How to Pick the Best Respiratory Therapist for Your Child

How to Pick the Best Respiratory Therapist for Your Child

Has your child suffered from respiratory issues on and off for as long as you can remember? Does it seem like you live at the doctor’s office or clinic during cold and flu season? Does it seem like they get more than their fair share of respiratory illnesses, and when they do get sick it’s much more severe than a typical person would go through? If so, there’s a good chance that a respiratory therapist will have been recommended to you.

As a parent, you want to do all you can to ensure your child is as healthy as possible, which could mean visiting one of these respiratory therapists. Before you get too anxious or stressed about it all though, here’s a look at what respiratory therapists do and how you can go about picking the best one for your child.

What is a Respiratory Therapist?

When your doctor first recommends your child see a respiratory therapist, it’s quite normal to question what they are and what they do. A respiratory therapist, commonly called an RT, is responsible for interviewing patients, conducting chest physical exams, and then determining the best treatment method and therapy for their specific condition. They can diagnose breathing and lung disorders and will consult with your regular physician.

There is also an educational aspect to the job, as they will educate the patient and, in the case of a child, the parents about that child’s condition.

Make Sure the Therapist Has the Proper Training

Before you pick a respiratory therapist, you will want to be sure that they have attended a respiratory therapy training program and are now accredited. The accreditation should come from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

Accreditation means they have the proper training and skills necessary to treat a number of respiratory issues. It also means they abide by the current standards and regulations. If you want to get an idea of what the best programs are, and what is included in the training, you can visit

Look Into Your Insurance Coverage

For many people, insurance coverage is a big part of how they go about picking a respiratory therapist. You will want to look at your plan and see if there is a list of doctors they will cover. If you have questions, it’s best to call your insurance provider and speak to them directly.

Make Sure the Doctor-Patient Relationship is Comfortable

You also want to be sure your child feels comfortable with the RT, so it can be helpful to visit the clinic in person first and ask for a tour. This will help to give you an initial feel for the atmosphere and the type of clinic the RT works from.

Worth Doing Your Research

When it comes to picking the best respiratory therapist for your child, it truly pays to do your research and make sure you feel comfortable with your choice.