Genesee Community College

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The Respiratory Care Patients

Patients may suffer from a variety of acute and chronic conditions that are either life threatening or disabling and may require supportive mechanical ventilation. With the assistance of mechanical ventilators designed specifically for artificial ventilation, respiratory care professionals become an integral part of the intensive care team. Through proper respiratory care and management, many patients who may have died are now returned to an active life. In essence, respiratory care professionals are life support specialists.

Because respiratory care therapeutic measures may alter a patient's physiologic status, astute patient care and observation and assessment by trained respiratory therapists is essential. Respiratory care professionals are also involved in the treatment of cardiac and pulmonary ailments such as:

  • cardiac failure
  • asthma
  • pulmonary edema
  • emphysema
  • cerebral thrombosis
  • drowning
  • multiple trauma including
    motor vehicle accidents
  • shootings
  • stabbings
  • industrial accidents
  • shock.

They may also be part of a transport team that goes to different sites to assist in moving patients to intensive care nurseries and trauma and burn intensive care units.