Respiratory therapists care for inpatients and outpatients of all ages who have trouble breathing from respiratory conditions such as emphysema, asthma, croup, and pneumonia. They also provide emergency care to patients suffering from heart attacks, trauma, or shock.
Respiratory Care personnel use diagnostic testing and respiratory therapy treatments to help their patients' breath better. They also provide education to their patients to help them find ways to cope with their breathing conditions.
- Arterial Blood Gas. An arterial blood gas (ABG) test measures oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in your blood. It also measures your body's acid-base (pH) level. The test gives information about how well your lungs, heart, and kidneys are working.
- Pulmonary Function Testing. Pulmonary Function testing takes a 'snapshot' of how well your lungs work mechanically. It measures how much air you can take in as well as how fast air moves in and out of the lungs. This study is used in the detection of disorders such as COPD and Asthma.
Respiratory Patient Therapy
- Oxygen Administration. Oxygen may be given to patients if the level of oxygen in the blood is low. A low oxygen level will make you feel short of breath, tired and even confused. Oxygen is given using a nasal cannula (little tubes in the nose that provide the oxygen) or an oxygen mask. Oxygen Administration will increase the oxygen level in your blood to normal safe levels.
- Aerosol Therapy. An aerosol treatment turns a liquid medication into an aerosol that patients breathe in to help treat asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or other respiratory conditions.
- Chest Physiotherapy, This procedure is performed by respiratory therapists by vibrating the lungs to aid in the removal of mucus making it easier to breathe. Many times Chest Physiotherapy and Aerosol Therapy are given together to aid in the respiratory care of the patient.