The goal of a respiratory therapist is to assure that patients are able to breathe and that a proper amount of oxygen reaches the brain and body tissues. Advances in technology and training are allowing respiratory therapists to take on more patient-care responsibility, acting as a physician extender in the growing field of respiratory care.
Expansion of job roles is one of the exciting changes occurring in this field thanks to advances in technology and training. Respiratory therapists act as valuable physician extenders because of more patient-care responsibilities.
After receiving a two-year associate degree, respiratory therapists enter the workforce with an average annual earnings potential of $50,000 or higher. They work in hospitals, nursing care facilities and homes with patients who have breathing problems, such as asthma. Some students transfer on to a four-year school for a bachelor’s degree in the field.
Role of respiratory therapists
- Interview and examine patients with breathing or cardiopulmonary disorders
- Consult with physicians to develop patient treatment plans
- Perform diagnostic tests such as measuring lung capacity
- Treat patients by using a variety of methods, including chest physiotherapy and aerosol medications
- Monitor and record the progress of treatment
- Supervise respiratory therapy technicians during tests
- Teach patients how to use treatments
Get a degree. Get to work.
JCCC is proud of its 100 percent job placement rate for respiratory care degree recipients. Once working in the industry, respiratory therapists keep current on health care trends with continuing education opportunities. Because they are compassionate, problem solvers, detailed oriented and patient, respiratory therapists often times go on to become managers, administrators, supervisors and educators.