Respiratory therapists evaluate, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. To evaluate patients, therapists
test the capacity of the lungs and analyze oxygen and carbon monoxide concentration. They also measure the patient’s
hydrogen level, which indicates the acidity or alkalinity level of the blood.
To measure lung capacity, therapists have patients breathe into an instrument that measures the volume and flow of oxygen
during inhalation and exhalation. By comparing the reading with the norm for the patient’s age, height, weight, and sex,
respiratory therapists can determine whether lungs deficiencies exist.
To analyze oxygen, carbon dioxide, and pH levels, therapists draw an arterial blood sample, place it in a blood gas analyzer,
and relay the results to a physician. Respiratory therapists generally work between 35 to 40 hours a week. Because hospitals
operate around the clock, therapists may work evenings, nights or weekends. They spend long periods of time standing
and walking between patients’ rooms. In an emergency, therapists work under a great deal of stress.
Respiratory Care Technology is a two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree program. The Respiratory Therapist student
applies scientific knowledge and theory to practical clinical problems related to the patient with cardiopulmonary problems.
The knowledge and skills for these functions are achieved through formal didactic, laboratory, and clinical preparation.
Under medical supervision, the Respiratory Therapist is required to exercise considerable independent clinical judgment
in the respiratory care of patients. This program prepares the graduate for the two levels of national credentialing.
The Respiratory Therapist is required to have a state license to practice. He/She may work variable hours and shifts, depending on the place of employment, 24hrs/day, server days/wk.
For More Information contact:
Phone (915) 831-4422