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Respiratory Therapists - 29-1126.00

O*NET-SOC Description

Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, check, and operate equipment.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Respiratory Therapist
  • Cardiopulmonary Technician and EEG Tech (Cardiopulmonary Technician and Electroencephalogram Technician)
  • Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT)
  • Clinical Coordinator of Respiratory Therapy
  • Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT)
  • Respiratory Care Practitioner (RCP)
  • Respiratory Therapist (RT)
  • Respiratory Therapy Director
  • Staff Respiratory Therapist
  • Staff Therapist

SOC Occupation Groups

Related Occupations


  • Conduct tests, such as electrocardiograms (EKGs), stress testing, or lung capacity tests, to evaluate patients' cardiopulmonary functions.
  • Demonstrate respiratory care procedures to trainees or other healthcare personnel.
  • Determine requirements for treatment, such as type, method and duration of therapy, precautions to be taken, or medication and dosages, compatible with physicians' orders.
  • Educate patients and their families about their conditions and teach appropriate disease management techniques, such as breathing exercises or the use of medications or respiratory equipment.
  • Enforce safety rules and ensure careful adherence to physicians' orders.
  • Explain treatment procedures to patients to gain cooperation and allay fears.
  • Inspect, clean, test, and maintain respiratory therapy equipment to ensure equipment is functioning safely and efficiently, ordering repairs when necessary.
  • Maintain charts that contain patients' pertinent identification and therapy information.
  • Make emergency visits to resolve equipment problems.
  • Monitor cardiac patients, using electrocardiography devices, such as a holter monitor.
  • Monitor patient's physiological responses to therapy, such as vital signs, arterial blood gases, or blood chemistry changes, and consult with physician if adverse reactions occur.
  • Perform bronchopulmonary drainage and assist or instruct patients in performance of breathing exercises.
  • Perform endotracheal intubation to maintain open airways for patients who are unable to breathe on their own.
  • Perform pulmonary function and adjust equipment to obtain optimum results in therapy.
  • Provide emergency care, such as artificial respiration, external cardiac massage, or assistance with cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  • Read prescription, measure arterial blood gases, and review patient information to assess patient condition.
  • Relay blood analysis results to a physician.
  • Set up and operate devices, such as mechanical ventilators, therapeutic gas administration apparatus, environmental control systems, or aerosol generators, following specified parameters of treatment.
  • Teach, train, supervise, or use the assistance of students, respiratory therapy technicians, or assistants.
  • Transport patients to the hospital or within the hospital.
  • Use a variety of testing techniques to assist doctors in cardiac or pulmonary research or to diagnose disorders.
  • Work as part of a team of physicians, nurses, or other healthcare professionals to manage patient care by assisting with medical procedures or related duties.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Adjust settings or positions of medical equipment.
  • Assist healthcare practitioners during examinations or treatments.
  • Clean medical equipment or facilities.
  • Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
  • Communicate test or assessment results to medical professionals.
  • Determine protocols for medical procedures.
  • Examine medical instruments or equipment to ensure proper operation.
  • Explain medical procedures or test results to patients or family members.
  • Gather medical information from patient histories.
  • Implement advanced life support techniques.
  • Inform medical professionals regarding patient conditions and care.
  • Maintain medical equipment or instruments.
  • Maintain medical facility records.
  • Monitor patient conditions during treatments, procedures, or activities.
  • Move patients to or from treatment areas.
  • Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment.
  • Prepare medical supplies or equipment for use.
  • Repair medical facility equipment.
  • Supervise patient care personnel.
  • Test patient heart or lung functioning.
  • Train medical providers.
  • Train patients, family members, or caregivers in techniques for managing disabilities or illnesses.
  • Treat chronic diseases or disorders.
  • Treat medical emergencies.
  • Verify that medical activities or operations meet standards.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Cardiopulmonary Laboratory (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Cardiopulmonary Laboratory Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Cardiopulmonary Laboratory Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Cardiopulmonary Laboratory Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Cardiopulmonary Laboratory Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Cardiopulmonary Laboratory Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Health Services Technician (Coast Guard - Enlisted)
  • Hospital Corpsman (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Respiratory Specialist (Army - Enlisted)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

No information available.

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Respiratory Therapist