What Do Respiratory Therapy Technicians Do?
Respiratory Therapy Technicians work under the direction of a respiratory therapist or a physician to help monitor and treat patients with respiratory problems. As a Respiratory Therapy Technician, you work in a health care site like an emergency room, physical therapy site, outpatient clinic, or an intensive care unit. Your patient population can very from the very young in a pediatric unit to the elderly in a geriatric medical center. The demand for Respiratory Therapy Technicians is projected to increase in the upcoming years, with an estimated 17% increase. As a provider of respiratory care, you can help treat and improve the health of patients with significant health problems.
Respiratory Therapy Technicians Skills and Abilities
Respiratory Therapy Technicians must have a sound foundation in medical training, great customer service skills, and a dedication to public health. A clear understanding of respiratory problems and the medications that treat these illnesses help you to teach and train patients on maintaining their health. Your knowledge will also be important in being able to quickly react and help those in critical health danger. As you will be working continually with patients, you need to have sound customer service abilities. These will help you to communicate effectively with the patients and provide service even if they are in pain or are highly stressed. Lastly, all medical providers need to be dedicated to sanitary treatment of all patients. Especially with respiratory care, great attention must be given to maintaining the cleanliness of the equipment used to improve breathing.
Respiratory Therapy Technicians Duties
Respiratory Therapy Technicians first will read and follow the orders of a respiratory therapist or a physician regarding a patient’s treatment regime. You will not be diagnosing or creating treatment plans for patients. You will be monitoring the blood gas levels of patients and administering medicine or oxygen via respiratory machinery like a nebulizer or oxygen distributing device. As a health care provider, you must carefully observe the progress of patients and document your treatment and any improvement and worsening observed in the patient’s condition.
Respiratory Therapy Technicians Tools and Technology
Technologies utilized by Respiratory Therapy Technicians include oxygen monitoring devices, suction devices and medication or oxygen distribution devices. A nebulizer is a device that aerosolizes a medicine or saline and sends the mist to a mask that covers a patient’s mouth and nose. These devices are small and compact and can be taken home and used in the home of a patient. Non-invasive blood gas analyzers attach to a patient’s hand and show the level of available oxygen in the blood. This helps to determine how well the patient is breathing in fresh air. These tools help you to treat and monitor a patient.
Education and Training for Respiratory Therapy Technicians
The typical education for Respiratory Therapy Technicians includes an Associate’s degree as a Respiratory Therapy Technician. This training will help you to understand the medical background and give you experience with the technology.
Respiratory Therapy Technicians Salary
The median income for Respiratory Therapy Technicians is approximately $47,000, but you might make more than $69,000 with experience and training. As a technician, you may be given limited responsibility over other staff, and this can contribute to a higher income. If you are just starting as a Respiratory Therapy Technician, you might make as low as $31,000 or lower.
Respiratory Therapy Technicians Jobs by Geography
Demand for Respiratory Therapy Technicians is greatest in the areas with larger hospitals. The states with the largest number of Respiratory Therapy Technicians include Texas, Florida, and Georgia. The highest projected growth in new positions is expected to occur in Utah, Puerto Rico, and North Dakota.