Technical Standards Required for Respiratory Care

In order to perform the tasks required of a respiratory care practitioner certain physical capabilities are required. Students must demonstrate the ability to perform required functions, as a routine part of classroom, laboratory or clinical education. Students should be aware that successful completion of the Respiratory Care Program will depend upon their ability to meet the following technical standards. These standards are capabilities associated with the successful practice of respiratory care. Under no circumstances are they considered conditions for acceptance to the Respiratory Care Program.


  • 1. A reasonable amount of strength and mobility are required in order to:
    • a. lift, move or push heavy equipment, specifically ventilators, therapy equipment, stretchers and / or wheelchairs with patients in them
    • b. assist in lifting or repositioning patients who may be paralyzed, comatose or otherwise incapacitated, form patient beds and stretchers or wheelchairs
    • c. provide physical assistance and care for patients in a timely manner in all cirucumstances
    • d. reach overhead in order to manipulate ventilator arms, monitoring equipment, etc.
  • 2. Manual dexterity, good motor skills and eye-hand coordination are necessary in order to:
    • a. manipulate locks on equipment
    • b. don surgical/sterile gloves
    • c. fill syringes
    • d. set up equipment
    • e. perform routine therapies, ie, suctioning, manual ventilation
    • f. document monitoring values
  • 3. Sensory function in at least one upper limb is necessary in order to palpate blood vessels for blood sampling.
  • 4. The ability to hear faint or muffled sounds is necessary in order to:
    • a. assess breath sounds
    • b. respond to patient needs since ventilator alarms may be muffled due to ICU noise
    • c. monitor equipment operation or dysfunction which may be indicated by low-sounding bells or buzzers
    • d. function when the use of surgical masks are required for protection of the patient or hospital personnel
    • e. respond to pages and emergency calls from the hospital public address system
  • 5. Visual acuity ( the ability to see fine lines) is necessary in order to:
    • a. read patient monitor values and ventilator values in dimly lit surroundings
    • b. read waveform graphic monitors
  • 6. The ability to communicate orally and in writing in the English language is a requirement in order to:
    • a. ascertain and record patient histories
    • b. monitor and document patient progress
    • c. provide clear and audible directions to patients face to face
    • d. provide accurate information when discussing patient management with physicians and other support staff
  • 7. Possess acceptable mental/attitudinal standards in order to:
    • a. function safely, effectively and calmly under stressful situations
    • b. maintain composure while managing multiple tasks simultaneously
    • c. prioritize multiple tasks
    • d. exhibit social skills necessary to interact effectively with patients, families, supervisors and coworkers of the same or different cultures such as respect, politeness, tact, collaboration, teamwork, discretion
    • e. display attitudes/actions consistent with the ethical standards of the profession