What does a Respiratory Therapy Technician do?

Provide respiratory care under the direction of respiratory therapists and physicians.

Jobs Roles

  • Use ventilators or various oxygen devices or aerosol and breathing treatments in the provision of respiratory therapy.
  • Work with patients in areas such as the emergency rooms, neonatal or pediatric intensive care, or surgical intensive care, treating conditions such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, cystic fibrosis, or pneumonia.
  • Read and evaluate physicians' orders and patients' chart information to determine patients' condition and treatment protocols.
  • Keep records of patients' therapy, completing all necessary forms.
  • Set equipment controls to regulate the flow of oxygen, gases, mists, or aerosols.
  • Provide respiratory care involving the application of well-defined therapeutic techniques under the supervision of a respiratory therapist and a physician.
  • Assess patients' response to treatments and modify treatments according to protocol if necessary.
  • Prepare or test devices, such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, aerosol generators, or electrocardiogram (EKG) machines.
  • Monitor patients during treatment and report any unusual reactions to the respiratory therapist.
  • Explain treatment procedures to patients.
  • Clean, sterilize, check, and maintain respiratory therapy equipment.
  • Perform diagnostic procedures to assess the severity of respiratory dysfunction in patients.
  • Follow and enforce safety rules applying to equipment.
  • Administer breathing or oxygen procedures, such as intermittent positive pressure breathing treatments, ultrasonic nebulizer treatments, or incentive spirometer treatments.
  • Recommend or review bedside procedures, x-rays, or laboratory tests.
  • Interview or examine patients to collect clinical data.
  • Teach patients how to use respiratory equipment at home.
  • Teach or oversee other workers who provide respiratory care services.
  • Collect and analyze arterial blood gas samples.
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