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RESPIRATORY THERAPISTS

What’s it all about: What's it all about: Respiratory therapists evaluate, treat and care for people who have breathing problems. Their patients may be suffering from conditions like asthma or emphysema, or they may have been victims of heart failure, stroke, drowning or some other trauma. To evaluate a patient's condition and make appropriate decisions regarding treatment, the respiratory therapist may conduct several tests. He/she may measure the amount and flow of air during inhalation and exhalation. Other tests performed are checking the oxygen and carbon dioxide concentration in blood by drawing some of the patient's blood for a blood gas test. The test results are then reported to the physician and appropriate respiratory treatment is prescribed. The patient may be placed on a ventilator or they may have to inhale medicine in aerosol form. Respiratory therapists see a wide range of patients: the pre-mature infant whose lungs are not fully developed, an elderly person who might have diseased lungs or perhaps an emergency-care patient for may have inhaled smoke.

Study for success: Career and Technical/Tech Prep high school programs, health, biology, mathematics, physical sciences, physics, chemistry, communications. Formal training can be found at colleges and trade schools and programs are usually two to four years in length. A shorter program, one year, may be taken to become a certified respiratory therapy technician, who is supervised by a respiratory therapist.

Discover more: For more information write to:

American Association for Respiratory Care
10030 Ables Lane, Dallas, TX 85229

The National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc.
8310 Nieman Road, Lenexa, KS 66214

Related jobs: registered nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, radiologic technologist, medical laboratory technology.

For more information contact:

Paulette Howell

Career Development

Auburn Career Center

(440) 357-7542, ext. 239

E-MAIL

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