Welcome to the Respiratory Therapist Career Guide

The Respiratory Therapist Career Guide is authored by Kim Cateon, a veteran Registered Respiratory Therapist with more than twenty two years of combined experience in acute care, long-term acute care, home care and transitional/rehabilitative care of the respiratory patient.

As owner of this website, my goals are to present resources that are helpful, trustworthy and revealing respiratory therapy health and educational information, to aspiring respiratory therapists and cardiopulmonary patients.

The Respiratory Therapist Career Guide includes valuable information about respiratory therapist salary, respiratory therapist job description, expectations and information on respiratory therapy schools. It will be fresh with new weekly articles, news, thoughts and links. I aspire to counsel methodically, based on scientific research from doctors and best practices used in clinical settings.

I aspire to offer a service to respiratory patients seeking an added and fresh understanding of their pulmonary condition and potential solutions to elevate their quality of life as they live with their Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). It is my focus, to assist any respiratory patient who is recovering from a COPD exacerbation. Pulmonary Rehabilitation information on The Respiratory Therapist Career Guide website is formulated to assist COPD patients and their families.

As a respiratory therapist, ultimately my hope for this website is to provide resources that are stimulating, effective and ethical, simultaneously presenting a dependable fluid website that benefits others.

Respiratory therapists are health care professionals, dedicated to providing life-enhancing, life-supporting quality care to the elderly, adults, children and newborns.

Respiratory therapists work under the direction of qualified physicians to assess, manage, treat, perform diagnostic evaluation, educate and care for patients with abnormalities and deficiencies associated with the cardiopulmonary system.

Respiratory therapists work throughout hospitals, usually in emergency room settings and intensive care units.

Therapists are a unique blend of technically sharp, analytical thinkers and patient-centered caregivers.

Some therapists focus on pediatric/neonatal care while others specialize in pulmonary rehabilitation and continuing care in patient homes or rehabilitative care facilities.

Respiratory therapists may also work in areas such medical equipment sales, cardiopulmonary diagnostics or education and management.

With an educational degree as a respiratory therapist you will have job security in this fast growing profession. Respiratory therapists are in demand. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics state there will be a 28% increase in respiratory therapist employment from the the year 2010 through 2020. In 2010 there were 112,700 respiratory therapy jobs. That equates into 31,500 more respiratory therapist jobs. This demand is secondary to baby boomer generation aging and now requiring more medical care, smoking and the environmental impact on diseases such as asthma.

Technological advances in the treatment of cardiopulmonary disease gives respiratory therapists the ability to perform state-of-the-art therapeutic and diagnostic procedures. You will be a life-long learner as you advance in your career.

As a respiratory therapist you grow and gain strong interpersonal skills as you develop professional relationships with your peers. You gain respect, recognition and have an appreciation of how people just like you make the world a better place by helping others.

Respiratory Therapist Job Description

As a respiratory therapist you have the flexibility to work a varied schedule. The type of schedule you work will be your choice. It will either be an eight or twelve hour shift. You then work either the day shift 7:00am to 3:00pm, the evening shift 3:00pm to 11:00pm or the night shift 11:00pm to 7:00am. The twelve hours shifts will be 7:00am to 7:00pm and 7:00pm to 7:00am. You likely will work every other weekend and every other holiday. The respiratory therapist…read more

Respiratory Therapist Education Requirements

As a respiratory therapist you must have a minimum of an associate degree from an accredited respiratory therapy education program. The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) is the organization that accredits schools of respiratory therapy. There are two state license levels awarded to those who pass their state board examinations that are formulated by the e American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC)…read more

What Does a Respiratory Therapist Do?

As a respiratory therapist you are fortunate to work in many different settings. In acute care hospitals you care for patients who may be in respiratory distress and in urgent need of breathing treatments, diagnostic testing, perhaps they even need to be treated acutely and placed on a ventilator to manage their respiratory failure. As a respiratory therapist you also work in a blood gas laboratory to analyze arterial…read more

Respiratory Therapist Skills

Critical thinking is one of many needed skills you perfect over the years as a respiratory therapist. You will calmly and confidently exercise judgment under extremely stressful situations. In the midst of a medical emergency you help to make decisions that will affect your patient’s very outcome for you are one of few that are present when the patient is having the most difficulty…read more

Respiratory Therapist Job Expectations

In your quest to become a respiratory therapist you will acquire focused skills to care for patients with respiratory insufficiencies. You will need at least a two year college degree and take state board exams to obtain a state license to practice. In a college degree program you will take courses encompassing anatomy and physiology, microbiology, chemistry, psychology, pharmacology and the fundamentals of respiratory care…read more

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

As a respiratory therapist working in a Rehabilitation or Transitional Care/Skilled Nursing setting you will collaborate with a team providing a structured set of services two or three times per week for six to twelve weeks. It involves exercise training under the supervision of a healthcare professional, education about self-management strategies, nutrition, teaching your patient to partner with his or her doctor, and how your patient can apply what they learn at home….read more

Real Life Clinical Scenario From a Respiratory Therapist

Have you been wondering how exactly a respiratory therapist helps someone to breathe? I will present you with a clinical scenario so that you can follow a patient from beginning to end. Mr. T. is admitted to the emergency room (ER) with difficulty breathing. His respiratory rate is 40 (normal is 16-20), his lips are cyanotic (lips are blue) and his oxygen (O2) saturation is 85% (normal is 93-100%). The first thing you will do is put him in oxygen…read more