Your Respiratory Therapist
Providing Treatment to Improve Your Breathing
Department of Respiratory Care
Monmouth Medical Center
An affiliate of RWJBarnabas Health
Making Breathing Easier
For most people, breathing is effortless and occurs spontaneously. But
when a medical condition or unexpected injury makes breathing difficult,
treatment becomes necessary.
A respiratory therapist plays a major role on a patient's health care
team, working with physicians and nurses in providing evaluation, diagnosis
and treatment of breathing disorders that are caused by a variety of conditions.
- Chronic lung problems, such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema
- Lung cancer
- Accidents or injuries
- Cystic fibrosis
- Respiratory infections
- Prematurity (for newborns)
- Emergency respiratory care
The Role of the Respiratory Therapist
The respiratory therapist is specially trained to perform procedures to
diagnose and treat breathing disorders, including:
- Obtaining and analyzing sputum and breath specimens.
- Taking blood specimens for analysis of oxygen, carbon dioxide (and carbide
monoxide in cigarette smokers).
- Interpreting the data taken from these specimens.
- Measuring lung function.
- Performing stress tests and other studies of the cardiopulmonary system.
- Operating and maintaining highly sophisticated equipment to administer
oxygen or to assist with breathing.
- Employing mechanical ventilation for treatment of patients who suffer from
- Monitoring and managing therapy that will help a patient recover lung function.
- Administering medications in aerosol form to help alleviate breathing problems.
- Monitoring equipment and patient responses to therapy.
- Conducting rehabilitation activities to help patients who suffer from chronic
- Maintaining a patient's artificial airway, which may be in place to
help the patient who cannot breathe through normal means.
Respiratory Care Department 732-923-6818