Finger Lakes Health's respiratory therapists and respiratory therapy technicians evaluate, treat, and care for patients with breathing and other lung and heart disorders. Our respiratory care practitioners provide diagnostic evaluation, therapy, and education of the patient and family members. They work directly with physicians, nurses and other healthcare workers to provide for a patient's care.
Respiratory practitioners may conduct diagnostic tests, by evaluating a patients' breathing capacity and determining the concentration of oxygen or other gases in patients' blood. To evaluate a patient's lung capacity, respiratory therapists have the patient breath into an instrument that measures the volume and flow of air during inhalation and exhalation. By comparing the reading with normal values for the patient's age, height, weight, and sex, respiratory therapists can provide information that helps determine whether the patient has any lung problems.
To treat patients, respiratory therapists may administer oxygen, blended oxygen mixtures or aerosols-liquid medications suspended in a gas that forms a mist which is inhaled-and teach patients how to inhale the aerosol properly to ensure its effectiveness.. They give many medicines by having patients inhale them. Therapists spend much of their time carefully checking on patients and equipment.
Additionally, the respiratory therapists teach in-home care to patients and their families to use ventilators and other life-support systems at home if the patient gets better but, can't breathe on their own for some reason.