Occupation: Respiratory Therapist
Occupation Description: Responsibilities include assisting in the diagnosis, treatment and care of residents with respiratory and cardiopulmonary disorders.
Key essential skills are: Data Analysis, Decision Making, Measurement and Calculation, Money Math, Numerical Estimation, Oral Communication, Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting.
Essential Skills Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Reading Text Writing Document Use Computer Use Oral Communication* Money Math *
Scheduling or Budgeting and
Measurement and Calculation*
Job Task Planning and Organizing
Working with Others These Essential Skills are not ranked by complexity level.
The skill levels represented in the table above illustrate full skill ranges for experienced workers in their roles, and not for individuals preparing for entrance into this occupation for the first time. Below are examples for each essential skill category representing a sampling of the possible duties and tasks for this role within the industry and the corresponding essential skill level. All examples will not necessarily apply to every organization.
Review entries in communication log books such as schedule changes, updates for in-service meetings, new equipment or procedure changes. (Level 2)
Read notations and entries on forms such as physicians’ entries in resident records. (Level 2)
Review equipment manuals. (Level 3)
Read policy and procedure manuals. (Level 3)
Review legislation as it pertains to the profession. (Level 3)
Stay abreast of current industry information by reading journal articles and research studies. (Level 4)
Write brief notes or reminders such as updates in communication log books or scheduling changes. (Level 1)
Compose correspondence such as email or letters. (Level 2)
Update resident charts with comments on symptoms, test results, administered treatments, responses, etc. (Level 3)
Compose summaries and instruction sheets for co-workers. (Level 3)
Draft short reports. (Level 3) Document Use
Assess equipment gauges and record readings. (Level 1)
Review and interpret test results in graph format. (Level 2)
Locate data in lists and tables such as inventory lists, contact lists, acceptable blood gas ranges in specification tables, etc. (Level 2)
Consult diagrams or drawings that provide instructional or operational information for equipment or for procedures. (Level 2)
Update checklists and forms such as maintenance checklists, ventilator flow sheets, blood gas summary forms and instruction checklists for new residents. (Level 3)
Review and interpret radiographs to identify lung function issues, or positioning of catheters and breathing tubes. (Level 3)
Review resident information forms to verify dates, test results, etc. (Level 3)
Identify data in forms such as printouts from testing equipment or responses in accepted testing questionnaires. (Level 3)
Obtain information on medical equipment or professional association websites via the internet. (Level 2)
Use computer software applications. (Level 2)
Use databases. (Level 2)
Use graphic software. (Level 2)
Compose email and/or access calendaring functions using programs such as Outlook. (Level 2)
Compose memos, letters, training material or resident information handouts using word processing software. (Level 2)
Remain alert to emergency code calls or other pages that require attention. (Level 1)
Interact with co-workers about ongoing work issues or shift updates. (Level 2)
Obtain instructions and directions from supervisors, such as daily work assignments and updates to processes and procedures. (Level 2)
Communicate with residents about their conditions and provide them with instructions or information. (Level 3)
Consult with other healthcare professionals with regard to diagnosis, resident care and treatment plans. (Level 3)
Interact with resident families, including providing information as well as reassurance in occurrences such as in a “do not resuscitate” situation. (Level 3)
Collect payment from residents as required. (Level 1)
Prepare invoices as required. (Level 3) Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
Establish schedules for resident treatment including initial assessment and any necessary testing or training required. (Level 2)
Determine scheduling needs, ensuring continuous care coverage and ensuring there are arrangements in place to accommodate vacation, absences or personal leaves. (Level 3)
Measurement and Calculation
Assess vital signs and blood gas test levels at appropriate intervals. (Level 2)
Assess a variety of measurements using specialized tools and equipment. These may include oxygen and carbon dioxide exchanges, blood temperatures, blood and
intrapulmonary pressure and lung capacity. (Level 2)
Determine dosages for medication and delivery rates. (Level 3) Data Analysis
Compare equipment reading to specified values. For example, review blood pressure readings, monitor and adjust gas flows and pressure settings to levels specified by physicians. (Level 1)
Assess inventory to ensure adequate stock is consistently available. (Level 1)
Draw comparisons of resident response rates to accepted standards. (Level 2)
Estimate oxygen flow requirements via comparison of gas pressure and flow in residents’ bloodstream. (Level 2)
Using historical usage patterns, estimate a resident required oxygen supply. (Level 3) Job Task Planning and Organizing
Respiratory therapists perform set duties assigned by their supervisors. They organize daily work requirements with consideration given to pre-scheduled appointments or assigned duties, taking into account the possibility of emergency situations requiring reprioritization or rescheduling. Accommodations may be required for example, in the event that a newly admitted resident requires an assessment. Respiratory therapists with supervisory responsibilities will create schedules and assign staff as well as provide updates for medical rounds. (Level 3)
Select appropriate equipment based on resident need. (Level 2)
Identify content and format for in-service instructional material. (Level 2)
Determine the type, intensity and scheduling of resident care as appropriate. (Level 3) Problem Solving
Ascertain how best to interact with and influence an uncooperative patient. This may require modifications in order to elicit buy-in. (Level 1)
Troubleshoot equipment malfunctions. (Level 2) Finding Information
Access resident charts and files to obtain information. Additional information may be gathered via conversation with resident, resident family members and/or attending healthcare providers. (Level 2)
Gather information with regard to surgery preparation via surgical plan reviews and interaction with surgical team members as needed. (Level 2)
Working with Others
Work as members of multi-disciplinary teams in a coordinated effort to manage the ongoing health of patients.
Work with physicians, supervisors and other medical personnel to ensure residents are tested and treated for various types of cardiopulmonary diseases.
Participate in supervisory or leadership activities.
o Participate in formal discussions about work processes or product improvement. o Make suggestions on improving work processes.
o Orient new employees.
o Assign routine tasks to other workers.
o Identify training that is required by, or would be useful for, other workers. Continuous Learning
Maintain current knowledge of testing protocols, treatments and medications.
Read medical journals such as Chest, Respiratory Care and Canadian Journal of Respiratory Therapy.
Participate in training when new equipment and procedures are introduced.
Maintain certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.