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Allied Health

Respiratory Care

Technical Standards

These technical standards represent the non-academic demands associated with the respiratory care discipline. The standards result from information obtained from industry sources, instructional faculty, and published occupational references. Successful program completion is, in part, contingent upon students' ability to meet the physical and cognitive demands represented by these standards.

General Job Description: Utilizes the application of scientific principles for the identification, prevention, remediation, research, and rehabilitation of acute or chronic cardiopulmonary dysfunction thereby producing optimum health and function. Reviews existing data, collects additional data, and recommends obtaining data to evaluate the respiratory status of patients, develop the respiratory care plan, and determine the appropriateness of the prescribed therapy. Initiates, conducts, and modifies prescribed therapeutic and diagnostic procedures such as: administering medical gases, resuscitation; providing support services to mechanically ventilated patients; maintaining artificial and natural airways; performing pulmonary function testing, hemodynamic monitoring and other physiologic monitoring; collecting specimens of blood and other materials. Documents necessary information in the patient's medical record and on other forms, and communicates that information to members of the health care team. Obtains, assembles, calibrates, and checks necessary equipment. Uses problem solving to identify and correct malfunctions of respiratory care equipment. Demonstrates appropriate interpersonal skills to work productively with patients, families, staff, and co-workers. Accepts directives, maintains confidentiality, does not discriminate, and upholds the ethical standards of the profession.

Physical Standards:

  • Lift/carry objects such as portable ventilators and battery packs weighing up to 40 lbs frequently; assist moving or repositioning patients with or without assistance - Patients may weigh in excess of 300 lbs and weight lifted may be in excess of 100 lbs occasionally.
  • Stand/walk for prolonged periods of time with only occasional sitting - Walking is generally on hard surfaces and occasionally involves stairs.
  • Bend and twist frequently and intermittently for prolonged periods of time - Some degree of bending and twisting is involved with nearly every task.
  • Kneel, stoop, and crouch occasionally when performing such tasks as adjusting equipment, plugging in electrical equipment, or performing CPR
  • Push/pull large wheeled equipment such as ventilator machines weighing in excess of 200 lbs.
  • Manual and finger dexterity sufficient to manipulate patients and equipment; grasp syringes, laryngoscope, and endotracheal tubes; handle small and large equipment for storing, retrieving, and moving; manipulate knobs and dials; and assemble, disassemble, correct malfunctions, perform maintenance and evaluate various pieces of medical equipment
  • Extend arms downward, outward, or upward
  • Auditory ability sufficient to hear verbal instructions, hear gas flow through equipment, and perceive warning signals.
  • Visual acuity sufficient to read typed, handwritten, or computer information; see patient conditions such as skin color, work of breathing, and mist flowing through the tubing; and accurately read gauges, dial settings, and digital and analog displays
  • Physical tolerance to a clinical environment that may include noisy conditions, crowded conditions, sterile surroundings, exposure to blood-borne pathogens, and exposure to chemicals/solvents

Cognitive and Behavioral Standards:

  • Calculate, analyze, interpret, and record numbers and physical data accurately from observation, charts, radiology screens, and computer information systems
  • Apply theory to clinical practice, maintaining competence under challenging and sometimes stressful situations
  • Communicate effectively, utilizing written and spoken English when interacting with patients, their families, and other health care professionals
  • Interact professionally and effectively with patients, families, and coworkers as a health care team member
  • Carry out orders accurately and in a timely manner
  • Function safely, effectively, and calmly under stressful situations
  • Prioritize effectively and maintain composure while managing multiple tasks
  • Accept and apply constructive criticism
  • Maintain a positive and constructive manner with peers, coworkers, and instructors

Persons with Disabilities
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, accommodations for students with disabilities will be considered at the student's request. The student will be required to register with the Disability Support Services office and provide documentation of disability. Once the student is qualified by the DSS Manager as having a disability, requested accommodations will be considered. Accommodations for the classroom, laboratory, or clinical setting will be considered according to reasonableness. Accommodations that compromise patient care, or that fundamentally alter the nature of the program or activity, are not considered to be reasonable. A student denied accommodation may request an individualized determination to assure that the denial is not a result of disability discrimination by contacting the Manager of Disability Support Services and Testing at 533-7498. Contact the SCC Disability Support Services office to obtain a copy of the procedures for appeal of an accommodation denial. Other than accommodation issues, procedures for student grievances including academic dismissal are outlined in the following SCC website:

For additional information, please contact Disability Support Services.


Spokane Community College
1810 N. Greene St.
Spokane, WA 99217-5399
For general information call:
509-533-7000 or
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