A registered respiratory therapist is responsible for delivering competent, skilled care to patients and their loved ones based on the patients' needs.
Registered respiratory therapist perform all diagnostic and respiratory care for acute and chronically ill pulmonary patients. This will include spirometry, pulse oximetry, exhaled gas monitoring, inhaled medication, and chest physiotherapy, as well weaning parameters. Registered respiratory therapist manage the patient’s airways through suctioning, assisting in intubations and changing tracheotomy tubes. Registered respiratory therapist collaborate with physicians by suggesting solutions and care plans, as well as assisting in writing reports.
These therapists work in a team-oriented area and need to possess good customer service skills, sound judgment, and the ability to make quick decisions. They deal with patients and families on a regular basis, so it is important to have good people skills and be able to act calmly and quickly in diagnoses and follow-up care. It is important to have the stamina to keep up in a fast-paced job environment. Most registered respiratory therapist need to have wide availability, as they are required to work nights, weekends, and some holidays. They may be required to work long hours or for many days without a day off.
Registered respiratory therapist must be CPR certified. A two-year respiratory therapy (RT) program must be completed, and applicants must be a registered respiratory therapist or be registry eligible. Some employers may also require an associate's degree in respiratory care and/or some critical care experience. Respiratory therapists also should have BLS (Basic Life Support) and ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certifications.
Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) Tasks
- Maintain patient charts with therapy information.
- Inspect, clean, and test respiratory therapy equipment.
- Monitor patient's physiological responses to therapy; vital signs, arterial blood gases and blood chemistry changes and consult with physician if adverse reactions occur.
- 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.