How to Hire a Respiratory Therapist

Does your growing business need a respiratory therapist? Respiratory therapists can help your company take care of patients and increase the quality of care.

Here are some tips to help you find great respiratory therapist candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Respiratory therapists searching for jobs on Indeed*

68,282

Job seekers that clicked respiratory therapist jobs

26,903

Resumes for job seekers with respiratory therapist experience on Indeed

20,432

Respiratory therapist jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring respiratory therapist?

  • Common salary in US: $1,430 monthly
  • Typical salaries range from $1,200$2,500 monthly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, respiratory therapist jobs in the U.S. are very competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 3.3 job seekers per respiratory therapist job.

Why hire a respiratory therapist?

The need for new staff can affect both your existing team and your patients’ health. A great respiratory therapist hire can help your business:

• Offer new services for patients
• Increase the number of patients 
• Take better care of patients

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance respiratory therapist

A busy medical facility with many patients often requires a full-time respiratory therapist. Some facilities need multiple respiratory therapists or different types of respiratory therapists to serve specific patient populations. If you have enough patients requiring services, hiring a full-time respiratory therapist gives you the consistent coverage you need.

For a smaller facility, using a respiratory therapist on a contract basis provides more flexibility. This option is ideal if you only need a respiratory therapist a few hours per week or if you need one irregularly only when you have a special patient case. Some companies also offer a travel respiratory therapist option similar to a travel nurse for short-term assignments, usually around 13 weeks long. This offers a short-term solution.

What are the types of respiratory therapists?

Respiratory therapists sometimes specialize in a particular type of respiratory care or a certain patient population. Some types of respiratory therapists include:

  • Pediatric respiratory therapist: This type of therapist has expertise in neonatal and pediatric cardiopulmonary conditions. Some work in hospitals offering acute and emergency therapy, and others work in outpatient facilities to treat conditions such as asthma.
  • Adult respiratory therapist: These therapists work with adults who have chronic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis or emphysema.
  • Geriatric respiratory therapist: Geriatric specialists focus on special health conditions common in older people, such as COPD and bronchial pneumonia. 
  • Emergency and acute respiratory therapist: Some respiratory therapists work in hospitals to help treat patients who visit the emergency room or are in the hospital for acute conditions. Examples include patients with pneumonia or those who need to be on ventilators. 
  • Polysomnography respiratory therapist: Sleep laboratories often hire respiratory therapists to help with sleep-related breathing disorders. They help diagnose sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, and create a treatment plan.

Where to find respiratory therapists

To find the right respiratory therapist for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Participate in respiratory therapist events. Attend conventions and conferences for respiratory therapists. Networking at these events can help you meet potential respiratory therapists to hire.
  • Ask for referrals. Encourage your current employees to refer any respiratory therapists they know. Because they’re familiar with your company culture, they can recommend people who’d be a good fit.
  • Network with industry professionals. Let everyone in your network know you need a new respiratory therapist. Contacts such as medical supply reps might know respiratory therapists who are looking for new opportunities.
  • Share on social media. Post about your respiratory therapist opening on your social media pages. Encourage your followers to share the post.
  • Post your job online. Try posting your respiratory therapist job on Indeed to find and attract quality respiratory therapist candidates.

What are the types of respiratory therapists?

Respiratory therapists sometimes specialize in a particular type of respiratory care or a certain patient population. Some types of respiratory therapists include:

  • Pediatric respiratory therapist: This type of therapist has expertise in neonatal and pediatric cardiopulmonary conditions. Some work in hospitals offering acute and emergency therapy, and others work in outpatient facilities to treat conditions such as asthma.
  • Adult respiratory therapist: These therapists work with adults who have chronic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis or emphysema.
  • Geriatric respiratory therapist: Geriatric specialists focus on special health conditions common in older people, such as COPD and bronchial pneumonia. 
  • Emergency and acute respiratory therapist: Some respiratory therapists work in hospitals to help treat patients who visit the emergency room or are in the hospital for acute conditions. Examples include patients with pneumonia or those who need to be on ventilators. 
  • Polysomnography respiratory therapist: Sleep laboratories often hire respiratory therapists to help with sleep-related breathing disorders. They help diagnose sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, and create a treatment plan.

Writing a respiratory therapist job description

A thoughtful description is important to finding qualified respiratory therapist candidates. A respiratory therapist job description includes a compelling summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your respiratory therapist job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on respiratory therapist jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Respiratory therapist
  • Respiratory
  • Respiratory therapy
  • Registered respiratory therapist
  • Respiratory care practitioner
  • Travel respiratory therapist
  • RRT
  • Certified respiratory therapist
  • Travel respiratory
  • Respiratory care

Interviewing respiratory therapist candidates

Strong candidates for respiratory therapist positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

• How they diagnose patients
• The most common causes of illnesses
• Using lab equipment

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of respiratory therapist interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire a respiratory therapist

How do I choose between two good respiratory therapist candidates?

Evaluate each candidate on how they interact with you to gauge their bedside manner and communication skills. Note how well each candidate explains things since respiratory therapists often have to describe medical concepts to patients. Consider each candidate’s future goals as a respiratory therapist and how they align with your needs.

What does a respiratory therapist wear?

Respiratory therapists who work in hospitals and provide emergency or acute care often wear scrubs, which are easier to clean if they get bodily fluids on them. You might designate a specific color of scrubs for your respiratory therapists or let them choose their own color. Respiratory therapists working in a clinic or specialist’s office might wear business casual attire.

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