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Career as a Respiratory Therapist

Job Opportunities for Respiratory Therapists Among numerous career choice, respiratory therapist is demanding career in medical area. Respiratory care is a jobwise and personally satisfying career with a combination of technology and patient interaction. Patients with acute and chronic respiratory problems require direct care of Respiratory therapists.

Candidates work in the respiratory care lab with the breathing equipment. The respiratory therapist is responsible for diagnosis, monitoring and treating patients with health care issues that affect the cardiopulmonary system such as asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, cardiovascular disorders, and trauma.

Education Requirements to Become a Respiratory Therapist

Candidates who want to choose career as respiratory therapist must complete Bachelor’s degree programs in Respiratory Therapy and must gain experience in the field. Candidates who have passed 10+2 with Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics with a minimum of 60% marks can apply for bachelor’s degree course in respiratory therapy. Candidates can also complete postgraduate program in Respiratory Therapy to enhance their career. The minimum eligibility for M.Sc. Respiratory Therapy is B.Sc. in Respiratory Therapy degree with 50% marks.

Institutes that offer Postgraduate program in Respiratory Therapy for MBBS candidates is MediCiti Hospital, Hyderabad. Graduate students who have science background can also make career as a respiratory therapist by pursuing a diploma course in Respiratory therapy/ technology. There are several institutes in India offering 1-year diploma course, 2-year Postgraduate diploma and advanced Postgraduate diploma in Respiratory Therapy.

Training program in respiratory therapist

Respiratory Courses offer training on respiratory anatomy, physiology & diseases, medical physics, comprehensive training on handling ventilators, blood gas, acid base abnormalities.

Students are also trained to deliver therapeutic and life support services to patients, which involves administration of gases and aerosols, ventilator life services as well as cardiopulmonary assessment and monitoring. They will also learn how to treat all kinds of patients from premature infants having developing lungs, to elderly patients with lung ailments, and emergency care to patients who have had a heart attack, stroke or shock.

Some Courses in a Respiratory Therapy Program

  1. Medical terminology

  2. Anatomy and Physiology

  3. Microbiology

  4. Cardiovascular system

  5. Respiratory-based therapeutics

  6. Pulmonary care

  7. Mechanical ventilation

  8. Pharmacology

Skills and area of command of respiratory therapists

They work in hospitals or medical institutes. It is very sensitive area therefore candidates must have following skills to become successful respiratory therapist:

  • Oral and written communication skills

  • Patience

  • Persistence

  • Dedication

  • Good hand eye coordination

  • Team work spirit

  • Critical thinking

  • Compassion

  • Active listening

  • Problem solving & decision-making skills

  • Excellent organizational

  • Interpersonal skills

Candidates who want to pursue career as respiratory therapist must also possess a substantial physical and emotional strength to spend long periods of time working with a single patient as well as the capability to work under pressure and handle competing priorities.

In the hospital setting, the respiratory therapists extend their services such as care and life support to patients in the emergency room, intensive care units, general hospital areas, the pulmonary diagnostics laboratory and other specialty areas such as rehabilitation. They use advanced equipment and the modern medical procedures to aid patients and may be recruited in non-hospital settings also.

There are several types of patients who receive care from a respiratory therapist. It may be infant, teens, youth or elderly people. The respiratory specialist also conduct diagnostic testing of infants, children and adults with fundamental medical concerns including disease and sleep disorders.

Respiratory therapists have to deal with sophisticated medical equipment such as mechanical ventilators, computer based testing equipment and other devices. Therefore they must have thoughtful knowledge of applying these devices for the care and treatment of patients.

Respiratory therapy courses in India

  1. Advanced PG Diploma in Respiratory Therapy Technology

  2. B.Sc. Respiratory Therapy

  3. Diploma in Respiratory Therapy Technician Course

  4. Diploma in Respiratory Therapy Training

  5. Fellowship Program in Respiratory Therapy

  6. M.Sc. Respiratory Therapy

  7. P.G Diploma in Respiratory Therapy Technology

  8. Post Graduate Program in Respiratory Therapy

  9. Respiratory Therapist Training

Work setting

There are numerous institutes that recruit respiratory therapist. They can work in a number of work environments, from hospitals, to nursing care facilities, to private doctor offices, to out-patient care in the patient’s home. Respiratory therapists who work in doctor’s offices tend to work regular hours, but those recruited in hospitals or nursing care facilities may work during night or vacation hours. Respiratory therapists are generally employed in Intensive care units, emergency departments, Operating rooms, Neonatal nurseries and critical care teams in hospitals. Nursing homes, clinics and health care centres, pulmonary rehab centres, pulmonary function testing labs also offer openings for respiratory therapists.

Main duties of Respiratory Therapist

The prime duty of a respiratory therapist is to provide administration of oxygen, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, management of mechanical ventilators, administering drugs to the lungs, monitoring cardiopulmonary systems and measuring lung function.

In general, respiratory therapists perform following duties in medical settings:

  1. Examine and interview patients with breathing/cardiopulmonary problems.

  2. Conduct diagnostic tests.

  3. Develop a treatment program after consultation with physicians.

  4. Implement treatment programs.

  5. Monitor and keep records of treatment progress.

  6. Manage respiratory therapy technicians when they implement tests and evaluate the findings.

  7. Provide emergency care.

They also have duty to;

  • Diagnose lung and breathing disorders and recommending treatment methods.

  • Interview patients and perform chest physical exams to determine what kind of therapy is best for their condition.

  • Consult with doctors to recommend a change in therapy, based on an evaluation of the patient.

  • Analyse breath, tissue, and blood specimens to determine levels of oxygen and other gases.

  • Manage ventilators and artificial airway devices for patients who cannot breathe normally on their own.

  • Educate patients and their families about lung disease for fast recovery.

Job prospect for respiratory therapists is bright. These candidates can earn good amount of money.

It can be said that Respiratory therapists offer care and treatment for patients who complain breathing and cardiopulmonary difficulties. They may also provide emergency medical care for patients who have experienced asphyxiation, heart attacks, or shock.