Videos Showcase the Critical Role of Respiratory Therapists

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (April 16, 2020) — To honor the vital work of respiratory therapists in battling COVID-19 – and to raise awareness of the need for more respiratory therapists now and when the crisis passes – The National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) has captured a series of videos showcasing the critical role of respiratory therapists. shares voices of respiratory therapy from the front lines. Through video stories, viewers learn about the care that respiratory therapists provide, why their specialization is so essential, and how rewarding they find their work to be. After all, it is respiratory therapists who guide people through one of the most frightening experiences in life – the inability to breathe.

“We are proud to recognize the specialized, lifesaving skills of respiratory therapists, especially now as they care for critically ill COVID-19 patients,” said Lori Tinkler, MBA, Chief Executive Officer of the NBRC. Tinkler says the novel coronavirus outbreak has been a call to arms bringing many respiratory care practitioners out of retirement, but more are needed. “With the aging population in the U.S., the need for respiratory therapists will continue to grow long after we overcome COVID-19.”

Research shows more than 100 million Americans are affected by respiratory disorders, and approximately one in every six primary care visits – or more than 125 million patient visits a year – is for respiratory-related illnesses. Many respiratory therapists also specialize in critical care and work in intensive care units, emergency departments or other hospital areas. They manage life support or ventilation systems, administer aerosol-based medication, manage artificial airways, assess lung capacity, and provide many other highly specialized skills that help keep patients breathing.

Jobs for respiratory therapists are projected to grow 21 percent from 2018 to 2028, higher than healthcare jobs in general (13 percent) and all occupations combined (5 percent). And yet, the number of respiratory therapists has been gradually declining by a rate of 4-7 percent.

“The NBRC is focused on activating an expanded workforce of respiratory therapists to meet their needs and their patients’ needs for years to come,” Tinkler said. “That’s why we are sharing these stories – to inspire others to join the profession and help the world breathe better.”

Respiratory therapists are invited to submit their own video stories at Together, says Tinkler, the voices of respiratory therapy will illustrate the powerful difference that respiratory therapists make in the lives of others every day.

About The National Board for Respiratory Care

With the mission of promoting excellence in respiratory care by awarding credentials based on high competency standards, The National Board for Respiratory Care seeks to protect and enhance patient lives. Nearly 30,000 candidates test for NBRC credentials each year to demonstrate how excellence defines them across seven specific areas of respiratory care. The NBRC’s credentialing examinations rigorously assess the skills and strengths required for the highest quality respiratory patient care. For more information, visit