Respiratory therapists have a single, yet critical focus: helping patients breathe. The body can’t function without oxygen, and breathing is how the body gets oxygen. Your job will be to help make that happen.
You’ll assist physicians in lifesaving functions as you conduct diagnostic testing, administer treatments and monitor life support equipment. It’s an intense and highly sought-after field.
The Job of a Respiratory Therapist
You’ll also be able to assist in the diagnosis and management of cardiopulmonary deficiencies and abnormalities, and use sophisticated equipment to measure lung function and monitor heart function.
Patients you treat may include newborns, trauma victims, drowning victims, and patients suffering from asthma, bronchitis, coronary heart disease, emphysema and pneumonia.
When you complete your education at a respiratory therapy school, you’ll receive an associate degree. While earning your degree, you’ll be required to master courses in human anatomy and physiology, plus pathophysiology, chemistry, physics, microbiology, pharmacology, and mathematics, to name a few.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics*, the odds of finding a job as a respiratory therapist are highly stacked in your favor. In fact, there are probably more jobs out there than applicants, with most jobs opening in hospitals (statistically speaking).
This is an exciting field with a high job demand, and where a person can really make a difference in the lives of his or her patients.