Sanford-Brown Blogs

How Are Respiratory Therapists Working to Assist Aging Generations?

April 4, 2009 0 Comments

Respiratory therapists work with physicians to help diagnose and treat cardiopulmonary or lung/heart conditions. While working under the direction of physicians, respiratory therapists are typically responsible for a patient's respiratory care including their treatments, diagnoses procedures and overseeing respiratory therapist technicians. Individuals who have completed respiratory therapy training may have the opportunity to assume a great deal of responsibility in their work. Respiratory therapists, who have completed a respiratory therapy program, may work with a wide range of patients who are afflicted by different diseases ranging from elderly patients with emphysema to infants with breathing complications. One of the most common diseases treated by respiratory therapists is Asthma.

What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic pulmonary disease that causes inflammation of airways and lungs and results in shortness of breath, wheezing and even sometimes death of those afflicted. This condition has become increasingly common in America in recent years. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, there has been a steady increase in the number of Asthma cases over the past 20 years. It typically affects individuals during "attacks". Asthma attacks are brought on by a variety of factors including: exercise, colds, food additives, allergens and stress. Asthma can not be cured; however, it can be treated and managed with proper care from pulmonologists and respiratory therapists.

How do Respiratory Therapists Help?
Respiratory therapists, who are required by law to complete respiratory therapy training in a respiratory therapy program, typically evaluate patients by interviewing them, performing basic medical tests and examinations to understand their disease and assign the most beneficial respiratory therapy. Respiratory therapists, who have completed respiratory therapy courses, work with doctors to help treat asthma patients and advise them on healthy practices to manage their asthma and prevent or lessen the severity of attacks. Individuals who have completed respiratory therapy training may also administer emergency respiratory care to treat asthma patients during sever attacks.

Why Is Respiratory Therapy Training Important?
Respiratory therapists work under critical conditions. It is vital that individuals complete respiratory therapy courses and respiratory therapy training so they can assists patients properly and minimize the damage of severe attacks. A respiratory therapy degree is also important as respiratory therapists work with gases stored under pressure to treat patients. Without an understanding and adherence to safety precautions therapists could not only injure patients but also injure themselves.

Opportunities for those with respiratory therapy training and a respiratory therapy degree are strong. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a 19% growth in the field from 2006 to 2016. Source: (visited January 09, 2009). As the rate of asthma patients increases, opportunities for those specifically interested in working with asthma patients should also increase.

Sanford-Brown College-Fenton's Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Therapy degree offers students both respiratory therapy courses and respiratory therapy training. Students complete lecture courses, laboratory classes and work in a supervised externship to get hands-on experience. To learn more about our respiratory therapy courses and how you can begin pursuing a rewarding career as a respiratory therapist, click here.

Sanford-Brown - Fenton is close to many locations:
Ballwin, MO - approximately 8.0 miles
St. Peters, MO - approximately 28.2 miles
O'Fallon, MO - approximately 28.0 miles
St. Louis, MO - approximately 19.7 miles


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition, Respiratory Therapists, on the Internet at (visited January 09, 2009).


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