A Respiratory Therapist is someone who cares for patients that have trouble breathing; for example, from a chronic respiratory disease, such as asthma or emphysema. They also provide emergency care to patients suffering from heart attacks, stroke, drowning, or shock. Patients receiving care from a respiratory therapist range in age from the premature infant to the elderly. In some hospitals, respiratory therapists are involved in related areas, such as counseling people on how to stop smoking and diagnosing breathing problems for people with sleep apnea. Respiratory Therapists restore patient’s pulmonary function, help to alleviate pain, and support life by planning and administering medically prescribed respiratory therapy. Most positions include a comprehensive Union benefits package and competitive salaries.