Kentucky Respiratory Therapy Schools

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.

Salary Outlook

The average Respiratory therapist’s annual salary is between $44,490 and $61,720; the median being about $52,000 in May 2008.

Education

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)

Unfortunately there are no Respiratory Therapist schools currently enrolling in this area. Please check again later, or click here to broaden your search.

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Other Schools offering Respiratory Therapy degrees in Kentucky

Ashland Community and Technical College
1400 College Drive
Ashland, KY 41101-3683
Website: www.ashland.kctcs.edu

Bellarmine University
2001 Newburg Rd
Louisville, KY 40205-0671
Website: www.bellarmine.edu/home

Bluegrass Community and Technical College
470 Cooper Drive
Lexington, KY 40506
Website: www.bluegrass.kctcs.edu

Morehead State University
University Blvd
Morehead, KY 40351
Website: www.moreheadstate.edu