Who they are: In this allied health specialty, respiratory therapists, also known as respiratory care practitioners, help assess cardiopulmonary systems to treat and monitor heart and lung problems.
What they do: Respiratory therapists help assess cardiopulmonary systems to treat and monitor heart and lung problems. The care provided by respiratory therapists may include administration of oxygen, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, management of mechanical ventilators, administering medications to the lungs, monitoring cardiopulmonary systems and measuring lung function. Patients range from premature infants needing rescue breathing to seniors who require pulmonary rehabilitation to live with chronic lung disorders.
Where they work: Employment opportunities are primarily in hospitals and medical centers, but also include clinics, rehabilitation centers and the delivery of home respiratory care.
Outlook: Respiratory care is growing much faster than other careers in the nation. In the next ten years, the number of respiratory care jobs are expected to grow by 21%.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bachelor of Science in Health Professions Respiratory Care Track at the University of Minnesota Rochester delivers upper-division curriculum designed to prepare students to become respiratory care practitioners with advanced-level clinical skills.
The mission of the track is to:
- Prepare students to become respiratory care practitioners with advanced-level clinical skills
- Provide professional courses and clinical experiences to support professional development
- Prepare students to serve as consultants to physicians and other medical staff
- Offer students options for specialized clinical study including:
- Adult critical care and patient transport
- Newborn and pediatric critical care
- Cardiopulmonary diagnostics-pulmonary function testing
- Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, disease prevention, case management in asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), as well as smoking cessation and lung health counseling
U of M Program