Administration of Sedative and Analgesic Medications by Respiratory Therapists


The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) recognizes the fact that Respiratory Therapists are called upon to assist physicians with the administration of sedative and analgesic medications during diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and patient transportation.

“Sedation” and “analgesia” describe a physical state in which the patient is able to tolerate unpleasant procedures, while maintaining adequate cardiorespiratory function, and the ability to respond purposefully to verbal commands and tactile stimulation. This is commonly referred to as moderate sedation. The AARC believes that Respiratory Therapists working under qualified medical supervision can assist physicians during diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and patient transportation, and help to minimize risks by administering prescribed medications and closely monitoring the patient.

The AARC recognizes and acknowledges the following:

Following successful completion of a specialized education and competency assessment program the Respiratory Therapists must:

Effective 12/97
Revised 07/07