What is Respiratory Therapy?

Over 35 million people in the United States face respiratory issues like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Moreover, these numbers are increasing, partly due to environmental factors and peoples’ lifestyles. If you are having trouble breathing or facing issues with your lungs, respiratory therapy is the solution for you. But what do respiratory therapists do and how can they help patients facing chronic issues related to the respiratory system? 

As one of the best post-acute care facilities in Southern California, we work closely with respiratory therapists to ensure our clients receive top-quality care. Read our article below to learn what our respiratory therapists can do for you.

What Do Respiratory Therapy Professionals Do?

Respiratory therapists are medical professionals who specialize in the treatment, management, and care of a patient’s breathing. Additionally, they’re licensed specialists who work with other medical professionals for patients with heart conditions. Respiratory therapists are also trained in the diagnostic evaluation of lung function and guide patients to maintain good lung health.  

You will commonly find respiratory therapy specialists in hospitals, transitional care facilities, nursing homes, home health agencies, and some physician offices. Moreover, they work with patients in all age groups, from newborns to the senior community.

Why You Might Need a Respiratory Therapist

As mentioned above, respiratory therapy involves managing and treating issues involving one’s lungs and heart. Several chronic conditions call for a respiratory therapist, such as:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Sleep apnea 

Additionally, this form of medical care is critical for newborns who are conceived prematurely before their lungs are fully developed.  

COVID-19 Pandemic Has Challenged Respiratory Therapists

There’s not a single area of healthcare that has not been impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis. This is especially true for respiratory therapy professionals, as the coronavirus is primarily a respiratory-related illness that impacts our ability to breathe. 

Respiratory therapists are in the thick of it and are helping healthcare facilities manage and assist with ventilators and diagnostics. Moreover, they’re there to provide patients support with breathing treatments and maintaining sufficient oxygen levels. Enlisting the assistance of a respiratory therapist is especially critical for patients who have been discharged from the hospital. It’s a long road to recovery, but patients who develop COVID-19 can find support from post-acute facilities.

Senior Care Calls for Respiratory Therapy

Having a respiratory therapist on staff at a post-acute care facility is vital, especially when caring for senior patients. It’s no secret that older adults may suffer from some of the illnesses listed above.  Not to mention, they typically have a harder time recovering from illnesses, like pneumonia. Having a respiratory therapist is extremely beneficial for post-acute and nursing home facilities. Furthermore, they work with senior patients on ways to prevent respiratory issues from worsening.

South Coast Post Acute Are Experts in Recovery

In today’s COVID-19 landscape, it’s important for people who have suffered from the virus to receive quality care to prevent significant lung damage. South Coast Post Acute achieves this by enlisting in the expertise of respiratory therapy professionals to ensure our patients receive the best care in Southern California. Contact us today to learn how our post-acute services will benefit you in your recovery!

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