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Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRTs)


Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRTs) are specialized healthcare professionals who evaluate, treat, and manage patients with respiratory issues or disorders. They play a critical role in emergency care, pulmonary rehabilitation, and management of patients on life support systems. RRTs possess advanced-level certifications and are required to pass national board examinations to become registered practitioners in their field.

Key Takeaways

  1. Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRTs) are highly trained medical professionals who specialize in the assessment, treatment, and management of patients with respiratory disorders and diseases.
  2. RRTs play a crucial role in the VA healthcare system, providing essential respiratory care services to veterans suffering from various respiratory conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), and pneumonia.
  3. VA benefits may cover expenses related to respiratory therapy services provided by RRTs, ensuring that veterans receive the necessary care and support for their respiratory health.


The VA benefits term “Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRTs)” is important because it highlights the crucial role these healthcare professionals play in the Veterans Affairs system.

RRTs are specially trained and certified individuals who assess, treat, and monitor patients suffering from breathing disorders and cardiopulmonary issues, including veterans who may have developed these conditions during their service.

Within the VA benefits system, recognizing RRTs ensures that veterans have access to essential respiratory care provided by these experts.

This, in turn, helps improve the overall health and well-being of veterans by addressing their respiratory needs with the highest level of professional knowledge and expertise.


Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRTs) play a crucial role in the healthcare sector, particularly for veterans receiving care through the VA benefits system. RRTs cater to the needs of patients who suffer from various respiratory issues, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), asthma, emphysema, and other pulmonary ailments.

For veterans who may have been exposed to various environmental hazards during service, it is vital that adequate respiratory care is made available to address any consequent health issues. RRTs work closely with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to develop and implement treatment plans specific to each patient, with the ultimate goal of improving their respiratory health and overall quality of life.

In the context of VA benefits, the services of Registered Respiratory Therapists are highly beneficial for veterans seeking comprehensive care for their respiratory needs. RRTs assess and monitor patients’ lung function, administer medications and treatment modalities, and provide patient education and counseling on managing respiratory conditions.

They also play a part in life-support interventions for critical patients, such as managing ventilators and providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), ensuring that veterans receive the appropriate care in emergency situations. The availability of RRTs’ expertise through VA benefits ensures that veterans have access to specialized care, contributing to their overall well-being and recovery.

Examples of Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRTs)

VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, Washington: At this VA hospital, Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRTs) play a critical role in the respiratory care of veterans. They assist in assessing, diagnosing, and treating various respiratory conditions such as asthma, COPD, and sleep apnea. RRTs at this location work closely with physicians and other healthcare professionals to create comprehensive treatment plans for patients, including the use of advanced mechanical ventilators and other respiratory therapy equipment.

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, Texas: This VA medical center has a team of dedicated RRTs who provide care for veterans with a range of respiratory disorders. They may work in various settings, including intensive care units, emergency departments, and outpatient clinics. As a part of the interdisciplinary healthcare team, RRTs at this location play an integral role in managing the care for patients on life support, as well as providing pulmonary rehabilitation services to help improve patient lung function and overall quality of life.

VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, California: Registered Respiratory Therapists at this VA facility are essential in providing comprehensive respiratory care to veterans. They work in a variety of settings, such as inpatient medical units, pulmonary function laboratories, and outpatient clinics. RRTs here perform diagnostic tests, such as spirometry and arterial blood gas analysis, and administer therapies, such as oxygen therapy, medications via nebulizers, and chest physiotherapy. They work collectively with the patient’s healthcare team to optimize the respiratory health and well-being of their patients.

FAQ Section for Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRTs)

What is a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT)?

A Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) is a healthcare professional who specializes in the assessment, treatment, management, and care of patients with respiratory and cardiopulmonary disorders. RRTs work closely with physicians and other healthcare providers to develop and administer optimal respiratory care plans for patients.

What are the educational and certification requirements for RRTs?

To become an RRT, one must complete a minimum of an associate’s degree in respiratory therapy from an accredited program. Upon completion, candidates must pass the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) examinations to become credentialed as a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and then as a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).

How do RRTs contribute to the care of veterans?

RRTs play an important role in the care of veterans by providing respiratory care services for various health conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, emphysema, and other respiratory-related issues. They also offer support for patients on ventilators and manage various life support systems in critical care settings.

What types of VA benefits are available for Registered Respiratory Therapists?

Registered Respiratory Therapists working for the VA may be eligible for various benefits, such as competitive salaries, comprehensive medical and dental insurance, paid time off, retirement plans, and education assistance programs. The specific benefits package will vary depending on the individual’s employment status and location.

How can RRTs find employment opportunities within the VA healthcare system?

RRTs can search for job opportunities in the VA healthcare system on the USAJOBS website, the official employment site of the United States federal government. Additionally, RRTs can attend job fairs, contact local VA hospitals or clinics, or network with other healthcare professionals to learn of new opportunities in the field.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Pulmonary Function Testing
  • Critical Care Respiratory Support
  • Ventilator Management
  • Airway Clearance Techniques
  • Oxygen Therapy

Sources for More Information