A career as a travel respiratory therapist revolves around helping patients with breathing difficulties or other problems relating to the respiratory system. Unlike a normal respiratory therapist, these individuals usually fill temporary positions and travel to new locations regularly. In general, a person must have either an associate's or bachelor's degree in respiratory therapy to get into this field. While the exact facility that a person works in will vary, the primary job duties of a respiratory therapist are the same. These include communicating with a patient's doctor, performing testing, diagnosing and treating patients and maintaining equipment.
In most cases, it's necessary for a travel respiratory therapist to communicate with each patient's doctor prior to testing. During this time, he might discuss a patient's past medical history, medications and respiratory problems. Since an individual in this role is constantly on the move, it's important for him to familiarize himself with each patient's condition before taking any other actions. Doing so helps to optimize patient care and increase the odds of successful treatment.
Once he has a clear understanding of a patient's unique circumstances, a travel respiratory therapist will usually perform some tests. For example, he might measure a patient's lung capacity to determine how well a patient can inhale and exhale. He may also ask a patient about any breathing difficulties being experienced and how severe they are. This initial evaluation helps to give a travel respiratory therapist a better idea of the nature of a patient's condition.
After this evaluation, a travel respiratory therapist will provide a diagnosis that explains the details of the respiratory problems. For example, he might conclude that a patient has congestion, asthma or bronchitis. At this stage, he will discuss the specifics of the condition and the associated effects. Consequently, an individual must have a broad knowledge of different respiratory ailments and identify which one a patient is experiencing.
Along with this, a travel respiratory therapist is responsible for successfully treating each patient. The exact type of therapy will differ from patient to patient, but might involve chest physiotherapy, asthma medications or inhalers. It's up to him to provide each patient with the best possible treatment to optimize the odds of a successful recovery.
In addition, an individual may need to maintain the equipment that's used for testing. This may involve sterilizing tubes after use by each patient or changing parts when necessary. Besides this, a travel respiratory therapist might need to order more disposable parts from time to time.