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Respiratory therapist (RT)

Respiratory therapists (RTs) are health professionals who evaluate, treat, and care for people who have breathing problems. Respiratory therapists use oxygen, medicines, and mechanical measures such as chest percussion to help people breathe more effectively.

Most respiratory therapists work under the direct supervision of a doctor. Respiratory therapists treat people of all ages, from premature babies with undeveloped lungs to older adults with respiratory disease. Most respiratory therapists work in hospitals. But some work in nursing homes and doctor's offices.

In Canada, respiratory therapists must have graduated from a respiratory therapy educational program accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Respiratory Therapy Education (CoARTE). They must also pass a national certification exam given by the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists.