Just a few months ago, most people were unfamiliar with what respiratory therapists (RRTs) do and how they are responsible for providing lifesaving care to patients on a daily basis. Now, RRTs are being praised and widely recognized for the contributions they are making toward the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.Why Are Respiratory Therapists an Important Part of Our Healthcare System?
RRTs are trained to provide diagnostic services and therapy to patients who have difficulty breathing or suffer from chronic respiratory diseases like:
- - Asthma
- - Bronchitis
- - Emphysema
- - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
In short, respiratory therapists coordinate and work toward a course of action to bring a patient’s breathing levels back to normal and ensure that their lungs are working properly. It’s these skills that make respiratory therapists essential as we continue to find ourselves in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Respiratory Therapists are Making a Difference in the Battle Against COVID-19
This new coronavirus attaches itself to the receptors on healthy cells, especially those found in the lungs. While the majority of people who contract the virus only experience mild to moderate symptoms and do not require hospitalization, some patients may present with severe respiratory illness in both of their lungs. If this happens, a patient will often be admitted into an intensive care unit and put under the watch of a respiratory therapist.
When caring for a patient that has COVID-19, RRTs are responsible for things like:
- - Tracking oxygen levels
- - Providing appropriate breathing treatments
- - Making clinical decisions that are tailored to a patient’s specific needs
- - Determining if a patient needs the assistance of a ventilator
- - Deciding how long a patient should stay on a ventilator
A respiratory therapist’s job is also unique in that they follow a patient’s care from presentation to discharge—they are beside their patients every step of the way. An RRT’s work is difficult, the hours are long, and their environment is risky, especially since the majority of their care takes place at the head of a patient’s bed. But, without RRTs who are able to skillfully monitor and identify even the most acute changes in the respiratory health of patients with COVID-19, patient outcomes would likely suffer.
Respiratory therapists’ willingness to work on the front lines during these trying times and provide care and emotional support to patients often separated from their families truly reveals that they are heroes in the medical field. We at CoreMedical Group want to personally thank RRTs, and all medical personnel, that have continued to dedicate their skills, time and energy to helping patients heal—your work has not gone unnoticed.
If you are a respiratory therapist that is ready to help patients with COVID-19 and are interested in traveling to areas that have been heavily infected by the virus, click here to view our open travel RRT jobs.