A health professional, specializing in respiratory therapy is called a respiratory therapist. They are usually found in emergency rooms, operation rooms, intensive-care units, and other critical areas within a hospital.
They are also known as respiratory care practitioners. They are involved in evaluating, treating, and taking care of patients suffering from cardiopulmonary or other breathing disorders. Respiratory therapists practice under the direction of a physician, and assume primary responsibilities for therapeutic treatments, respiratory care, and diagnostic procedures, which includes supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. They develop and modify patient care plans by consulting a physician or other healthcare staff. They also provide complex therapy such as caring for patients on life support in intensive-care units of hospitals, which requires considerable independent judgment.
Minimum qualification for a respiratory therapist is an associate degree, but for advancement a bachelor's or master's degree may be important. Also, license for respiratory therapist is required in all states, except Alaska and Hawaii.