What is a respiratory therapist?
Respiratory therapists are specially trained healthcare professionals who help treat
and restore function for patients with airway and breathing problems. They often assess
and treat patients with the following conditions:
Low oxygen levels
Tracheostomy tubes (a special type of breathing tube for patients unable to breathe
through their mouth and nose)
Ventilators (machines that breathe for patients with certain conditions, such as spinal
cord injuries, who are unable to breathe on their own)
Chronic heart or lung problems that require breathing treatments and assistance
They may work in various settings in rehabilitation, including neurological (nervous
system), cardiac (heart), and pulmonary (lungs) settings. Respiratory therapists may
practice in a variety of settings, including the following:
Respiratory therapists may have either an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree
in respiratory therapy, and many are either registered or certified in their specialty.