Health Library Explorer
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A-Z Listings Contact Us
Adult Health Library
Translate
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Topic IndexLibrary Index
Click a letter to see a list of conditions beginning with that letter.
Click 'Topic Index' to return to the index for the current topic.
Click 'Library Index' to return to the listing of all topics.

Respiratory Therapist

What is a respiratory therapist?

Respiratory therapists are specially trained health care professionals who help treat and restore function for patients with airway and breathing problems. They often assess and treat patients with the following conditions:

  • Tracheostomy tubes (a special type of breathing tube for patients unable to breathe through their mouth and nose) and oxygen therapy

  • Ventilators (machines that breathe for patients with certain conditions, such as spinal cord injuries, who are unable to breathe on their own)

  • Chronic heart or lung problems that require breathing treatments and assistance

They may work in various settings in rehabilitation, including neurological (nervous system), cardiac (heart), and pulmonary (lungs) settings. Respiratory therapists may practice in a variety of settings, including the following:

  • Hospitals

  • Inpatient rehabilitation centers

  • Home health settings

  • Long-term care facilities

  • Private practice

Respiratory therapists may have either an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree in respiratory therapy, and many are either registered or certified in their specialty.

Online Medical Reviewer: Bellendir, Trina, MSPT, CLT
Online Medical Reviewer: Kolbus, Karin, RN, DNP, COHN-S
Date Last Reviewed: 1/6/2014
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
Powered By Krames StayWell
Copyright © Krames StayWell except where otherwise noted.
About Us
  • Follow Us On:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Health Hub
  • Pinterest
  • Google+
  • YouTube
  • RSS
  •  
  • Bookmark and Share
© Brigham and Women's Hospital | 75 Francis Street, Boston MA 02115 | 617-732-5500