Three medical professionals examining x-rays.


Where Can a Respiratory Therapist Work?

As a medical professional in charge of helping patients breathe properly, the RT in the medical field is a highly respected career that is an essential role for any medical team. But can a respiratory therapist specialize, and where can a respiratory therapist work? The short answers are almost anywhere, but if you are thinking about following the respiratory therapist’s career path, and want to know how extensive a respiratory therapist’s scope of practice is, these are just a few of the many specialties a respiratory therapist can go into.

Pediatric respiratory care is a vital and highly specialized field in the hospital. As a respiratory therapist working with babies, you will be responsible for the respiratory equipment and the processes, which will include intubation, and high-frequency oscillatory ventilation management, and you might even be required to attend high-risk deliveries. As a respiratory therapist specialist, you will help care for children and potentially reduce the length of the required hospital stay for a baby and even help lower the risk of long-term disabilities.

Pulmonary Rehab
As a supervised medical program for those who may have lung diseases or other breathing issues, this is an essential area for any respiratory therapist. The respiratory therapist’s scope of practice is wide and varies depending from case to case. A respiratory therapist can be responsible for a wide range of things, such as discussing breathing difficulties and future strategies with patients, dietary suggestions, blood circulation, and even what medications they recommend.

Critical Care
As part of an ICU, an RT in this medical field will have to provide top-notch care, as long as is observant of how their patients have improved or have declined in health. A respiratory therapist in the ICU will work by managing the ventilator, diagnosing blood samples, and administering specialized gas administration with nitrooxide.

Home Care
If you enjoy establishing long-lasting relationships with your patients, working as a respiratory therapist in-home care could be the specialization for you. The jobs of this respiratory therapist is to provide care for patients who are suffering from chronic respiratory illnesses. In this type of role, you are required to bring all of your technical and soft skills to the table to create a warm and welcoming environment for patients who are suffering and also make sure you prescribe the right medications and use your equipment to deliver results.

Pulmonary Diagnostics
In a pulmonary function lab, a respiratory therapist’s scope of practice is to assist the pulmonologist and will help to conduct all the non-invasive testing, along with additional support in the medical team with invasive testing, such as bronchoscopy or a lung biopsy.

Where Can You Start a Career in Respiratory Therapy?

The role of a respiratory therapist is one that is ever-expanding due to the circumstances of the day. If you are interested in becoming a vital part of a medical team, start by getting your Associate of Applied Science degree in Respiratory Therapy at Saint Augustine College. At SAC, we prioritize the students, with accessible classes that will prepare them for specialized diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Want to know why St. Augustine? Contact us to learn more.