1. Patients with breathing or cardiopulmonary disorders should be interviewed and examined.
  2. Consult with doctors about patients’ conditions and treatment plans.
  3. Conduct diagnostic tests
  4. Treat patients in a variety of ways.
  5. Track and record the progress of patients.
  6. Teach patients how to use medical equipment and medications.

Registered nurses, physicians and surgeons, and medical assistants collaborate closely with respiratory therapists. They use a variety of tests to assess patients. Respiratory therapists, for example, perform pulmonary function tests to assess lung capacity by having patients breathe into an instrument that measures the volume and flow of oxygen as they inhale and exhale. Therapists may also take blood samples and test oxygen and carbon dioxide levels with a blood gas analyzer.

Respiratory therapists also treat airway obstructions to improve breathing. Chest physiotherapy, for example, may be used to remove mucus from the lungs by tapping the patient’s chest and encouraging him or her to cough.

In an emergency, respiratory therapists may connect patients who are unable to breathe on their own to ventilators that deliver oxygen to the lungs. They set up and monitor the equipment to ensure that the patient receives the appropriate amount of oxygen at the appropriate rate.

Home respiratory therapists teach patients and their families how to use ventilators and other life-support systems. They may inspect and clean equipment, inspect the home for environmental hazards, and ensure that patients understand how to use their medications during these visits. When necessary, therapists also make emergency home visits.

Roles of a respiratory therapy

Respiratory therapists work under the supervision of doctors and treat a wide range of patients, from premature infants with underdeveloped lungs to elderly people with lung disease. They provide oxygen to patients, manage ventilators, and administer medications to the lungs.

The registered respiratory therapist (RRT) applies scientific knowledge and theory to clinical respiratory problems. The respiratory therapist is qualified to assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of CRT functions. Under the supervision of a physician, the respiratory therapist may be required to exercise considerable independent clinical judgment in the treatment of patients with respiratory dysfunction.

The respiratory therapist provides oxygen therapy, breathing treatments, humidity-aerosol therapy, pulmonary drainage procedures, mechanical ventilation, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Respiratory care practitioners work with adults, premature infants, and geriatric patients in surgical services, air and ground transport, multi-disciplinary nutrition teams, emergency departments, neonatal/pediatric intensive care, and medical, cardiac, and surgical intensive care in acute care hospitals. Practitioners can work in a variety of settings, including the diagnostic pulmonary laboratory, bronchoscopy laboratory, long-term acute care units, hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) units, or as a traveling therapist, home respiratory therapist, or pharmaceutical sales representative.

In the hospital, the respiratory therapist has a wide range of responsibilities. Responsibilities on a daily basis include various respiratory care modalities in the treatment of pulmonary diseases as well as advanced critical care procedures. The respiratory therapist is also skilled in the use of advanced diagnostic tools to accurately diagnose the severity of respiratory dysfunction in neonates, children, adults, and the elderly.

Respiratory therapy job qualifications / skills

An associate’s degree in respiratory therapy is typically required for respiratory therapists. Some companies prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree. Except for Alaska, all states require respiratory therapists to be licensed; requirements vary by state.

Respiratory therapy salary structure in USA

What is the average salary for a Registered Respiratory Therapist in the United States? As of September 26, 2022, the average Registered Respiratory Therapist salary in the United States is $73,241, with a salary range of $66,544 to $79,619.

Types of Respiratory Therapy

  • Long-term care is available. Almost one in every seven middle-aged and elderly people suffers from chronic lung disease.
  • Neonatal-pediatrics. This type of respiratory therapy is used in neonatal and pediatric units. …
  • Rehabilitation of the lungs.
  • Polysomnography is a type of sleep study.
  • Intensive care.


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