What Respiratory Therapists Are
Respiratory therapists may be known as respiratory care practitioners. They are key players in the medical field. Respiratory therapists evaluate and treat patients with breathing problems such as asthma or emphysema. Breathing problems can range from undeveloped lungs such as those found in premature babies to diseased lungs such as emphysema or black lung disease. Respiratory therapists also work with other medical staff in order to make health care plans for individuals. Respiratory therapists also work with other physicians in intensive care units where a patient may be on life support. Respiratory therapists work with patients of all ages from the elderly to premature infants.
Roles and Responsibilities
First and foremost, patients are the number one priority, so Respiratory Therapists should be sensitive about the needs of their patients. Respiratory Therapists should learn to follow instructions, work as a team and always pay attention to details that their patients give them.
On the job, Respiratory therapists may be responsible for interviewing patients about their medical problems, conduct simple examinations, and run diagnostic tests. Respiratory therapists may test a patient’s breathing which is determined by the concentration of oxygen in the blood. Respiratory Therapists must also evaluate a patient’s lung capacity, which requires the patient to breath in and out of a machine. The Respiratory Therapist then compares the reading with a normal reading that has the same height, weight, and sex, and is also the same age.
To treat patients, respiratory therapists use aerosol medications, oxygen tanks or masks, and chest physiotherapy. The therapists then teach patients how to inhale the aerosol properly and how to use air tanks and masks to ensure that they are being used effectively. If a patient has problems getting enough oxygen into his or her blood, therapists may increase the amount of oxygen that flows through a mask or tank. Therapists are also responsible for those patients who are on life support by connecting them to ventilators.
Therapists can also work in home health care, by providing services to those patients who are on oxygen masks, or who are ventilators in their home. They are responsible for checking to make sure the equipment works and those patients fully understand how to use all equipment.
The average Respiratory therapist’s annual salary is between $44,490 and $61,720; the median being about $52,000 in May 2008.
To be a Respiratory Therapist at least an associate degree is required. However, for advancement on the job a bachelors or masters degree may be required. All Respiratory Therapists are required to be licensed, except in Hawaii and Alaska. There are many post secondary schools that offer training to become a licensed Respiratory Therapist. These post secondary schools can include colleges, technical schools and the armed forces. Depending on the degree you want to receive, training can take anywhere from 18 months to 4-6 years. Students will not only be learning inside the classroom, but will also be participating in hands on experience which will prepare them for the job.
A Respiratory Therapist student may study: mathematics, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, pathophysiology, physics, pharmacology, and human anatomy.
Respiratory Therapist Schools in Kentucky (KY)
Harrison College prides itself on truly knowing our students — their lives and families, obstacles and motivations and their dreams and goals. We also know their potential — that’s why for more than 100 years, our mission has been to provide a supportive environment, with the expectation that their success also benefits their families, friends and communities. That’s the Harrison Difference.
Harrison College campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a national institutional accrediting body, to award associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees and certificates. The award level varies by campus.
Keiser University eCampus Online
For more than 35 years, Keiser University has provided student-centered, career-focused education in fields such as health care, business, criminal justice and information technology. Our one-class-at-a-time schedules allow busy students to focus on their education and balance the demands of work and family. Whether you choose to attend online, on campus, or both you will be part of a caring learning environment led by experienced faculty who bring textbooks to life with real-world challenges and solutions. Our unique combination of a curriculum that is in pace with technology and the skills employers value along with our “students first” approach provides an outstanding academic experience.
Why Keiser University Online
Online Convenience to Help You Achieve Your Goals
From faculty to admissions, our staff is dedicated to your success.
- Accessible faculty and staff with small classes to ensure personalized attention for each student
- State-of-the-practice online classroom technology in a user-friendly format to enhance learning
- Extensive online resources with access to all student services, including registration, instructional materials and an online library system with a wide range of academic journals, e-books, streaming videos, print titles and research databases
- Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools1
- Financial aid and scholarships available for those who qualify
- Military-friendly and committed to serving active members of the military, veterans and their families, with scholarships available for those who qualify.
- Approved for veterans training
- Transfer credits accepted subject to university approval
Keiser is one of Florida’s largest independent universities and is a valued choice for career-motivated students. We offer associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in fields that are in demand, and we provide job placement assistance to students and alumni.
Keiser University is a private, not-for-profit university.
1 Keiser University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates and degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist and doctoral levels. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Keiser University.
Other Schools offering Respiratory Therapy degrees in Kentucky
Ashland Community and Technical College
1400 College Drive
Ashland, KY 41101-3683
2001 Newburg Rd
Louisville, KY 40205-0671
Bluegrass Community and Technical College
470 Cooper Drive
Lexington, KY 40506
Morehead State University
Morehead, KY 40351