Essential Abilities

Respiratory Care

Essential Abilities

The following information has been taken from typical respiratory care physical job performance requirements and is provided for your information. Not being able to perform or fulfill any of the following requirements will not necessarily prevent acceptance into the program; however, it may prevent employment. Actual job requirements may vary with hiring institution.
Physical requirements essential to respiratory therapist positions:

  • Average hours per work-day are 8, 10, or 12 hours. Shifts are variable, may include days, nights and weekends. Patient care in the hospital setting is provided 24 hours per day, seven days a week year round.
  • In a normal work-day, the employee may be required to combine standing and walking 70%-100% of a shift; lift up to 35 pounds frequently and up to 55 pounds occasionally; bend frequently; squat, kneel, climb/balance, reach above shoulder level and lift from high/low positions occasionally; bend and push/pull frequently. Repetitive use of hands would be for simple grasping, pushing and pulling approximately up to 26 pounds of pressure, and fine manipulation.
  • Sensory requirements are
    • Speech -  to communicate with patients and others
    • Vision  - to visually assess patients, read and write communication, gather data from equipment
    • Hearing - to identify and respond to equipment alarms and alert tones, to use stethoscope, to readily hear subtle and gross abnormalities through auscultation.
  • Although 98% of the time is spent indoors, temperatures will range from extreme cold to extreme heat, due to year round retrieval of cylinders from outside; patient room temperature variances, and performance of special procedures under exam lights - some requiring protective clothing.
  • You will have contact with medical diseases, gases, humidifying gases, nebulized medications, and body fluids and odors from patients. Hazards include mechanical or electrical burns, explosive and radiation hazards due to electrical and pneumatic equipment contact, as well as administration of therapy to patients with internal radiation implants. You must be able to understand and follow proper safety procedures.
  • You need to be aware in the event you have a latex allergy that hospitals may use some items containing latex.

For additional information visit O*NET online for Details Report for Respiratory Therapists