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Respiratory Therapists Go Back to List
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.
 Tools & Technology
 Tools used in this occupation:
 
  • Tourniquets
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  • Vacuum blood collection tubes or containers
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  • Sputum collection apparatus or containers
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  • Surgical isolation suits or helmets or facemasks or accessories
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  • Medical suction or vacuum appliances
  •  Technology used in this occupation:
     
  • Medical software
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  • Presentation software
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  • Office suite software
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  • Electronic mail software
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  • Data base user interface and query software
  •  Tasks
     
  • Set up and operate devices such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, or aerosol generators, following specified parameters of treatment.
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  • Provide emergency care, such as artificial respiration, external cardiac massage, or assistance with cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
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  • Determine requirements for treatment, such as type, method and duration of therapy, precautions to be taken, or medication and dosages, compatible with physicians' orders.
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  • Monitor patient's physiological responses to therapy, such as vital signs, arterial blood gases, or blood chemistry changes, and consult with physician if adverse reactions occur.
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  • Read prescription, measure arterial blood gases, and review patient information to assess patient condition.
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  • Enforce safety rules and ensure careful adherence to physicians' orders.
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  • Maintain charts that contain patients' pertinent identification and therapy information.
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  • Inspect, clean, test, and maintain respiratory therapy equipment to ensure equipment is functioning safely and efficiently, ordering repairs when necessary.
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  • Educate patients and their families about their conditions and teach appropriate disease management techniques, such as breathing exercises or the use of medications or respiratory equipment.
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  • Explain treatment procedures to patients to gain cooperation and allay fears.
  •  Skills
     
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
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  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
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  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
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  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
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  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
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  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  •  Knowledge
     
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
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  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
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  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
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  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
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  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
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  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal m
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  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
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     Education & Training
      Education:   Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
      Related Experience:   Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
      View Related Programs on Connecticut's Education & Training ConneCTion site.
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     Wage Information
     
    Region Average Entry Level  Mid-Range 
    Annual  Hourly 
    Statewide $70,085.00 $33.69  $26.97  $28.56 - $37.76 
    Bridgeport/Stamford $74,520.00 $35.83  $28.74  $30.64 - $40.58 
    Hartford $68,151.00 $32.77  $26.80  $28.06 - $36.33 
    New Haven $72,849.00 $35.02  $28.06  $29.51 - $38.99 
    Waterbury $63,806.00 $30.67  $27.58  $27.01 - $32.67 
     Occupation Outlook ( 2014 - 2024 )
    Average Annual Job Openings:   31
      Employment in this occupation is expected to grow about as fast as average, and the number of annual openings will offer very good job opportunities.
    ONET Resource Center Some of the occupational information on this page is formulated from O*NETTM v17.0 data. O*NETTM is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
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