A respiratory therapist is a specialized healthcare practitioner who has graduated from a university and passed a national board certifying examination. Respiratory therapists work most often in intensive care and operating rooms, but are also commonly found in outpatient clinics and home-health environments.
Respiratory therapists are specialists and educators in cardiology and pulmonology. Respiratory therapists are also advanced-practice clinicians in airway management; establishing and maintaining the airway during management of trauma, intensive care, and may administer anaesthesia for surgery or conscious sedation.
Respiratory therapists are often in charge of initiating and managing life support for people in intensive care units and emergency departments, stabilizing, treating and managing pre-hospital and hospital-to-hospital patient transport by air or ground ambulance.
In the outpatient setting Respiratory Therapists are often educators in asthma clinics, ancillary clinical staff in pediatric clinics, and sleep-disorder diagnosticians in sleep-clinics. They also serve as clinical providers in cardiology clinics and cath-labs.