Pediatric Respiratory Therapist

Treat babies and children who have difficulty breathing.
picture of Pediatric Respiratory Therapist

Quick Stats


Outlook
Good

Salary Range
$40,000 – $73,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Pediatric Respiratory Therapists do?

Asthma and heart disease pose health risks to children and can be lifelong complications. As a Pediatric Respiratory Therapist, you focus on diagnosing, monitoring, and treating your young patients’ problems to leave them feeling their best. Pediatric Respiratory Therapists focus on heart and lung problems, as well as any other illness that may cause breathing issues. Since you’re a Pediatric Respiratory Therapist instead of a standard Respiratory Therapist, you treat children instead of adults.

The healing process is ongoing and relies on both you and the child’s Physician. Working together, you compare test results and design treatment plans. Before you can solve a child’s shortness of breath, you have to know what’s causing it. This starts by running a series of tests, including EKGs to examine the heart’s activity and blood tests to check oxygen levels.

Once you have the test results, you make a diagnosis. The problem could be as simple as being out of shape, or it could be something larger, like asthma. Conditions may be temporary or continuous, and you take this and the patient’s medical history into consideration when recommending treatment.

After treating the patient by prescribing medication, asthma inhalers, or surgery in severe cases, you monitor her recovery. Ongoing conditions need monitoring and further medical treatment to keep them at bay. During the surgery itself, you may assist in ensuring that the patient’s breathing remains stable, and you may prescribe medication to prevent respiratory infections afterward. You strive to make sure all children can breathe a little easier.


Should I be a Pediatric Respiratory Therapist?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Helpful: You always keep an eye out for what other people need.

  • How to Become a
    Pediatric Respiratory Therapist

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