Positions as a certified respiratory therapist (CRT) are commonly available in medical facilities such as hospitals and medical centers. The position has strict requirements related to licensing and credentials, which vary by state and position. Some certifications that may be required include registered respiratory therapist (RRT), certified respiratory therapist (CRT), basic life support (BLS), advanced cardiovascular life support (ALCS), and state licensing. At least one year of experience is generally required or preferred, especially in a similar setting (such as home care or pediatric care).
Daily duties for CRTs include various categories of work such as critical, general, rehabilitative, and facility care. This often involves working alongside physicians and other staff members, as well as working directly with patients. Typical tasks performed by CRTs include helping with aerosol therapy, oxygen equipment, and other healthcare equipment, as well as educating patients and families about how to use equipment, conducting regular checkups, and completing paperwork and logs of all work done.
The job is fairly limited in its physical requirements. Technical knowledge of a variety of relevant tools such as ventilators and bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) equipment is necessary to be successful in this role. Work hours may vary and could include night shifts and/or weekend work. Work is often done indoors, but travel to patient homes or remote locations may be necessary in some positions.
Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) Tasks
Determine requirements for treatment; type, method and duration of therapy based on physicians' orders.
Set up and operate mechanical and therapeutic devices following specified parameters of treatment.
Monitor patient's physiological responses to therapy; vital signs, arterial blood gases and blood chemistry changes and consult with physician if adverse reactions occur.
Maintain patient charts with therapy information.
Inspect, clean, and test respiratory therapy equipment.