A profession that doesn't know the words "I Can't"
Serving people with heart and lung problems - assessing, treating, and educating patients and their families.
What does a Respiratory Therapist do?
A Respiratory Therapist is responsible for setting up and operating the life-saving machines that help people breathe when breathing disorders and difficulties prevent them from adequately doing so on their own. You will also use a variety of sophisticated equipment and techniques to measure how a patient's lungs and circulatory system are working in order to evaluate and monitor a patient's respiratory health. Doctors and nurses will rely heavily upon you for your specialized knowledge in areas such as use of oxygen and oxygen mixtures, and aerosol medications.
What types of patients will I work with?
You will work with people from all walks of life-from premature infants whose lungs are not fully developed, to children, adults and elderly people who suffer from injury, severe illness, emphysema, chronic asthma, and other diseases. Some of your patients will have short-term illness or injury, while others may be experiencing a long-term need for your care.
How can I become a Respiratory Therapist?
You can complete the Associate in Applied Science Degree Program (A.A.S.) in Respiratory Care in as little as two years of full-time study, or you can choose a more flexible part-time class schedule for a large part of the curriculum. You can then continue on to a four-year degree, or begin work as a Respiratory Therapist after passing the national board examination. This program includes on-site clinical education at health service providers in the Western New York region.
What's so special about being a Respiratory Therapist?
Few professions allow you to make such a positive, profound and immediate impact upon the lives of others as does helping someone to breathe. The other health care professionals on your team-and your patients-will depend upon you daily for the information you gather and the technical expertise you bring.