Provides respiratory care under the direction of respiratory therapists and physicians.
This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.
A person in this career:
- Works with patients in areas such as the emergency rooms, neonatal or pediatric intensive care, or surgical intensive care, treating conditions such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, cystic fibrosis, or pneumonia.
- Monitors patients during treatment and reports any unusual reactions to the respiratory therapist.
- Keeps records of patients' therapy, completing all necessary forms.
- Uses ventilators or various oxygen devices or aerosol and breathing treatments in the provision of respiratory therapy.
- Follows and enforces safety rules applying to equipment.
- Sets equipment controls to regulate the flow of oxygen, gases, mists, or aerosols.
- Collects and analyzes arterial blood gas samples.
- Reads and evaluates physicians' orders and patients' chart information to determine patients' condition and treatment protocols.
- Assesses patients' response to treatments and modifies treatments according to protocol if necessary.
- Prepares or tests devices, such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, aerosol generators, or electrocardiogram (EKG) machines.