Respiratory Therapist and respiratory therapy technicians evaluate, treat, and care for patients with breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders. Working under the direction of a physician, Respiratory Therapists are responsible for all respiratory care, therapeutic treatments and diagnostic procedures, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians.
Respiratory Therapists consult with physicians and other health care staff to help develop and modify patient care plans. Respiratory Therapists also provide complex therapy requiring considerable independent judgment, such as caring for patients on life support in intensive-care units of hospitals.
As part of the Respiratory Therapists job they evaluate and treat all types of patients, ranging from premature infants whose lungs are not fully developed to elderly people whose lungs are diseased. Respiratory Therapists provide temporary relief to patients with chronic asthma or emphysema, and they give emergency care to patients who are victims of a heart attack, stroke, drowning, or shock.
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