Essential Functions - RPT

Respiratory therapists are responsible for assessments, treatments, diagnostic testing, and having critical thinking skills, while multi-tasking, for all patients in a healthcare or homecare setting, especially patients with cardiopulmonary diseases. Students in the respiratory therapy program must be able to adequately function and perform procedures, treatments, and testing within the scope of practice. Essential functions include, but are not limited to the following:


  • Students must be able communicate appropriately and efficiently with a diverse population (i.e. faculty, hospital staff, patients, and patients’ family members.)
  • Convey thoughts in verbal and written form
  • Use and interpret appropriate non-verbal communication

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  • Students must have the strength and physical ability to perform adequate patient care.
  • Students should be able to maneuver patients, equipment, and other related items without causing personal harm or harm to others


  • Students must be able to properly perform patient assessments, operate equipment safely, and perform procedures at a competent level.

Hearing and Vision:

  • Students must possess adequate hearing and vision in order to properly assess patients
  • Participate in all aspects of patient care as it relates to the respiratory care scope of practice.
  • Read numbers, letters, and words in fine print or on electronic devices (i.e. hospital computers/charts, computer standardized tests, paper exams, etc.)
  • Hear high and low frequency sounds, such as telephones, monitor alarms, emergency signals.


  • Students must have sufficient mental and emotional health to work effectively in a fast paced, hospital/clinical environment.
  • Student will likely be exposed to high-stress medical situations that require a certain level of mental and emotional stability