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Respiratory Therapy: What You Need To Know

Patients who are prescribed respiratory therapy receive great benefits from treatments that can help them breathe better and easier. Various injuries, illnesses, conditions, and surgeries can affect the pulmonary system, resulting in a loss of lung function or a decrease in the absorption of oxygen from the lungs. Respiratory therapists work with patients to help them learn how to better manage breathing issues and improve lung function if possible.

Good respiratory care is vital for individuals who are unable to breathe without assistance, or those who struggle to breathe and need therapy to improve lung function. Respiratory therapists monitor and assess patients, manage ventilators and airways, conduct respiratory treatments, and educate patients and their families on how to manage lung issues.

What Is Respiratory Therapy?
Respiratory therapy is a specific type of healthcare used to assess and diagnose patients with respiratory issues in order to manage symptoms, provide treatments, and monitor ongoing issues with lung function. Because there are so many things that can affect lung function, patients of all ages can benefit from respiratory therapy to make breathing easier.

Some patients may only require short term respiratory therapy as the result of an illness, for example. Others, like those with a progressive or chronic illness, may require respiratory therapy over a long period of time. There are a number of tools, technologies, equipment, and strategies used in respiratory therapy to improve breathing and manage symptoms.

What Do Respiratory Therapists Do?
Respiratory therapists help patients breathe better. There are many things they do to provide quality care to achieve the desired results, beginning with assessing and evaluating the patient to determine the right treatment plan and establish the proper goals for each individual.

Some of the responsibilities of respiratory therapists include:

– Conducting physical examinations
– Interviewing and assessing patients

– Checking vital signs
– Performing diagnostic lung capacity, oxygen uptake, breathing and other measurement tests

– Operating and monitoring humidifiers

– Teaching and guiding patients through pulmonary exercises

– consulting with the patients’ doctors to develop appropriate treatment plans

– Operating and monitoring life life support ventilators

– Administering inhaler medications

– Performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation

– Managing artificial airways

– Educating patients and their families about treatments, symptoms, illnesses, and at home care

Who Needs Respiratory Therapy?

Any individual who struggles to breathe can benefit from respiratory therapy. Many patients who are suffering with a cardiopulmonary condition that affects breathing need this type of care, including those with COPD, emphysema, lung cancer, asthma, congestive heart failure, bronchitis, pneumonia, and more. Patients who have been injured and are suffering from chest trauma as a result may also benefit from respiratory therapy.

There is no set age at which a person needs respiratory therapy. Patients in every age range may need respiratory therapy to help with rehabilitation and recovery from surgery, illness, or injury. Respiratory therapy is often used for rehabilitative care, but for those with chronic pulmonary conditions therapy may be required more long term. 

Proper breathing is fundamental for good health. Respiratory therapy is important for those patients who suffer from struggling to breathe. As doctors and other specialists work to treat the underlying causes, respiratory therapists work to provide the care that helps the patient breathe more comfortably while they recover. The right respiratory care can make all the difference in the world for someone who can barely breathe.

Margate Health and Rehab specializes in Transitional Rehabilitation, a comprehensive rehabilitation approach that focuses on short-stay recovery. Our focus is to provide each patient with a positive rehab experience. Because of these positive experiences, a significant number of our patients return to Margate for future rehabilitation needs. We partner with local hospitals, physicians and insurance companies to support our patients’ goals in their desire to return home to the resumption of a healthy, active lifestyle. If you or a loved one are suffering from breathing issues, our expert respiratory therapists are here to help. Contact us today to learn more.