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New to the Spotlight: Respiratory Therapists

By Sierra Coyle, MS, RRT-NPS | 20 Apr 2020

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to cripple global healthcare systems, an important group of medical professionals are becoming a mainstream topic; respiratory therapists. 

Respiratory therapists (RT’s) are an integral part of any hospital care team. As a respiratory therapist myself, I already know how valuable we are and am certain many others will quickly become aware of our value as we brace for this worldwide emergency. 

Respiratory therapists treat patients in all areas of the hospital and provide services thatGettyImages-868001482 range from oxygen therapy and nebulizer treatments, to mechanical ventilation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenators (ECMO) support. RT’s are involved within the neonatal intensive care unit, emergency department, pulmonary function testing and asthma education- just to name a few. Respiratory therapists are a part of every code team fighting their way to the head of the bed. We quietly enter a sleeping patient’s room to apply nocturnal CPAP as well as bag-mask ventilate during CPR – likely in the same shift. 

We provide support to everyone we encounter; patients, families, doctors and staff. We are diligent and savvy. We enjoy thinking out of the box and testing the limits. We are specialists. 

If you are not breathing; nothing else matters. 

Thank you to all respiratory therapists on the front lines, we could not manage without you.

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