What is a Respiratory Therapist?
Allied health professionals known as Respiratory Therapists specialize in treating patients with cardiopulmonary disorders. They collaborate with physicians and healthcare experts to provide respiratory care to patients struggling to breathe due to diseases or injuries. Respiratory therapists diagnose, assess, and treat patients with various conditions, such as asthma, COPD, emphysema, pneumonia, and lung cancer. They also assist premature infants by providing oxygen therapy and mechanical ventilation to help them breathe
Job growth and stability:
Respiratory therapy is a growing field, and demand for is expected to increase in the coming years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow by 14 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for respiratory therapists is being driven by an aging population and an increase in the number of people living with chronic diseases.
Respiratory therapists play a crucial role in helping patients breathe easier and manage their conditions. As such, they work with patients of all ages and backgrounds, ranging from premature infants to elderly patients. Additionally, they help patients breathe more easily and provide the care and support necessary to manage their conditions.
Variety of work settings:
Respiratory therapists work in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home healthcare agencies. They also specialize in areas such as pulmonary rehabilitation, sleep disorders, and critical care. Meaning you can find a work environment that suits your interests and skills.
Opportunities for advancement:
As a respiratory therapist, you can pursue advanced education and training to specialize in areas such as pulmonary function testing, neonatal and pediatric care, and critical care. With additional training and certification, you can advance to roles such as supervisor or manager, or even become a professor or researcher in the field.
Respiratory therapy is a well-paying career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for respiratory therapists was $63,010 in May 2020. The highest 10 percent earned more than $89,800, while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $45,880.
Respiratory therapy is a rewarding and stable career choice with good job prospects, a variety of work settings, opportunities for advancement, and a good salary. If you have a passion for helping people and an interest in healthcare, becoming a respiratory therapist could be an excellent choice for you.