Interested in Pursuing a Future as a Respiratory Therapist?

Apr 14 2020

Respiratory Therapy students working with equipment

If you’re wondering where to take your future next, why not consider finding a career in the healthcare industry? There are a variety of options, from Veterinary Technology to a Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Another option is to become a Respiratory Therapist, who have especially important roles right now. Here’s an overview of the Respiratory Therapist career.

What Is a Respiratory Therapist?

A Respiratory Therapist is a healthcare professional who specializes in the cardiopulmonary (relating to the heart and lungs) system. They care for all people, including:

  • Infants
  • Pediatrics
  • Adults
  • Geriatrics

They can help with all types of cardiopulmonary illnesses and diseases, too.

PCI Respiratory Therapy instructor demonstrating to students.

What Is the Day in the Life of a Respiratory Therapist Like?

Each day for a Respiratory Therapist is different from the last. The day may start with completing breathing treatments and performing Oxygen Exercise Testing. Then, a code goes off, and the Respiratory Therapist must assist the physician and nurse with chest compressions and intubation.

This results in the patient being transferred to the ICU, where the Respiratory Therapist manages the mechanical ventilator. And the day could end with a call for the Transport Team to pick up a patient in severe respiratory distress and transfer them back to the hospital.

Respiratory Therapists work as part of a team to make sure patients are taken care of and necessary care is given. As each patient is different, there’s always an opportunity to learn and grow more.

Respiratory Therapy is not a mundane career. Physicians and nurses count on the Respiratory Therapist to help manage and care for the cardiopulmonary patients. They can also think outside the box to solve problems for patients. The reward is watching patients recover and go home to their loved ones.

What Credentials Do You Need To Become a Respiratory Therapist?

In order to become a Respiratory Therapist, someone will take their medical boards after graduation through the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC). Once successfully passed, the Respiratory Therapist will acquire the credential of Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) or Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) depending on their passing score.

Where Can Respiratory Therapists Work?

Respiratory Therapists can work in more than just hospitals. Depending on who they want to work with can determine where they find a career. A Respiratory Therapist can gain employment in places, like:

  • Hospitals
  • Pulmonary Rehab
  • Sleep Centers
  • Home Health Care
  • Pulmonary Function Testing
  • Long Term Care Facilities
  • Transport Teams (ground and air)
  • Education

You can choose from a variety of places, and an education at Pittsburgh Career Institute can help find the right fit for you. We offer a variety of career services, including tips to succeed at our career fairs and on-site interviews, too!

With the COVID-19 Pandemic, What Is the Role of a Respiratory Therapist?

COVID-19 has brought to the forefront the need for Respiratory Therapists. COVID-19 has damaged countless people’s lungs in ways no health care professional expected. Victims of the pandemic are placed on mechanical ventilation or other oxygen devices to alleviate the damage and destruction of the illness.

PCI students working with Respiratory Therapy instructor.

The Respiratory Therapist is the specialist on the front line that assists in maintaining the patient’s breathing and assists the physicians to maneuver therapies that will be more beneficial to the patient, allowing them to successfully recover from this illness. The Respiratory Therapist recognizes one treatment doesn’t fit all.

Their expertise in mechanical ventilation and the cardiopulmonary system allows them to think outside of the box to find optimal ways to treat this growing illness.

Want To Learn More About Respiratory Therapy?

As the need for more Respiratory Therapists increases, it’s a good time to explore the education you can use to become one. You can learn more about the field of Respiratory Therapy as part of our Respiratory Therapy Career Guide.

You can also take the next steps to learn how to get started by getting in touch with us. Schedule a tour to learn more about our Respiratory Therapy program and take the next steps to apply.

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