How to Be Pediatric Respiratory Therapist - Job Description, Skills, and Interview Questions

Pediatric respiratory therapists play an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory problems in children. Their interventions can help reduce respiratory distress and improve overall health. The primary cause of pediatric respiratory problems is the inability of the lungs to adequately exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide.

This can be caused by a variety of conditions, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. The effects of this inadequate exchange are difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness. Pediatric respiratory therapists use a variety of treatments to help children overcome these issues, including oxygen therapy, aerosolized medications, chest physiotherapy, and exercises to strengthen the respiratory muscles.

All of these interventions are designed to improve lung function, reduce symptoms, and improve the overall health of the child.

Steps How to Become

  1. Obtain a High School Diploma or GED. To become a pediatric respiratory therapist, you must have a high school diploma or GED.
  2. Pursue a Degree in Respiratory Therapy. To become a pediatric respiratory therapist, you must pursue a degree in respiratory therapy or respiratory care from an accredited program.
  3. Earn Certification and Licensure. You must become certified and licensed as a respiratory therapist in order to practice as a pediatric respiratory therapist. You can become certified through organizations such as the National Board for Respiratory Care and the American Association for Respiratory Care.
  4. Complete Additional Training. After earning certification, you may need to complete additional training to specialize in pediatric respiratory therapy. Most programs require at least one year of specialized clinical experience in the pediatric respiratory field before you can be considered for certification.
  5. Get Experience. It is important to gain experience in the field of pediatric respiratory therapy in order to become an effective practitioner. You may be able to gain experience through internships or volunteer work at local hospitals or clinics.
  6. Stay Up-to-Date. The field of pediatric respiratory therapy is constantly evolving, so it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments and techniques. This will help you provide the best care to your patients and ensure that you remain current on new regulations and safety protocols.

The key to finding a reliable and qualified Pediatric Respiratory Therapist is to ensure that they have the appropriate level of education and experience. A qualified Pediatric Respiratory Therapist should have a minimum of an Associate’s degree in Respiratory Care from an accredited program, and must be certified or registered with the National Board for Respiratory Care. Furthermore, they should have specific pediatric experience or specialized training in working with children.

To ensure that the Pediatric Respiratory Therapist is reliable, it is important to look for references, such as former employers, colleagues and/or patients. it is important to verify that the Pediatric Respiratory Therapist has a current license and no negative history with disciplinary boards. Taking these steps will help to ensure that the Pediatric Respiratory Therapist chosen is reliable and qualified.

You may want to check Respiratory Therapy Technician, Respiratory Care Manager, and Clinical Respiratory Therapist Supervisor for alternative.

Job Description

  1. Administer respiratory treatments to pediatric patients, such as nebulizers, aerosol treatments and oxygen therapy.
  2. Monitor and assess the patient's respiratory status and adjust treatments accordingly.
  3. Educate patients and their families about respiratory care and management.
  4. Instruct patients and their families on the use of medical equipment, such as tracheostomy tubes, ventilators and home oxygen systems.
  5. Perform diagnostic tests to evaluate the patient's lung function.
  6. Consult with physicians to determine the best course of treatment for each patient.
  7. Keep accurate records of patient treatments and progress.
  8. Assist with intubation procedures as needed.
  9. Participate in continuing education programs to stay current on advances in the field.
  10. Participate in clinical research related to pediatric respiratory care.

Skills and Competencies to Have

  1. Knowledge of childhood respiratory diseases and conditions, including asthma, cystic fibrosis, and chronic bronchitis.
  2. Ability to evaluate, diagnose, and treat pediatric respiratory issues.
  3. Ability to recognize signs of respiratory distress in pediatric patients.
  4. Ability to operate ventilators, oxygen tanks, and other respiratory equipment.
  5. Knowledge of pharmacological treatments for pediatric respiratory ailments.
  6. Ability to communicate effectively with parents and other healthcare professionals.
  7. Ability to educate patients and families on home care and lifestyle modifications.
  8. Knowledge of safety protocols for working with pediatric patients.
  9. Knowledge of the principles of growth and development and their effect on the provision of care.
  10. Knowledge of pediatric medical terminology.

Having a strong knowledge base of respiratory therapy principles and practices, as well as the ability to quickly and accurately assess a patient’s condition and develop a treatment plan accordingly, is essential for a successful pediatric respiratory therapist. Good communication skills are also necessary, as the therapist must be able to effectively discuss treatment options with the patient’s family and other healthcare professionals. The ability to work effectively in a team is also important, as pediatric respiratory therapists often collaborate with other medical personnel to ensure the patient receives the best possible care.

