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What Is a Certified Respiratory Therapist and How to Become One

What Does a Certified Respiratory Therapist Do?

A certified respiratory therapist helps patients suffering from breathing problems by discovering respiratory issues and developing effective treatment plans. Your job duties include performing diagnostic tests, operating respiratory therapy equipment, monitoring patient progress, and collaborating with the patient’s primary physician. Some respiratory therapists work with patients with chronic issues while others provide emergency care, typically providing oxygen and monitoring vital signs in emergency situations such as heart attacks. It is your responsibility to inspect and maintain all respiratory therapy equipment, in collaboration with other skilled technicians.

How to Become a Certified Respiratory Therapist

A career as a certified respiratory therapist requires you have some formal qualifications and an education in respiratory therapy, typically a bachelor’s or master’s degree. You must obtain professional certification and licensure as a registered respiratory therapist (RRT). States require you to have additional life support certifications, including a basic life support (BLS) certification and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) certification. The skills and experience gained through obtaining these certifications will be of vital use to you throughout your career.