What Is Respiration Therapy? - Video

Respiratory Therapy is a health profession that concerns respiratory care. People who study Respiratory Therapy typically go on to become respiratory therapists or respiratory technicians. Learn more about a career in Respiratory Therapy here.

Respiration Therapy Overview

Respiratory Therapy practitioners evaluate and treat people with respiratory problems, such as asthma or lung disease. These practitioners work with patients of all ages--from newborns to the elderly. Although they often take direction from physicians, respiratory practitioners are almost entirely responsible for their patients' respiratory care.

Day-to-day responsibilities can include administering diagnostic breathing tests, developing patient care plans and delivering life-saving breathing treatments. Respiratory Therapy practitioners also manage ventilators and monitor patients' breathing during surgery. Other common duties include educating patients, analyzing tissue specimens and assisting with air transport.

Careers in Respiration Therapy

Most practitioners work as respiratory therapists or respiratory technicians in hospitals, physician's offices, nursing care facilities and home health care services. Therapists and technicians often share many of the same day-to-day duties, but therapists typically have more responsibility.

Respiratory therapists administer more complex treatments and are often expected to make judgment calls. Respiratory technicians, on the other hand, usually work under the direct supervision of therapists and follow well-defined procedures.

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