Role of RT in COVID-19 Crisis
Throughout the United States and the rest of the world, respiratory therapists are fighting and playing a great role in treating and caring for those impacted by the pandemic of COVID-19. These practitioners are specialists in cardiopulmonary care and are working on the front lines.
Respiratory therapists, along with physicians, are clinically trained in mechanical ventilation. Because COVID-19 is a virus that attacks the respiratory system, the use and knowledge of ventilators is essential. About 5% of COVID-19 patients cannot breathe without the use of a breathing tube placed in their airway. To match a patient’s respiratory needs, respiratory therapists, who are trained in this matter, monitor and provide assessments based on their conditions.
Currently there are about 150,000 respiratory therapists in the United States. With the demands for the operation of ventilators, as well as the demand for respiratory and cardiopulmonary knowledge, the need for respiratory therapists is continually increasing. Throughout this pandemic, this call to serve others fuels their seemingly relentless work ethic as they care for those fighting the virus, and as they work with the rest of the medical teams. As a significant piece of an essential team of frontline workers, respiratory therapists are deserving of great distinction and appreciation.