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5 ways respiratory therapists can maximize COPD outcomes

We all know that respiratory therapists provide exceptional value in the care they deliver to patients with COPD, but what’s the makeup that all successful RTs have in common? Discover the top 5 skills RTs need to maximize COPD outcomes for patients in any care setting.

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The anatomy of a leading RT: 5 skills they can use to maximize COPD outcomes  


Optimize your skillset—optimize their outcomes


Respiratory therapists (RTs) have a specialized skillset that helps them provide personalized care to patients with COPD. They also have the distinct advantage of seeing and helping treat patients across the continuum of care. Whether it’s providing pulmonary function testing in the hospital or optimizing patient care in the home setting, RTs can make an incredible difference.


While it may appear that RTs embody the best of patient-centric care, there is always room to grow. Here are 5 ways RTs can enhance their unique abilities to help get patients home and keep them home.


Becky Anderson

Becky Anderson, RRT


Respiratory Care Services,

Sanford Medical Center

Brian Carlin

Brian Carlin, MD, FCCP, FAARC

Pulmonary and Critical Care Physician

Altoona Regional Health System

Jennifer Anderson

Jennifer Anderson, MBA, RRT, AE-C

Director Respiratory Care and
Pulmonary Function Labs,
AU Medical Center

Jill Ohar

Jill Ohar, MD, FCCP

Professor of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy, and Immunological Diseases

Wake Forest University School of Medicine

Director of Clinical Operations

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

Find out more about the anatomy of a leading RT

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Further reading

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COPD insider


1. Hammel, K. Why RTs are Right for the COPD Educator Role. American Association for Respiratory Care website. Accessed December 6, 2017.
2. Jahromi VK, Tabatabaee SS, Abdar ZE, Rajabi M. Active listening: the key of successful communication in hospital managers. Electron Physician. 2016;8(3):2123-2128.
3. Bourbeau J, Bartlett SJ. Patient adherence in COPD. Thorax. 2008;63(9):831-838.

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