Respiratory Therapy Career Profile
What is a Respiratory Therapist (RT)?
A Respiratory Therapist (RT) is a health-care professional that evaluates, treats, and cares for people who have breathing problems. RTs use oxygen, medicines, and mechanical measures such as chest percussion to help people breathe more effectively. Most RTs work under the direct supervision of a doctor and treat people of all ages, from premature babies with undeveloped lungs to older adults with respiratory disease. They mostly work in hospital settings but can also work in nursing homes and doctors offices.
What is it like working as a Respiratory Therapist at the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA)?
RTs as part of the SHA work in hospital and clinical settings throughout the province as part of a multidisciplinary health-care team in order to provide the best patient care. Hospital settings include Intensive Care Units (ICU), Neonatal ICU, Pediatric ICU, Emergency Departments, Critical Care Units, and other hospital wards. RTs work in shifts in order to provide health-care coverage based on the needs of the facility or clinic and this may include days, nights, and weekends. Opportunities to grow as a RT include taking advanced courses to work in specialized areas, and pursuing management and leadership positions.
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What can I earn as a Respiratory Therapist?
The current pay per hour is:
- Respiratory Therapist - $35.88 - $43.77
- Respiratory Therapist Senior - $38.75 - $47.27
- Respiratory Therapist Supervisor - $41.85 - $51.05
In addition to the above pay bands, the SHA provides a comprehensive benefits package including:
- Extended Health and Dental benefits
- Defined-Benefit Pension Plan
- Life and Disability Insurance
- Employee and Family Assistance Program
- Annual Vacation
RTs working with the SHA are unionized employees and are members of the following union:
How do I become a Respiratory Therapist?
A diploma or degree is required to work as a RT in Saskatchewan. These programs are typically take 3 to 4 years to complete. There is no training program in Saskatchewan; however there are reserved training seats for Saskatchewan students in the following program in Alberta:
After completing your program, you will need to obtain a license from the Saskatchewan College of Respiratory Therapists (SCRT) and pass the Canadian Board for Respiratory Care (CBRC) exam.