Patients who suffer from asthma, pneumonia, trauma or cardiovascular disorders may require the assistance of a respiratory therapist. These medical professionals provide respiratory therapy through an array of breathing techniques with different medical equipment and practices. Most commonly, you will find these health care workers in emergency rooms, intensive care units or rehabilitation practices.
During respiratory therapy, a patient will work to improve their breathing. From seniors to premature newborns, there's no designated age for who may require this type of treatment. However, it is important that the patient receives care and treatment to make completing daily tasks a little bit easier.1
RTs know what measures to take for proper treatment of respiratory issues after they've completed an interview with the patient. This includes a series of questions regarding symptoms as well as breathing tests. In the case of an infant or severe medical issue, they will likely need to perform chest exams and may even take samples of tissue to analyze. Still, it's important to note that respiratory therapists work under the supervision of doctors as part of a health care team during treatment.2
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the future job outlook for those in the RT profession is expected increase at a rate that is faster than average – 28 percent.3 This may be in part due to the fact that Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease has become the fourth leading cause of death in adults with respiratory issues – such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.4 This is why it's so important for individuals dealing with these types of health concerns to consult a professional for assistance in maintenance and recovery.
1 University of Kansas Medical Center, "What is a respiratory therapist?" January 17, 2013
2 Mayo Clinic, "Respiratory care"
3 United State Department of Labor, "Respiratory therapists" April 6, 2012
4 ExploreHEALTHCareers.org, "Respiratory therapist" December 11, 2013