Respiratory Care Scope of Practice

Respiratory Therapists are health care professionals whose responsibilities include patient assessment, disease management, diagnostic evaluation, management, education, rehabilitation and care of patients with deficiencies and abnormalities of the cardiopulmonary system. The scope of practice includes the application of technology and the use of protocols across all care sites including, but not limited to, the hospital, clinic, physician’s office, rehabilitation facility, skilled nursing facility and the patient’s home.

These responsibilities are supported by education, research and administration. Diagnostic activities include but are not limited to:

  1. Obtaining and analyzing physiological specimens
  2. Interpreting physiological data
  3. Performing tests and studies of the cardiopulmonary system
  4. Performing neurophysiological studies
  5. Performing sleep disorder studies

Therapy includes but is not limited to:

  1. The application and monitoring of medical gases and environmental control systems
  2. Mechanical ventilator management
  3. Insertion and care of artificial airways
  4. Bronchopulmonary hygiene
  5. Administration of Pharmacological agents
  6. Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation
  7. Hemodynamic cardiovascular support
  8. Sleep support

The focus of patient and family education activities is to promote knowledge and understanding of the disease process, medical therapy and self help. Public education activities focus on the promotion of cardiopulmonary wellness.

Effective 8/87
Revised 12/07
Revised 12/10
Revised 07/13