Profession And Careers

The Profession

Respiratory Therapists are allied health professionals who are educated and trained as physician-extenders. We are patient care managers who based on physical examination, and ongoing patient assessment, determine the need for and allocate respiratory care services, managing clinical resources from acute care through discharge planning, to sub-acute and/or home care. We interpret clinically derived patient data, and modify treatment, as the patient's needs change.

As respiratory therapists we often work with our patients from the time of their admission through to their discharge, so we get to see the change that results from what we do for them. When we go home at the end of the day we carry a sense of satisfaction that is uncommon in many careers.

Our focus is in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of patients suffering from diseases of the cardiopulmonary system. We serve as members of cardiac arrest and trauma admission teams. We are committed to respiratory wellness and disease prevention, and often are found administering family asthma and freedom from nicotine programs. Patients of all ages are treated by RTs, from the premature infant in respiratory distress to the senior citizen with end-stage ventilatory failure.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Millersville Respiratory Therapy Program are encouraged to seek their first employment in an acute care hospital that offers a broad range of practice opportunities. Once graduates pass the credentialing examination, many pursue specialties within the profession, such as:

  • Perinatal/pediatrics
  • Adult critical care
  • Cardiopulmonary diagnostics
  • Supervision/management
  • Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation
  • Respiratory home care
  • Subacute and rehabilitative care
  • Research
  • Sales
  • Respiratory care education
  • Trauma care

Respiratory therapists are employed in:

  • Acute care hospitals
  • Rehabilitation hospitals
  • Long term acute rehabilitation centers
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Independent diagnostics companies
  • Home care companies
  • Equipment manufacturers
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • US and state governmental agencies
  • Accreditation agencies
  • Colleges and universities
  • Physician practices
  • Private consulting groups