Respiratory Therapist Duties

Respiratory Therapist Duties

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Working as a respiratory therapist is quite rewarding. Before you decide to pursue this profession as a career, however, it is important for you to gain a thorough understanding of respiratory therapist duties and what these duties entail. After all, the last thing you want is to complete two years of schooling only to learn that this really isn''t the right career for you.

Although respiratory therapist duties do vary slightly from one employer to the next, the basic duties associated with this career are pretty much the same. First, you will be called upon to interview your patients in order to learn more about their health and to get a better idea of what treatments have already been used. At this time, you will also conduct a chest examination that involves listening to the lungs with a stethoscope.

Next, the respiratory therapist needs to determine the proper course of action for treating the patient. This is partially determined by the patient''s health history, the results of blood work designed to test blood gas levels, and the orders given by the doctor and other health care professionals.

After the treatment plan has been established, the respiratory therapist''s duties involve setting the patient up on ventilators and other devices that are designed to help clear out the patient''s airways. Although the doctor usually installs the actual airway devices, the respiratory therapist makes certain the equipment is running properly and is effectively helping the patient breathe clearly. If an emergency situation arises, the respiratory therapist must be prepared to perform CPR and other life-saving techniques. In addition to stabilizing the patient''s breathing, the respiratory therapist must also help calm the patient and make him or her comfortable.

It is important to note that respiratory therapist duties can vary according to location. For example, a respiratory therapist who works at a nursing home will work with a different type of population than one who works at a hospital. In addition, a respiratory therapist may choose to work in a facility that specializes in working with patients with certain types of conditions, such as working with lung cancer patients, newborns with underdeveloped lungs and patients who are suffering from pneumonia or other specific conditions.

Although respiratory therapist duties vary slightly from one employer to the next, the overall duty of the therapist is to make sure the patient is able to breathe as freely and clearly as possible.

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