DETAILED OCCUPATION DATA
29-1126 Respiratory Therapists
Occupational Description:Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, check, and operate equipment.
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Tasks for Respiratory Therapists
- Sets up and operates devices, such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, and aerosol generators.
- Operates equipment to administer medicinal gases and aerosol drugs to patients following specified parameters of treatment.
- Reads prescription, measures arterial blood gases, and reviews patient information to assess patient condition.
- Performs pulmonary function and adjusts equipment to obtain optimum results to therapy.
- Determines requirements for treatment, such as type and duration of therapy, and medication and dosages.
- Inspects and tests respiratory therapy equipment to ensure equipment is functioning safely and efficiently.
- Demonstrates respiratory care procedures to trainees and other health care personnel.
- Orders repairs when necessary.
- Maintains patient's chart that contains pertinent identification and therapy information.
- Consults with physician in event of adverse reactions.
- Performs bronchopulmonary drainage and assists patient in performing breathing exercises.
- Determines most suitable method of administering inhalants, precautions to be observed, and potential modifications needed, compatible with physician's orders.
- Monitors patient's physiological responses to therapy, such as vital signs, arterial blood gases, and blood chemistry changes.