What Does a Pediatric Respiratory Therapist Do?

Nov 02 2020

Doctor smiling while listening for little boy's hearbeat

Did you know you could become a Respiratory Therapist in as little as 90 weeks? Working in the field of Respiratory Therapy can lead to an exciting career in the healthcare industry.

Many people think that Respiratory Therapists work mainly with elderly people; however, respiratory problems aren’t only prevalent in adults! Many children need the help of a knowledgeable and fun Respiratory Therapist to help them with their conditions as well. If you’ve always wanted to have a meaningful career working with children, becoming a Respiratory Therapist could be the perfect place for you. Find out more about what you could do in the future as a Respiratory Therapist working with children!

What is a Respiratory Therapist?

Respiratory Therapists are healthcare practitioners who specialize in diseases and conditions involving the lungs and the respiratory system. They work with people who have infections or any other disorders with breathing. Respiratory Therapists often work in intensive care units and operating rooms. They are also used in outpatient clinics and home-health environments, making Respiratory Therapists a very versatile and important part of the healthcare industry.

If you choose to focus in working with kids as a respiratory therapist, it can become a very rewarding career helping them overcome respiratory problems such as asthma or emphysema. It will be an important part of your job to help children understand that they can live normal lives, even with a respiratory condition!

Who do Respiratory Therapists Focusing on Pediatrics Work With?

Although there are people of all ages who benefit from seeing respiratory therapists, children can also be affected by respiratory conditions. Many children and teens suffer from lung diseases and ailments that may restrict growth and development. Proper breathing practices and pulmonary awareness are critical for people of all ages to consider but especially for those who are more vulnerable because they are still growing.

Sometimes people assume that as a Respiratory Therapist you will work mostly with elderly people, but children also require help in this area regularly.
Some respiratory conditions that are common among kids include:

  • Asthma
  • Emphysema
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Wheezing Cough
  • Respiratory Disease
  • Influenza
  • Respiratory Tract Infection

These problems, along with many others, affect children and need medical attention. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, asthma is the leading cause of children missing school and afflicts around 10 percent of children.

Doctor helping a young bow use and inhaler

As a Respiratory Therapist, you could work one-on-one with children who have problems with asthma, and help provide the care they need. Through interviewing, assessing the symptoms, examining, then consulting with physicians, each patient can have a treatment plan developed for them.

Not only will Respiratory Therapists handle illnesses such as those mentioned above, but they also can handle cases of emergency care to individuals who have experienced events such as heart attacks, shock, or drownings.

Great Traits of Respiratory Therapists Focusing on Pediatrics

Working with children can be a fun way to spend your day at work! They have upbeat and hopeful countenances that can make working in pediatrics rewarding. Even though you don’t necessarily have to have all of these qualities to work with children, it helps if you enjoy being around them and, they like working with you too!

Here are some traits that fit well with being a Respiratory Therapist for children:

  • Compassionate
  • Patient
  • Adaptable
  • Determined
  • Dedicated
  • Young-spirited
  • Fun
  • Kind

Are Respiratory Therapists in Demand?

Yes, Respiratory Therapists are in demand! In fact, the job outlook for a respiratory therapist from 2019 to 2029 is predicted to grow by 19%. Compared to the average of 4% for all jobs this is much faster than average.

Pittsburgh Career Institute strives to help each Respiratory Therapist student that graduates from our school enter the field prepared. We do not guarantee employment, but our career services team can help students look for jobs through many different avenues, including career events.

Becoming a Respiratory Therapist

If becoming a Respiratory Therapist that works with children sounds like the perfect career for you, a great place to start the process is taking a tour of Pittsburgh Career Institute! We have committed staff members to help you reach your goals in a variety of different medical and healthcare-related fields. You can meet these staff members, learn more about our Respiratory Therapy program, discuss financial aid options*, and more when you come for a visit to our school! Start the application process today!

*Financial aid available to those who qualify.

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