This article describes the role of a respiratory therapist, his/her importance in the medical field and his/her annual income levels for 2011 ( as at 01.04.2011).
The Role of a respiratory therapist
A respiratory therapist is found working in the critical care areas of a hospital such as Intensive Care ,Emergency Rooms and Operating Theaters. Function of a respiratory therapist
Respiratory therapists commonly treat patients with breathing difficulties. They administer medication and use medical equipment/ respirators and ventilators to relieve breathing ailments such as asthma ,emphysema, and other lung disorders. Knowledge of the management of chronic respiratory conditions is necessary as respiratory disease can cause death (for example: COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Part of the work is assessment and diagnosis of the patient .To work as a professional respiratory therapist, one would have to undergo professional training. Other necessary values
As one would work in a “multidisciplinary team”, good communication skills as well as a caring outlook are essential for this role.
Certification for a respiratory therapist - job demands
Factors affecting wage
The wage varies globally. University background, location and experience will sometimes affect the amount earned. Overtime is another factor which can increase yearly wage levels in this area of work. In the United States there are two levels of qualifications:
- A certified therapist qualification and
- A registered respiratory therapist /RRT qualification Distance learning
There are quite a few distance learning courses that cover degree / modules in Respiratory Therapy. An average working week for a respiratory therapist is
30- 40 hours.
Restoration of health
The respiratory therapist is primarily in control of therapeutic treatments – structuring breathing exercises for affected patients in order to enhance their breathing method is a common activity.
As hospitals operate “around the clock”, the respiratory therapist has to adhere to a flexible schedule, working in close correspondence with doctors and physicians( often in an emergency setting). Requirements
An interest at school level in Chemistry, Biology, Maths, and Health will assist one in preparation for a career as a respiratory therapist. In the United States, you will be required to pass the board exams set by the National Board for Respiratory Care. Degree programmes have been developed for this – specifically the BSc Hons in Respiratory Practice programme. A respiratory therapist working full time within the NHS can expect to earn between 25,472 to 34,198 pounds per annum in 2011.
Author's final word
The tasks that a respiratory therapist performs are complex. They require diagnosis and treatment , treating both infants and adults. The salary is appealing as there is a demand for this Health specialisation. Many cases related to breathing difficulties are referred to hospitals.