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Respiratory Therapist

Career Highlights

  • Treatment of respiratory problems
  • Help patients with airway management
  • Career has grown significantly and expanding

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Career Summary

Respiratory therapist lungsRespiratory therapists are also known as inhalation therapists and treat patients who have difficulty breathing. They work with all types of patients, from premature infants to stroke victims to elderly patients with lung disease.

They specialize in the assessment and treatment of respiratory and cardiovascular pathologies. Such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and COPD. They initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, check, and operate equipment such as respirators and ventilators. To evaluate patients, respiratory therapists interview them, perform limited physical examinations, and conduct diagnostic tests.

Most respiratory therapists work in hospitals under the supervision of physicians, but a growing number are contracted outside of hospitals in home health agencies and nursing homes. Respiratory therapy has grown significantly through the past four decades. Airway management is a number-one skill needed by a respiratory therapist as well as vascular access for intravenous lines (IV). Some respiratory therapists are specially trained in helping in the operating room (OR) and the tasks are expanding into areas such as pulmonary rehabilitation and smoking termination counseling.




Requires a degree in:

  • Respiratory Therapy

Career Skills

  • Asthma Medicine & treatment
  • Customer / Personal Service
  • Psychology
  • Ability to educate & Train

Additional Information



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*Salary ranges based on location, experience, and demand. This number represents a rough nation-wide average.