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Respiratory therapists assess, treat, and care for patients with heart and lung problems. A respiratory therapist performs assessment, therapeutic, and diagnostic procedures such as oxygen and medication administration, blood gas analysis, lung function, or cardiac function tests. Respiratory therapists also provide life support to patients by providing mechanical ventilation, physiologic monitoring of blood, airway control, and CPR if necessary.
Respiratory therapists work in many areas of hospitals, including ICU, ER, laboratory, pulmonary/cardiac rehabilitation, and sleep studies. Respiratory therapists generally work between 35 and 40 hours a week. Because hospitals operate around the clock, therapists may work daytime, evenings, nights, or weekends.
Other workplace settings:
The BLS reports employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 23 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.
About 10,100 openings for respiratory therapists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
Respiratory therapists must complete a minimum of a 2-year associate degree to take an entry-level exam required by the State of Connecticut.
Training is offered at the postsecondary level by community college, colleges and universities, and trade schools. Programs prepare graduates for jobs as registered respiratory therapists (RRT) or certified respiratory therapists (CRT).
Licensure is required by the state of Connecticut. Prerequisites: An approved Respiratory Therapy program; National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc.’s (NBRC); Entry level or advanced practitioner credential as a certified Respiratory Therapy Technician or Registered Respiratory Therapist.
American Association for Respiratory Care
9425 MacArthur Boulevard
Irving, TX 75063-4706