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Career Profile: Respiratory Therapist

Career Profile: Respiratory Therapist

Kevilin Prah, Respiratory Therapist, Washington Hospital Center, Washington D.C.

National Institutes of Health: Office of Science Education

Certification

After graduation you must take your certification exam (http://www.nbrc.org/ExamsCRT.htm) from National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC, http://www.nbrc.org/default.html). This exam makes you qualified to work in the field. After successful completion, you are a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT).

More on Respiratory Therapy


Salary: $35,200 - $64,190
Min. Education: Associate's
Related Careers: Cardiovascualar Technologist & Technician, Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

After following additional guidelines (http://www.nbrc.org/rrt_admission.htm) you can take the registry exam (http://www.nbrc.org/ExamsRRT.htm) to become a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).

My typical workday involves…

My typical workday revolves around administering respiratory care to patients in the hospital. Currently, I’m scheduled to work two nights a week, and every other weekend.

Patient Assignments

When I get to work, I receive a printed assignment that lists the patients I need to see. The assignment includes the patient’s history, hospital admission information, and the respiratory care (treatment or medication) they are getting. I also get reports on these patients from the previous respiratory therapist(s) who were assigned to them in other work shifts. Their report will note the time they saw the patient, any changes in the care plan, any major allergies or reactions to medication and how to address that problem, and any specific orders for respiratory care from the physician.

Major duties and responsibilities include:

• Assessing the patient by listening to their breath sounds

• Giving patients their medication or other respiratory care treatment

• Educating patients on the respiratory care aspects of their disease and what their medication is doing to improve their breathing


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