Respiratory Therapy Technicians

Description

Provide respiratory care under the direction of respiratory therapists and physicians.

Tasks

  • Monitor patients during treatment and report any unusual reactions to the respiratory therapist.
  • Use ventilators or various oxygen devices or aerosol and breathing treatments in the provision of respiratory therapy.
  • Work with patients in areas such as the emergency rooms, neonatal or pediatric intensive care, or surgical intensive care, treating conditions such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, cystic fibrosis, or pneumonia.
  • Collect and analyze arterial blood gas samples.
  • Read and evaluate physicians' orders and patients' chart information to determine patients' condition and treatment protocols.
  • Set equipment controls to regulate the flow of oxygen, gases, mists, or aerosols.
  • Assess patients' response to treatments and modify treatments according to protocol if necessary.
  • Perform diagnostic procedures to assess the severity of respiratory dysfunction in patients.
  • Keep records of patients' therapy, completing all necessary forms.
  • Prepare or test devices, such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, aerosol generators, or electrocardiogram (EKG) machines.
  • Explain treatment procedures to patients.
  • Administer breathing or oxygen procedures, such as intermittent positive pressure breathing treatments, ultrasonic nebulizer treatments, or incentive spirometer treatments.
  • Interview or examine patients to collect clinical data.
  • Provide respiratory care involving the application of well-defined therapeutic techniques under the supervision of a respiratory therapist and a physician.
  • Clean, sterilize, check, and maintain respiratory therapy equipment.
  • Recommend or review bedside procedures, x-rays, or laboratory tests.
  • Follow and enforce safety rules applying to equipment.
  • Teach or oversee other workers who provide respiratory care services.
  • Teach patients how to use respiratory equipment at home.

Knowledge

Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

Skills

Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.

Abilities

Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Spatial Orientation
The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Night Vision
The ability to see under low light conditions.
Peripheral Vision
The ability to see objects or movement of objects to one's side when the eyes are looking ahead.
Glare Sensitivity
The ability to see objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting.

Work Activities

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Interests

Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Work Style

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Social Orientation
Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Work Values

Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT)
Certified Respiratory Therapy Technician (CRTT)
Life Support Technician
Oxygen Equipment Technician
Oxygen Therapy Technician
Registered Respiratory Therapist
Respiratory Technician
Respiratory Therapist
Respiratory Therapist Assistant
Respiratory Therapy Technician
Staff Respiratory Therapist

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$22.48 hourly, $46,760 annual.
Employment (2008):
13,460 employees