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Respiratory Therapist

Program Information

Respiratory Therapist Student Handbook

Respiratory Care General Technical Standards
In order to graduate from the Respiratory Care program, students must be able to perform certain technical requirements prior to graduation. Graduates of this program must be able to meet certain physical and mental requirements to ensure the safe performance of respiratory care procedures.

Due to the nature of typical employment assignments, a graduate of this program must be able to meet the criteria listed below related to hearing, mobility, motor skills (fine & gross), tactile, visual, physical endurance and mental/attitudinal standards.

1. Auditory ability sufficient to hear and understand patients and staff, assess and monitor patient sounds.
Examples: Communicate and interact with patients and families from a variety of backgrounds. Follow verbal instructions. Hear heart and breath sounds. Detect and discriminate between sounds of normal conversation. Identify and localize alarm sounds emitted from patient care equipment.

2. Mobility and strength sufficient to support and move patients.
Examples: Support and transfer patients, move in and out of treatment areas. Reach equipment or parts of patient's body.

3. Perform multiple motor tasks simultaneously. Fine and gross motor skills sufficient to handle equipment and provide save and effective patient care; steady arm and hand movements while manipulating objects or assisting patients.
Examples: Operate and manipulate equipment, blood collection devices, several items at once. Administer aerosols, suction patient, and adjust pressure gauges. Lift and transport oxygen cylinders, move in and out treatment areas. Push/pull hospital bed.

4. Tactile ability sufficient to assess patients response to therapy.
Examples: Distinguish textures, degrees of firmness, temperature differences and pulse rate.

5. Visual ability sufficient to monitor and assess patient and equipment function to provide save and effective respiratory care.
Examples: Read written instructions/orders. Read fine print, monitors, and gauges. Differentiate color/character of sputum for signs/nature of Infection/disease. Chart procedures and observation in a permanent medical record.

6. Physical endurance ability sufficient to work in a clinical setting for eight (8) to twelve (12) hours performing physical tasks requiring physical energy without jeopardizing patient safety.
Examples: Remain standing and walking between patient care areas for over an hour. Perform chest compressions during CPR. Manually ventilate a patient for over 30 minutes during resuscitation.

7. Mental/attitudinal ability sufficient to interact with patients and other health care personnel in providing appropriate patient care exhibiting attitudes and actions consistent with the ethical standards of the profession.
Examples: Function safely, effectively, and calmly under stressful situations. Maintain composure while managing multiple tasks simultaneously. Prioritize multiple tasks. Exhibit social skills necessary to interact effectively with patients, families, supervisors, and co-workers of the same or different cultures such as respect, politeness, tact, collaboration, teamwork, and discretion. Maintain personal hygiene consistent with close personal contact associated with patient care.