Assesses, treats, and cares for patients with breathing disorders. Assumes primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiates and conducts therapeutic procedures; maintains patient records; and selects, assembles, checks, and operates equipment.
This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.
A person in this career:
- Provides emergency care, such as artificial respiration, external cardiac massage, or assistance with cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
- Monitors patient's physiological responses to therapy, such as vital signs, arterial blood gases, or blood chemistry changes, and consults with physician if adverse reactions occur.
- Sets up and operates devices such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, or aerosol generators, following specified parameters of treatment.
- Works as part of a team of physicians, nurses, or other healthcare professionals to manage patient care by assisting with medical procedures or related duties.
- Maintains charts that contain patients' pertinent identification and therapy information.
- Reads prescription, measures arterial blood gases, and reviews patient information to assess patient condition.
- Relays blood analysis results to a physician.
- Inspects, cleans, tests, and maintains respiratory therapy equipment to ensure equipment is functioning safely and efficiently, ordering repairs when necessary.
- Explains treatment procedures to patients to gain cooperation and allay fears.
- Makes emergency visits to resolve equipment problems.
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