Doctor Guru's Featured Respiratory Specialists in Singapore
What Does a Respiratory Specialist Do?
A respiratory specialist focuses on lung function. Certified and licensed technicians in this field can also be registered nurses, doctors, and even surgeons. At its most basic definition, a respiratory specialist is a technician in the field that performs diagnostic tests, develops treatment and care plans, and follow-up care for individuals experiencing respiratory complications following an accident, a surgical procedure, a stroke, or disease process.
Scope of Practice for Respiratory Specialists
In most clinical, hospital, and home health care scenarios, respiratory therapists work under the general direction and/or supervision of physicians or a pulmonologist. Their main focus of care is to provide education and treatments for individuals diagnosed with lung or heart issues.
A respiratory therapist can focus in emergency medicine, such as trauma or intensive care, or as a specialist who works in an intensive care unit. A specialist monitors and stabilizes individuals prior to and following surgical procedures, and cares for those experiencing chronic illness, as well as those diagnosed with other common conditions including chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), which includes but is not limited to emphysema and chronic bronchitis. A respiratory specialist may also aid in the diagnosis and treatment of other lung-related conditions such as pulmonary hypertension, pneumonia, and tuberculosis.
Respiratory specialists also deal with individuals experiencing various severities of asthma, sleep apnea, and poor lung function caused by smoking, inflammation of lung tissues, trauma, or other lung disease processes. Occupational exposure caused by environmental factors, such as mining, often result in lung diseases from inhaling coal dust, silica dust, asbestos, and other pollutants.
Respiratory specialists are trained and experienced in the performance of numerous techniques and treatments including:
- Blood gas analysis
- Oxygen therapy
- Ventilator support
- Electrocardiograph monitoring
- Dispensing medication
- Training patients in usage of respiratory equipment (for ambulatory and home-based patients)
A respiratory therapist may be responsible for a variety of job duties depending on work scenario. He or she may work in a rehabilitation center, a long-term care facility or nursing home, private practice, or in a hospital environment. Respiratory therapists often work in intensive care units, providing ongoing respiratory support for those recovering from surgery or those in critical condition and on life support.
Common Respiratory Tests and Procedures
A respiratory specialist is able to perform a variety of tests to determine COPD conditions, sleep apnea, and other breathing issues. These respiratory or lung function tests include but are not limited to:
- Spirometry - this is the most common type of lung function test, which determines how quickly and how much volume of air you can push out of your lungs in a given time.
- Gas diffusion tests - these tests measure oxygen, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide gases that your blood and lung tissues absorb.
- Body plethysmography - this test measures residual volume and total lung capacity levels in the air inhaled and exhaled from your lungs
These are just a few of the tests that a respiratory specialist may perform to pinpoint causes of breathing or respiratory issues, to diagnose COPD or asthma, and to evaluate overall lung function before and after surgery, as well as in monitoring treatment of lung conditions and diseases.
What Type of Training Does a Respiratory Specialist Undergo?
In order to become certified and licensed as a respiratory specialist, individuals must complete accredited degree programs in a respiratory therapy or technologies. Individuals are also required to undergo clinical training in diagnostics, emergency response procedures, and therapeutic techniques. A respiratory specialist may provide either direct care for patients, or work under the supervision of a doctor in performing and monitoring diagnostic procedures.