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Respiratory Therapy

Most people take breathing for granted. It's second nature, an involuntary reaction to our body's need for air. However, for millions of people it's done with great effort due to different respiratory diseases. RiverView Health's Respiratory Care Department is dedicated to helping ease the burden by educating and treating patients.

Qualified staff

Our therapists are board-certified in respiratory care at the national level and licensed by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice. They are also certified in subspecialties such as sleep, pulmonary function testing and asthma education. Our therapists strive to be current and diversified with their skills in taking care of their patients.


We treat many different diseases including but not limited to:

  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Emphysema
  • Pneumonia
  • Lung cancer
  • Sleep-related diseases
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Respiratory failure


We offer both inpatient and outpatient services under a physician's referral.

Outpatient services:

  • Asthma education
  • Occupational respiratory assessments and respirator fit testing
  • Pulmonary function testing
  • Sleep lab

Pulmonary function testing

Pulmonary function testing can be used to assist in diagnosing a wide range of respiratory diseases. It can help doctors determine if respiratory medications are working correctly for patients with pulmonary diseases such as asthma and COPD. Pulmonary function testing is also used in clearance for surgeries in which the patient may be under general anesthesia for a prolonged period of time.

The most common pulmonary function test performed is spirometry. Spirometry is a method of assessing lung function by measuring the volume of air that the patient can expel from the lungs after a maximal inspiration. Spirometry has many other applications in assessing and managing respiratory diseases. These include:

  • Measuring the presence and severity of restrictive lung defects.
  • Screening of the workforce in hazardous occupational environments.
  • Pre-employment screening for certain occupations.
  • Screening for those interested in scuba diving.

RiverView Health has two full-time pulmonary function technicians on staff. The needs of our patients come first by providing prompt availability of testing either the same day or within two days. Patients of RiverView Health Pulmonary Function Lab will receive individualized, compassionate care by highly trained, board-certified/registered pulmonary function technologists.

Asthma education

We teach patients and caregivers the basics of asthma, including:

  • Asthma management in school.
  • Asthma management during sports.
  • Environmental management at home, work and school.
  • Proper use of inhalers to maximize medication delivery and effects with the least amount of dosage required by working with the patient and their providers uses a "step" approach.
  • Tools to manage their symptoms in everyday life.
  • Asthma triggers and avoiding them.
  • Assessing FENO levels to measure inflammation in the airways and maximize medication use.
  • Monitoring lung function annually to assure the patient is maintaining or increasing their numbers and not having a decline in functionality.
  • Controling their asthma and not let it control them.

Our respiratory therapists have national board certification in asthma education with extensive training for all ages, and work closely with the provider to deliver the best care. Asthma education has been proven to decrease the amount of hospitalizations and emergency room visits substantially.