12 Jan 2015

Rockaway Care Center Highlight: Respiratory Therapists

0 Comment

Under healthy circumstances, breathing is automatic, from the moment a newborn takes its first breath, cutting off its need for the placenta to supply its oxygen. It’s easy to take healthy breathing for granted because, simply put, we don’t think about it. The diaphragm, the muscle located just underneath the lungs, is an involuntary muscle (meaning it functions on autopilot), facilitating inhaling and exhaling 12-16 times per minute on average.  But what happens when breathing is compromised?

Enter respiratory therapists. In 2012, their role was so prevalent that their US count was almost 120,000. Respiratory therapists take care of patients who experience breathing troubles from illnesses such as asthma, emphysema, or chronic respiratory diseases. Respiratory therapists work together with cardiologists, pulmonologists, anesthesiologists, pediatricians, and sleep-disorder practitioners. Anyone from premature infants to the elderly might need a respiratory therapist. Additionally, respiratory therapists often provide immediate care for those suffering from drowning, heart attacks, panic attacks, or shock.

A respiratory therapist is licensed by state after having earned at least an associate degree, if not a Bachelor’s degree and passing a certification for respiratory therapy. Their studies include a heavy emphasis on nursing since their role is akin to a specialized nurse, providing personal, one-on-one assistance in support of the physicians with whom they work. Respiratory therapists work in emergency care clinics, hospitals, recovery care centers, and elderly care. In addition, some respiratory therapists are educators, for example, teaching others about asthma.

At Rockaway Care Center, our respiratory therapists can be found assisting residents primarily in our Ventilator Care Unit. You’ll catch them adjusting sitting positions for optimal breathing, helping along someone on our ventilator weaning program, or adjusting an oxygen tank. Respiratory therapists literally help breathe life into people who are at Rockaway Care Center for short-term recovery programs or long-term stays. Residents and their loved ones can breathe a sigh of relief, just knowing we have the support of our Rockaway Care Center respiratory therapists.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *