Menu

Respiratory Therapists

Respiratory Therapists

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.

Skills

  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • 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.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Top

Knowledge

  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • 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 methods.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Top

Tasks

  • Conduct tests, such as electrocardiograms (EKGs), stress testing, or lung capacity tests, to evaluate patients' cardiopulmonary functions.
  • Demonstrate respiratory care procedures to trainees or other healthcare personnel.
  • Determine requirements for treatment, such as type, method and duration of therapy, precautions to be taken, or medication and dosages, compatible with physicians' orders.
  • Enforce safety rules and ensure careful adherence to physicians' orders.
  • Explain treatment procedures to patients to gain cooperation and allay fears.
  • 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.
  • Inspect, clean, test, and maintain respiratory therapy equipment to ensure equipment is functioning safely and efficiently, ordering repairs when necessary.
  • 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.
  • Maintain charts that contain patients' pertinent identification and therapy information.
  • Make emergency visits to resolve equipment problems.
  • Monitor cardiac patients, using electrocardiography devices, such as a holter monitor.
  • Perform pulmonary function and adjust equipment to obtain optimum results in therapy.
  • Perform endotracheal intubation to maintain open airways for patients who are unable to breathe on their own.
  • Perform bronchopulmonary drainage and assist or instruct patients in performance of breathing exercises.
  • Provide emergency care, such as artificial respiration, external cardiac massage, or assistance with cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  • Read prescription, measure arterial blood gases, and review patient information to assess patient condition.
  • Relay blood analysis results to a physician.
  • Set up and operate devices, such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, or aerosol generators, following specified parameters of treatment.
  • Teach, train, supervise, or use the assistance of students, respiratory therapy technicians, or assistants.
  • Transport patients to the hospital or within the hospital.
  • Use a variety of testing techniques to assist doctors in cardiac or pulmonary research or to diagnose disorders.
  • Work as part of a team of physicians, nurses, or other healthcare professionals to manage patient care by assisting with medical procedures or related duties.
  • Top

Work Activities

  • Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Top

Personality Traits

  • Achievement/Effort: Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility: Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Analytical Thinking: Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Attention to Detail: Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Concern for Others: Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Cooperation: Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Dependability: Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Independence: Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Initiative: Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Innovation: Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Integrity: Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Leadership: Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Persistence: Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Self Control: Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Social Orientation: Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Stress Tolerance: Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Top

Related Careers

*Related careers will open a third-party site, which is not maintained by MCC.

 

O*NET in-itThis site uses information from O*NET Web Services. Click to learn more.