Respiratory Therapists

Apr 06 2020 - 12:50pm

Who are they?

Respiratory therapists assist physicians in the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with respiratory and cardiopulmonary disorders. They are employed in hospitals, extended care facilities, public health centres and respiratory home care companies. Respiratory therapists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, critical care, pediatrics, cardiopulmonary diagnostics and respiratory home care.

What do they do?

Respiratory therapists perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Perform diagnostic tests, such as arterial blood gas analysis and cardiopulmonary functions tests.
  • Operate and monitor respiratory equipment to administer treatments such as oxygen, oxygen-air mixtures, humidified air or medications.
  • Operate, monitor, maintain and test a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic equipment.
  • Assess patients and perform or assist with interventions such as airway maintenance, line insertions, inductions and intubations.
  • Perform artificial respiration and external cardiac massage.
  • Assist with transport of high-risk patients.
  • Supervise and train students and other respiratory therapists.
  • Participate in home care programs for chronic respiratory patients and provide patient and family education.
  • Participate in research related to cardiac and pulmonary disorders.

What is their background?

  • Respiratory therapists require the completion of a three-year college, hospital or university degree program in respiratory therapy, including clinical training.
  • Registration with a provincial regulatory body is required for respiratory therapists.

Employee Profile

  • 260 people were employed in this occupational group (NOC 3214) in 2016.
  • 71% were employed full-time
  • 84% were female and 16 % were male
  • The median age is 40.6
  • Where do they work?
    • 62.5%    Halifax
    • 10.7%    Cape Breton
    • 10.7%    Annapolis Valley
    • 8.9%      Southern
    • 8.9%      North Shore

View the full profile here.