Respiratory therapists are also known as respiratory care practitioners. They evaluate and treat breathing and cardiopulmonary disorders like asthma, emphysema and bronchitis. They are specialized in airway management, acid/base balance, mechanical ventilation and critical care medicine.
These therapists have a great education. Respiratory therapists study anatomy, chemistry, physiology, physics and mechanical ventilation among others. Their knowledge enables them to be key members of the health care industry.
Individual patients need precise kinds of treatment that respiratory therapists provide. These treatments include the upper airway, the lower airway, the gas exchange units, the pulmonary vasculature, the systemic vasculature, the heart and the kidneys.
The upper airway begins in the nose and mouth and finishes in the larynx; the lower airways are the bronchi and bronchioles; alveoli and pulmonary capillary beds are the gas exchange units; kidneys play a vital part in acid/base balance, blood pressure regulations and fluid levels. These are key components of cardiovascular and respiratory functioning.
A respiratory therapist may have to take evening, night or weekend shifts. They usually work 35 to 40 hours a week. These therapists need to know how to handle stress, especially in emergencies. Home Healthcare Respiratory Therapy demands them to constantly travel to the homes of their patients.
They are also trained to be able to deal with some gases that can be dangerous when stored under pressure. The risk of injury lowers when they follow safety precautions, provide regular maintenance and test the equipment. Even though these therapists face the risks of contracting infectious diseases, if they carefully obey proper procedures, the risk becomes minimal.