Respiratory Therapist working with equipment.

Respiratory Therapy

Around-the-clock care, ready for you

Our Respiratory Therapy department provides services to both inpatients and outpatients with pulmonary (lung) diseases or dysfunctions. Our caring, highly-skilled therapists evaluate, treat and care for people who have breathing problems such as:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Neuromuscular disease
  • Restrictive disorders
  • Emphysema
  • Cystic fibrosis

Respiratory Therapy services at Island Health are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As key members of the hospital’s rapid response team, our respiratory therapists are on stand-by, ready to evaluate and treat heart-and-lung related life-threatening symptoms. But they don’t stop there–they continuously monitor a patient’s condition and are prepared to make necessary adjustments in treatment.

Comprehensive Care

In addition, respiratory therapy professionals provide a range of patient and family education, which is crucial to providing comprehensive care to promote recovery and keep patients healthier longer.

Pulmonary Function Test

Our Respiratory Therapy team also performs diagnostic pulmonary function tests. A pulmonary function test (PFT) can measure how your lungs are working. This test shows how much air your lungs can take in and how well the air flows out of your lungs. A PFT can also help your doctor assess how well your inhalers are working.

A PFT takes about an hour. During the test, you will be asked to sit in a booth, with nose clips on your nose, while you perform different breathing maneuvers. During the breathing maneuvers, a respiratory therapist will measure the airflow going in and out of your lungs.

If you have been diagnosed with COPD, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, have a long smoking history or experience chronic shortness of breath, ask your doctor if you should be referred for a pulmonary function test.

Patient Resources

Stories of Courage

Senior man wearing a mask on an exercise machine.

Dick Carroll

“I spent the winter sitting in a chair, gasping for air. I never thought I’d get any of my muscle strength back. But I did.”

Read more