The respiratory therapist specializes in the application of scientific knowledge and theory to practical clinical problems of respiratory care as outlined in a description of the occupation found in the guidelines and essentials of the accredited educational program for the respiratory therapist. Therefore, in order to be successful in the program, a candidate should possess:
- sufficient tactile and visual acuity, such as is needed in the accurate monitoring of life support systems and for the observation necessary for patient assessment;
- sufficient auditory perception to receive verbal communication from patients and members of the health care team to assess health needs of people through the use of monitoring devices such as cardiac monitors, stethoscopes, inhalators and fire alarms, etc.;
- sufficient gross and fine motor coordination to respond promptly and to implement respiratory therapy skills including the manipulation of equipment to meet health needs;
- sufficient communication skills (verbal, non-verbal, and written) to interact with individuals and to communicate their needs promptly and effectively; and
- sufficient intellectual and emotional functions to plan and implement respiratory care.