Finally, it is essential that pediatric respiratory therapists have strong organizational skills to be able to track and monitor a patient's progress over time. All of these skills are essential for pediatric respiratory therapists to provide the best possible care for their patients.

Clinical Respiratory Therapist, Respiratory Therapist Educator, and Respiratory Care Supervisor are related jobs you may like.

Frequent Interview Questions

  • What experience do you have in working with pediatric patients?
  • What methods do you use to calm and reassure pediatric patients during respiratory treatments?
  • How would you explain the purpose of respiratory therapy to a child?
  • Describe the challenges you have faced in working with pediatric patients and their families.
  • How do you stay up to date on the latest developments in respiratory therapy for pediatric patients?
  • What strategies do you use to ensure the safety of pediatric patients during respiratory treatments?
  • Describe a time when you successfully diagnosed and treated a pediatric patient’s respiratory condition.
  • How do you prioritize tasks when working with multiple pediatric patients?
  • Describe your experience with using respiratory therapy equipment for pediatric patients.
  • How do you ensure that all treatments are performed correctly and in accordance with hospital guidelines?

Common Tools in Industry

  1. Nebulizer. A medical device used to administer medication in the form of a mist, often used to treat respiratory conditions in children. (eg: Philips Respironics InnoSpire Deluxe Nebulizer System)
  2. Oxygen Therapy Equipment. Equipment used to provide oxygen to patients with breathing difficulties. (eg: Philips Respironics SimplyGo Portable Oxygen Concentrator)
  3. Spirometers. A medical device used to measure lung capacity and airflow. (eg: MIR Spirobank G Smart Spirometer)
  4. Peak Flow Meters. A medical device used to measure the speed of air coming from the lungs. (eg: Micro Direct Peak Flow Meter)
  5. Pulse Oximeters. A medical device used to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood. (eg: Masimo Radical-7 Pulse Oximeter)
  6. Aerosol Delivery Devices. A medical device used to deliver aerosol medications to patients. (eg: Monaghan AeroEclipse II Breath Actuated Nebulizer)

Professional Organizations to Know

  1. American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC)
  2. American Board for Respiratory Care (ABRC)
  3. National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC)
  4. American Thoracic Society (ATS)
  5. American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP)
  6. American Lung Association
  7. Association of Pediatric Pulmonology (APP)
  8. Society of Pediatric Respiratory Care (SPRC)
  9. International Society of Pediatric Respiratory Care (ISPRC)
  10. European Society of Pediatric Respiratory Care (ESPRC)

We also have Respiratory Care Department Supervisor, Respiratory Therapy Sales Representative, and Neonatal Respiratory Therapist jobs reports.

Common Important Terms

  1. Bronchoscopy. A medical procedure to visualize the inside of the lungs and airways, usually done with a flexible, lighted tube called a bronchoscope.
  2. Oxygen Therapy. Medical treatment that provides oxygen to the body, usually through breathing treatments and face masks.
  3. Ventilator. A machine that helps to support and regulate a patient’s breathing.
  4. Pulmonary Function Test (PFT). A set of tests designed to measure the function of the lungs and airways.
  5. Respiratory Assessment. A medical evaluation of the respiratory system, including physical examination, patient history, and lab tests.
  6. Respiratory Therapy. A medical specialty that focuses on the prevention, assessment, and treatment of respiratory diseases and disorders.
  7. Asthma. A chronic respiratory condition characterized by difficulty in breathing, wheezing, and coughing.
  8. COPD. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, a progressive lung disease characterized by difficulty breathing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is a Pediatric Respiratory Therapist? A1: A Pediatric Respiratory Therapist is a health care professional who provides respiratory care and treatment to children with breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders. Q2: What qualifications are required to become a Pediatric Respiratory Therapist? A2: To become a Pediatric Respiratory Therapist, you must possess a minimum of an Associate's degree in Respiratory Therapy, along with certification from the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). Q3: What types of treatments does a Pediatric Respiratory Therapist provide? A3: Pediatric Respiratory Therapists provide treatments such as mechanical ventilation, bronchodilator therapy, oxygen therapy, aerosol therapy, pulmonary function testing, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Q4: What are some common conditions treated by Pediatric Respiratory Therapists? A4: Common conditions treated by Pediatric Respiratory Therapists include asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), and respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). Q5: How can I find a Pediatric Respiratory Therapist near me? A5: You can search online for local Pediatric Respiratory Therapists in your area or contact your local hospital or healthcare provider for more information.

Web Resources

Author Photo
Reviewed & Published by Albert
Submitted by our contributor
Respiratory Category