Technical Standards for the Respiratory Care Program Functional Abilities Requirements

Introduction
The knowledge, skills and abilities required to safely and effectively practice respiratory care is varied and complex. A Respiratory Therapist must possess the following functional abilities to practice safely and effectively. To ensure that your decision to pursue a career in Respiratory Care is the correct one for you, we ask that you review them. They are the non-academic requirements of the program, and they comprise physical, emotional, and professional demands required of a Respiratory Therapist. Take into consideration whether you can perform the following functions, with or without accommodations. If you determine that you are unable to do any of the skills listed and you have a documented disability, you will then need to determine if a reasonable accommodation can be provided. Throughout your educational program, you will find yourself in a variety of learning experiences. You will need to take into consideration the specifics of each position and the percentage of time the skill will be needed in order to determine if reasonable accommodations can be provided. To request an accommodation, you will need to contact the Disabilities Service Office (231-591-3057) and present documentation of your disability.
 
Required Representative Activities/Attributes
Gross Motor Skills
  • Move within confined spaces
  • Sit and maintain balance
  • Stand and maintain balance
  • Reach above shoulders (e.g., IV poles)
  • Reach below waist (e.g., plug electrical appliance into wall outlets)
  Fine Motor Skills
  • Pick up objects with both hands
  • Grasp small objects with both hands (e.g., IV tubing, pencil)
  • Write with pen or pencil
  • Key/type (e.g., use a computer)
  • Pinch/pick or otherwise work with fingers (e.g., manipulate a syringe)
  • Twist (e.g., turn objects/knobs using both hands)
  • Squeeze with finger (e.g., eye dropper)
  Physical Endurance
  • Stand (e.g., at client side during surgical or therapeutic procedure)
  • Sustain repetitive movements (e.g., using both hands to perform CPR)
  • Maintain physical tolerance (e.g., work entire shift)
  Physical Strength
  • Push and pull 25 pounds (e.g., position patients, move ventilators)
  • Support 25 pounds of weight (e.g., ambulate patient)
  • Lift 25 pounds (e.g., pick up a child, transfer patient)
  • Move light objects weighing up to 10 pounds (e.g., IV poles)
  • Move heavy objects weighing from 11 to 50 pounds
  • Defend self against combative patient
  • Carry equipment/supplies
  • Use upper body strength (e.g., perform CPR, physically restrain a patient)
  • Squeeze with both hands (e.g., operate a manual resuscitation bag)
Mobility
  • Twist & Bend
  • Stoop/squat
  • Move quickly (e.g., response to an emergency)
  • Climb (e.g., ladders/stools/stairs)
  • Walk
  Hearing
  • Hear normal speaking level sounds (e.g., person-to-person report)
  • Hear faint voices
  • Hear faint body sounds (e.g., blood pressure sounds, assess placement of tubes)
  • Hear in situations when not able to see lips (e.g., when masks are used)
  • Hear auditory alarms (e.g., monitors, fire alarms, call bells)
  Visual
  • See objects up to 20 inches away (e.g., information on a computer screen, skin conditions)
  • See objects up to 20 feet away (e.g., patient in a room)
  • Use depth perception
  • Use peripheral vision
  • Distinguish color (e.g., color codes on supplies, charts, bed)
  • Distinguish color intensity (e.g., flushed skin, skin paleness)
  Tactile
  • Feel vibrations (e.g., palpate pulses, crepitus)
  • Detect temperature (e.g., skin, solutions, ventilator circuits)
  • Feel differences in surface characteristics (e.g., skin turgor, rashes)
  • Feel differences in sizes, shapes (e.g., identify body landmarks)
  • Detect environmental temperature (e.g., check for drafts)
  Smell
  • Detect odors from patient (e.g., foul smelling drainage, infections, etc.)
  • Detect smoke
  • Detect gases or noxious smells
  Reading
  • Read and understand written documents (e.g., policies, protocols)
  • Read and understand patient medical record (e.g., orders, consults, etc.)
  Arithmetic Competence
  • Read and understand columns of writing (flow sheet, charts)
  • Read digital displays
  • Read graphic printouts (e.g., EKG, pulmonary function data)
  • Calibrate equipment
  • Convert numbers to and/or from the Metric System
  • Read graphs (e.g., vital sign sheets)
  • Tell time
  • Measure time (e.g., count duration of mechanical ventilator breaths, etc.)
  • Count rates (e.g., pulse, respiratory rate)
  • Use measuring tools
  • Read measurement marks (e.g., endotracheal tubes, etc.)
  • Add, subtract, multiply, and/or divide whole numbers
  • Compute fractions (e.g., medication dosages)
  • Use a calculator
  • Write numbers in records
  Emotional Stability
  • Establish therapeutic boundaries
  • Provide client with emotional support
  • Adapt to changing environment/stress
  • Deal with the unexpected (e.g., patient deteriorating, crisis)
  • Focus attention on task
  • Monitor own emotions
  • Concurrently perform multiple responsibilities
  • Handle strong emotions (e.g., grief)
  Analytical Thinking
  • Transfer knowledge from one situation to another
  • Process information
  • Evaluate outcomes
  • Problem solve
  • Prioritize tasks
  • Use long-term memory
  • Use short-term memory
  Critical Thinking
  • Identify cause-effect relationships
  • Plan/control activities for others
  • Synthesize knowledge and skills
  • Sequence information
  Interpersonal Skills
  • Negotiate interpersonal conflict
  • Respect differences in patients
  • Establish rapport with patients
  • Establish rapport with co-workers
  Communication Skills
  • Teach (e.g., patient/family about pulmonary health care)
  • Explain procedures
  • Give oral reports (e.g., report on patient’s condition to other health care workers)
  • Interact with others (e.g., health care workers)
  • Speak on the telephone
  • Influence people
  • Direct activities of others
  • Convey information through writing (e.g., progress notes)