Academic & Technical Standards

Academic & Technical Standards for Admission and Progression

Environment/Working Conditions


To provide the student/applicant with an understanding of the physical demands and communications skills necessary to successfully complete tasks performed by Respiratory Care Practitioners working in the field.

Description of Work Environment and Activities

The common work environment for a Respiratory Care Practitioner and for a student enrolled in a program for the same profession would include the following:

  1. Constant contact and communication with the patient, the public and/or other members of the health care team.
  2. Making decisions on patient care based on assessment of the patient
  3. Moving and manipulating equipment
  4. Frequent and timely operation of computers, and telephones
  5. Moving patients for such activities as walking (ambulation of patient), moving a patient in a wheelchair, and assisting with the lifting of patients – examples are movement in bed, moving from a chair to a bed or from a stretcher to a bed and vice versa)
  6. Exposure to pathogens through bodily secretions, mucous and blood.

Procedures: Applicant/Student: Receives technical standards policy prior to admission to program.

Exemptions: There are no exemptions.

Technical/Academic Standards

Critical ThinkingCritical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment
  • Identify cause-effect relationships in clinical situations, and take corrective action when necessary
  • Utilize patient assessment techniques to develop or alter respiratory care plans
Problem SolvingProblem solving to make adjustments in therapy based on normal and abnormal physical and emotional responses to therapy
  • After assessment, adjust therapy appropriately to conditions
Interpersonal SkillsInterpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individual, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds
  • Establish rapport with patients, clients, and health care colleagues
  • Communicate in a meaningful manner with patients and health care colleagues
Communication SkillsCommunication abilities sufficient for interaction with others in verbal and written form, including via electronic devices
  • Explain treatment procedures, initiate health teaching, document and interpret respiratory care actions and patient/client responses
  • Demonstrate charting procedures and verbal staff communication concerning patients
MobilityPhysical abilities sufficient to move from room to room, maneuver in small spaces, utilize stairwell when necessary
  • Move around in a patients room, work spaces, administer CPR, assist patient into wheelchair / bed and perform transport duties
  • Possess physical capabilities that would allow for maintenance of equipment such as cleaning and storage
  • Demonstrate proper procedure for turning and /or lifting patient in bed
  • Lift at least 15lbs. of weight
  • Respond quickly in an emergency
Motor SkillsGross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective respiratory care
  • Calibrate and use equipment necessary to perform respiratory care procedures
  • Demonstrate method for reading flow meters and pressure gauges and safe handling of medical gases and their storage systems
  • Maintain sterile technique when performing sterile procedures
  • Perform various procedures requiring the use of both hands
HearingAuditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs
  • Hear monitor alarms, emergency signals, and cries for help; auscultate sounds
  • Distinguish changes in tone and pitch, as in listening to patient’s breath sounds, heart sounds, and blood pressure with the use of a stethoscope
VisualVisual ability sufficient for observation and assessment necessary in respiratory care
  • Observe patient/client responses
  • Observe visual alarms when monitoring respiratory and other patient care monitoring equipment
  • Identification of patient, verification of oxygen flow, possess color vision to properly identify color on medical gas cylinders
TactileTactile ability sufficient for physical assessment
  • Perform palpation functions of physical examination and/or those related to therapeutic intervention
  • Demonstrate method for palpating arterial sites
Self-CareAbility to present professional appearance and implement measures to maintain own health
  • Implement universal precautions; follow established procedures for body hygiene
Accountability & ResponsibilityDemonstrate accountability and responsibility in all aspects of the respiratory care profession
  • Able to distinguish right from wrong, legal from illegal and act accordingly
  • Accept responsibility for actions
  • Able to comprehend ethical standards and agree to abide by them Consider the needs of patients in deference to one’s own needs