Respiratory therapy technicians generally work in medical sleep laboratories which attempt to correct sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. These technicians usually work under the supervision of a respiratory therapist and are present during various stages of sleep therapy, such as testing, therapy, and treatments to help therapists solve problems and diagnose disorders.
In-depth knowledge of sleep disorders and how they are best treated is essential in this position, and many technicians also have basic office duties such as organizing and updating patients' medical records, checking insurance eligibility, scheduling appointments, and answering phone calls.. They often serve as links between the medical facility and the patients and other outside parties, so strong written and verbal communication skills are important. They also educate patients regarding how therapeutic steps should be carried out at home, so it is important to communicate clearly and resolve any misunderstandings to ensure the success of the program.
Those in this position may work with patients of various ages and communication skills, so patience is an important virtue to possess; customer service skills are also important in order to ensure patients' satisfaction. Graduation from an accredited respiratory care program with licensing is often required for this position, but not by all employers. CPR certification may be required. Some employers may prefer applicants who have prior experience in a similar position, though some entry-level positions are available.
Respiratory Therapy Technician Tasks
Explain treatment procedures to patients.
Under the direction of respiratory therapists and physicians, provide specific respiratory care procedures.
Set ventilators and various oxygen device equipment controls to regulate the flow of oxygen, gases, mists or aerosols.
Monitor patients during treatment and report any unusual reactions to the respiratory therapist.
Keep records of patients' therapy, completing all necessary forms.