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Respiratory Therapists

Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, check, and operate equipment.

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    Work Activities

    Work Activities

    • Perform endotracheal intubation to maintain open airways for patients who are unable to breathe on their own.
    • Provide emergency care, such as artificial respiration, external cardiac massage, or assistance with cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
    • Monitor patient's physiological responses to therapy, such as vital signs, arterial blood gases, or blood chemistry changes, and consult with physician if adverse reactions occur.
    • Set up and operate devices, such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, or aerosol generators, following specified parameters of treatment.
    • Work as part of a team of physicians, nurses, or other healthcare professionals to manage patient care by assisting with medical procedures or related duties.
    • Maintain charts that contain patients' pertinent identification and therapy information.
    • Read prescription, measure arterial blood gases, and review patient information to assess patient condition.
    • Relay blood analysis results to a physician.
    • Inspect, clean, test, and maintain respiratory therapy equipment to ensure equipment is functioning safely and efficiently, ordering repairs when necessary.
    • Explain treatment procedures to patients to gain cooperation and allay fears.
    • Make emergency visits to resolve equipment problems.
    • Determine requirements for treatment, such as type, method and duration of therapy, precautions to be taken, or medication and dosages, compatible with physicians' orders.
    • Enforce safety rules and ensure careful adherence to physicians' orders.
    • Educate patients and their families about their conditions and teach appropriate disease management techniques, such as breathing exercises or the use of medications or respiratory equipment.
    • Perform bronchopulmonary drainage and assist or instruct patients in performance of breathing exercises.
    • Conduct tests, such as electrocardiograms (EKGs), stress testing, or lung capacity tests, to evaluate patients' cardiopulmonary functions.
    • Perform pulmonary function and adjust equipment to obtain optimum results in therapy.
    • Demonstrate respiratory care procedures to trainees or other healthcare personnel.
    • Use a variety of testing techniques to assist doctors in cardiac or pulmonary research or to diagnose disorders.
    • Transport patients to the hospital or within the hospital.
    • Teach, train, supervise, or use the assistance of students, respiratory therapy technicians, or assistants.
    • Monitor cardiac patients, using electrocardiography devices, such as a holter monitor.

    Skills

    • Active Listening

      Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

    • Critical Thinking

      Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

    • Monitoring

      Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

    WorkKeys®

    Applied Math
    4
    Workplace Documents
    5
    Graphic Literacy
    5

    Abilities

    • Inductive Reasoning

      The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

    • Oral Expression

      The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

    • Problem Sensitivity

      The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

    Knowledge

    • Customer and Personal Service

      Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

    • Medicine and Dentistry

      Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

    • English Language

      Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    Career Video

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    Pay

    • Ohio Annual Salary 59380/yr
    • Typical Salary
    • Ohio Hourly Wage 28.55/hr
    • Typical Hourly Wage

    Ohio Employment Trends

    • Currently Employed 6,290
    • Yearly Projected Openings 490

    Typical Education

    Personality

    Social: People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking. They do well at jobs that need:
    • Cooperation
    • Concern for Others
    • Attention to Detail
    • Dependability
    • Integrity
    • Self Control

    Tools

    • Spirometers or its accessories or its supplies
    • Nebulizer or accessories
    • Medical oxygen masks or parts
    • Flow sensors or regulators or components
    • Arterial blood gas monitors or accessories

    Technology

    • Office suite software
    • Medical software
    • Electronic mail software
    • Data base user interface and query software
    • Calendar and scheduling software

    Tags

    • InDemand occupations are considered a priority by the state of Ohio.
    • Bright Outlook occupations will grow rapidly in the next few years, have a large number of openings, or are new and emerging careers.
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