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Respiratory Therapists Help Ease Chronic Conditions

Respiratory Therapists Help Ease Chronic Conditions

Cindy Mehallow, Monster Contributing Writer

More on Respiratory Therapy

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

Help for Smokers

In hospitals, RTs assess patients’ tobacco use, encourage them to quit and refer them to treatment programs. They also help patients deal with hospital “no smoking” policies by developing nicotine replacement therapies. Many RTs staff hospital outpatient smoking-cessation programs due to the large percentage of pulmonary diseases caused by smoking.

Working with smokers requires passion, patience, consistency and an understanding of addiction, says Gaylene Mooney, MEd, RRT-NPS, director of clinical education for the respiratory care department at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Area Health Education Center-Southwest.

The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey all offer tobacco dependency treatment programs for RTs who want to specialize in this area.

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