Health Library

Health Library

Respiratory Therapist

What is a respiratory therapist?

Respiratory therapists are specially trained health care professionals who help treat and restore function for patients with airway and breathing problems. They often assess and treat patients with the following conditions:

  • Tracheostomy tubes (a special type of breathing tube for patients unable to breathe through their mouth and nose) and oxygen therapy

  • Ventilators (machines that breathe for patients with certain conditions, such as spinal cord injuries, who are unable to breathe on their own)

  • Chronic heart or lung problems that require breathing treatments and assistance

They may work in various settings in rehabilitation, including neurological (nervous system), cardiac (heart), and pulmonary (lungs) settings. Respiratory therapists may practice in a variety of settings, including the following:

  • Hospitals

  • Inpatient rehabilitation centers

  • Home health settings

  • Long-term care facilities

  • Private practice

Respiratory therapists may have either an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree in respiratory therapy, and many are either registered or certified in their specialty.

Respiratory Therapist - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: Bellendir, Trina, MSPT, CLT
Online Medical Reviewer: Kolbus, Karin, RN, DNP, COHN-S
© 2014 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

I would like to:

Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×