RRTs are regulated health care professionals who assess and manage heart and breathing issues. They work as part of the Critical Care team.
Most patients in the MSICU require some support for their breathing. This includes oxygen therapy, and possibly a breathing machine (ventilator). In order to have the machine work, a special airway or tube may have to be inserted by the physicians or the RRTs. The RRTs manage the ventilator in order to make sure the patient is comfortable and respiratory needs are met. RRTs also set-up and maintain the heart and blood pressure monitoring systems,and assist in transferring critically ill patients safely throughout the hospital and occasionally to other hospitals as well.
Respiratory therapists work 12 hour shifts and provide 24 hour per day coverage. Each RRT is responsible for a set of assigned patients.