The respiratory specialist assists with the management of a respiratory unit or administers respiratory therapy and performs pulmonary function tests under the supervision of a physician or nurse anesthetist.
Duties Performed by Soldiers in This MOS
- Administering respiratory therapy and performing pulmonary function tests.
- Organize and maintain clinical files and keep health records up-to-date.
- Prepare blood samples for analysis in the lab.
- Interview patients and record their medical histories.
- Examine and treat emergency, or battlefield patients.
Job training for a respiratory specialist requires ten weeks of Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training in Fort Sam Houston. The Respiratory Specialist Training is a 36-week intense training course, that includes 20 weeks of academic studies and 16 weeks of inpatient care. This job is not open to entry-level Army soldiers; only members of the Army with five years of enlistment left on their contract can attend. In 36 weeks, you learn the equivalent of the civilian course that takes students two years to complete.
Some of the skills you’ll learn are emergency medical treatment, basic nursing care, understanding of the human body, minor surgical procedures, clinical laboratory procedures, and methods for diagnosing diseases.
The respiratory specialist is strictly an advanced level position not open to first-year Army medics.
As you advance in your education and rank, your Respiratory Specialties will also advance. In fact, there are three different skill levels as a 68V. Each level requires more education and responsibilities.
The first level of training advancement is the 68V20: As a 68V20 you will not only do the tasks of your previous skill set (68V), but you will add to the list:
- Transport patients to new facilities (in or out of the country) that may need ventilator support.
- Knowing and performing CPR is commonplace in this MOS. CPR with both adults and babies will be performed.
- Operate blood/gas machines, calculate and administer drugs as they are ordered.
The second level of training is the 68V30: As a 68V30, you will perform all of the previous tasks of the 68V and 68V20 with the additional responsibility of training and guiding junior personnel.
You will also act as a liaison for the pulmonary care doctors and nurses with commanders, installation medical authorities, and other agencies.
The third level of training generally for a senior NCO for the 68V is the 68V40: As a 68V40, you will add the following list of duties to your responsibilities:
- Develop mobilization plans for your superiors in your unit.
- Coordinate the training programs for subordinates of the unit.
- Provide administrative and operational experience on specialty and disciplinary boards.
- Provide leadership and supervise certain home care programs.
ASVAB Score Required: 102 in aptitude area ST
Security Clearance: None
Strength Requirement: moderately heavy
Physical Profile Requirement: 222221
- Normal color vision required
- High school or college level algebra with a C or higher within the last 5 years. College chemistry with C or higher.