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Career Services - Students

Respiratory Therapy Major

Career Information

Possible Job Titles

  • Respiratory therapist
  • Respiratory care practitioners
  • Supervisory or managerial positions in a respiratory therapy department.
  • Respiratory therapists in home care and equipment rental firms may become branch manager.
  • Sales representatives
  • Equipment designers for equipment manufacturers.

Typical Places of Employment

  • Hospitals (departments of respiratory care, anesthesiology, or pulmonary medicine) and medical centers
  • Durable medical equipment rental companies, home health agencies, and nursing homes

Typical Work Activities

  • Evaluate, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders.
  • Test the capacity of the lungs and analyze the oxygen and carbon dioxide concentration and potential of hydrogen (pH), a measure of the acidity or alkalinity level of the blood.
  • Respiratory therapists perform chest physiotherapy on patients to remove mucus from their lungs to make it easier for them to breathe.
  • Keep records of the materials used and charges to patients. Some therapists teach or supervise other respiratory therapy personnel.
  • Provide temporary relief to patients with chronic asthma or emphysema and emergency care for heart failure, stroke, drowning, or shock victims.
  • Respiratory therapists most commonly use oxygen or oxygen mixtures, chest physiotherapy, and aerosol medications.
  • Administer aerosols-generally liquid medications suspended in a gas that forms a mist which is inhaled and teach patients how to inhale the aerosol properly to assure its effectiveness.

Additional Info in Career Services

These publications must be used in the Career Services Office. However there are many brochures and magazines such as Resume Writing, Interviewing and Job Choices that you may take with you:

  • 150 Careers in the Health Care Field
  • Job Opportunities for Health and Science Majors
  • Job Opportunities in Health and Science
  • Health Care Job Explosion
  • Medical and Pharmaceutical Sales
  • Opportunities in Physician Careers
  • Opportunities in Physician Assistant Careers
  • Opportunities in Physical Therapy Careers
  • Opportunities in Gerontology and Aging Services Careers
  • Quick Reference to Occupational Therapy
  • Resumes and Personal Statements for Health Professionals


To see a complete list of career books located at the Career Services Office click here.

Alumni Resources

(Listed below are examples of SU Alumni and their Jobs in this major- For more alumni resources, go to Mentor Network)

Danette Wolford 2005 RRT-NPS The Johns Hopkins Hospital NICU
Kenneth Garritano 2000 Hospital Pharmaceuticals Specialist AstraZeneca
Mwelwa Changwe 2005 Respiratory Therapist Peninsula Regional Medical Center
Jude Muneses 1988 Physician Jude C. Muneses, MD

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