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Respiratory therapists

Nurses   (1,010 Views 9 Comments)

scattycarrot has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ITU/Emergency.

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I did not want to hijack another thread with my questions so I thought I would start a new one.

In the UK, we do not have RT's and so I was just wondering what it is they do exactly, who are they responsible to and how much automony they have? I am assuming they do more than hand out nebs! Actually, if they are handing out meds, waht kind of training do they have?

Sorry about the 20 questions but its an interesting concept!

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6,487 Posts; 21,398 Profile Views

They do respiratory treatments, pulmonary toilets, set up and maintain ventilators, teaching, assessments. They are part of the care team but a separate entity. They can communicate with the physicians and get treatment orders. They are either certified or licensed...the licensed ones have college degrees.

And that's only a nutshell version! They do so much more but I can't think of all of it.

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All_Smiles_RN specializes in Cardiology.

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They do breathing treatments, suctioning, manage vents, and more. they may upgrade the pt to a venti mask or non-rebreather and they also help wean them down. they do ABGs. they take orders from Dr's and call them when they feel it necessary. whenever a pt goes into any sort of resp distress, we can page them for assistance. they manage the airway aspect during codes. they are a wonderful asset. :-)

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scattycarrot has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ITU/Emergency.

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Thanks! Maybe in 20 years they will be introduced into the NHS......

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Daytonite has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

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this is from the u.s. department of labor and is a description of the role of the respiratory therapist

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neneRN has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency, Trauma.

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They also intubate, do trach care, and are part of the code team and, in the ER, the trauma team. If they're feeling really nice, they get our sputum samples and do arterial draws for labs when the pt has no veins!

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6,487 Posts; 21,398 Profile Views

If they're feeling really nice, they get our sputum samples and do arterial draws for labs when the pt has no veins!

And this is why you must always be nice to your RT's.........interns learn quickly (or most of them do) that nurses can make their lives miserable if treat us bad, but in turn we nurses know who can make our lives miserable!

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As a licensed RT soon to be a nurse I thank you for the kind words. Many people do not know exactly what we do. Treatments are the least of it. We are schooled in cardio-pulmonary anatomy, physiology, and medicine. We can assess, choose the vent and mode, initial settings, and interpret ABGs for required adjustments. We know our drugs up, down, and sideways. Most of us work codes and can intubate. We run, run, and run over the average hospital and envy the nurses' immediate locale. Soon I will join you there. I am truly looking forward to it. John in Tampa

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scattycarrot has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ITU/Emergency.

357 Posts; 4,343 Profile Views

As a licensed RT soon to be a nurse I thank you for the kind words. Many people do not know exactly what we do. Treatments are the least of it. We are schooled in cardio-pulmonary anatomy, physiology, and medicine. We can assess, choose the vent and mode, initial settings, and interpret ABGs for required adjustments. We know our drugs up, down, and sideways. Most of us work codes and can intubate. We run, run, and run over the average hospital and envy the nurses' immediate locale. Soon I will join you there. I am truly looking forward to it. John in Tampa

Thats great! Welcome to the community. I assume you are going to work in ICU or ER with all that fantastic knowledge? I am interested to hear your plans!

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