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Respiratory Therapy

Respiratory Therapy is categorized as an allied health profession in the United States and Canada.

There are two classifications:

  • Certified Respiratory Therapists (CRT) 
  • Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT).

Respiratory Therapists (RTs) specialize in the assessment and treatment of respiratory and cardiovascular pathologies. These include chronic lung problems, such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, COPD and more acute multi-systemic problems stemming from other pathological conditions such as heart attacks, stroke, or trauma as well as complications at birth. RTs are specialists in airway management, mechanical ventilation, blood acid/base balance, and critical care medicine. RTs work closely with other medical disciplines including physicians, nurses, speech therapists and physical therapists.

History
Respiratory Therapy has grown considerably through the past four decades. There was a time when Respiratory Therapists were on-the-job trained technicians, with little formal education. Their main function was to ensure safe oxygen use, to administer intermittent positive pressure breathing (IPPB) treatments, to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and to operate negative pressure (iron lung) ventilators. They were initially titled Inhalation Therapists. With the advent of positive pressure mechanical ventilators, the more widespread hospital provision of Neonatal and Pediatric care, more sophisticated pulmonary function testing (PFT), a need for thoroughly trained clinical practitioners presented itself. Over the years "respiratory technicians" have evolved to being College and University trained clinicians who work in a variety of settings.

Respiratory Therapy at St. Mary Medical Center:
At St. Mary Medical Center, we strive to provide skilled respiratory therapy throughout the hospital.  We have specific concentrations in acute care, emergency room, and Pulmonary Function testing. Our therapists are trained in the current modalities and therapies as well as advanced and cutting-edge forms of ventilation for critical patients.  We currently have one of the most credentialed respiratory departments in the region.

Career Opportunities
St. Mary Medical Center offers multiple opportunities for entry-level and experienced Respiratory Therapists who are interested in a dynamic and fast-paced environment within a hospital setting. New employees will enjoy the benefits of working within a multi-interventional environment with opportunities to work at an acute care, Trauma Center.  Individuals who have a current or temporary Respiratory Therapy license and are interested in exploring the many career opportunities available at St. Mary Medical Center should contact Courtney Burnett in the Human Resources Department at 215-710-2513.