What does a Respiratory Therapist do?
Respiratory therapists help patients who have trouble breathing by providing general and emergency respiratory therapy. This entails assessing patients by performing diagnostic tests and evaluations, treating patients, and tracking progress. Most respiratory therapists work in hospitals or skilled nursing facilities.
Respiratory therapists must have an associate's degree in respiratory therapy from an accredited respiratory program and be licensed as a Registered Respiratory Therapist. To become licensed, they must pass a national certification exam and complete any additional licensure requirements, as determined by the state of practice. The best respiratory therapists are compassionate, possess great interpersonal skills, and have a strong grasp on anaomy and physiology.
- Perform assessments and diagnostic procedures to determine patient treatment needs
- Make recommendations for respiratory care and treatment
- Perform treatment procedures according to patient needs
- Modify care plan based on patient progress and treatment effectiveness
- Operate, maintain, and repair respiratory equipment to ensure proper functioning, cleanliness, and operation
- Comply with all outlined safety and health standards
- Document patient's respiratory care
- Educate the patient, family, and team on respiratory problems and treatment
- associate's Degree in Respiratory Care from an accredited respiratory care program
- Current Registered Respiratory Therapist license in state of practice
- 1 year of experience in respiratory therapy
- Working knowledge of respiratory equipment and medical supplies
- Strong leadership skills and a professional attitude
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Ability to manage the emotional stress of working with and caring for terminally ill patients/families
- Familiar with safety and confidentiality standards
- Comfortable working independently
Respiratory Therapist Career Path
Learn how to become a Respiratory Therapist, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
Average Years of Experience
Respiratory Therapist Insights
“I have been with 4 staffing agencies and Cody Rivera has been the best account manager to work with.”
“I am not sure how much longer it can remain such a great place to work.”
“Good team work and clean”
“Friendly staff and I enjoy working here”
“Good pay and I personally loved my recruiter”
“great facility to work and earn experiences”
“Providing opportunities to learn and grow in our careers”
“Mercy shift pay is great.”
Respiratory Therapist Interviews
Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a Respiratory Therapist
When working as a Respiratory Therapist, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, BLS Certification, Critical Thinking, ICU and CPR Certified.
- Outpatient Therapist
- Mental Health Therapist
- Behavior Therapist
The most common qualifications to become a Respiratory Therapist is a minimum of a Associate's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.