This week is National Respiratory Care Week, honoring therapists throughout this medical field.
These therapists have played a key role in assessing and caring for COVID-19 patients. They work in critical care units like the ER, ICU and NICU.
During the pandemic, they have developed new processes for oxygen delivery, ventilation and life support system management to keep patients and staff safe.
"People don't really know who we are. People who know who we sadly have probably been at death's door or pretty critically ill," said Stephen Szabo, Tenet Health Central Coast Director of Cardiopulmonary Services.
Szabo adds that the respiratory care practitioners are frontline workers, along with physicians and nurses.
The week-long recognition began in the 1980s during the Reagan Administration.