The Respiratory Care Practitioner (RCP) or respiratory therapist is an individual trained in the technical aspects of respiratory care and will exhibit those skills and deliver modalities of respiratory therapy, emergent and intensive respiratory care, and diagnostic procedures. Work hours are 24 hour coverage rotational, day or night shifts, weekends, holidays and occasional overtime.
- Administer volume oriented intermittent positive pressure breathing therapy (IPPB); chest physical therapy (CPT) i.e., percussion, vibration and postural drainage; aerosol therapy; incentive spirometry therapy; and mixed gas therapy treatments.
- Provides patient assessments during rounds of treatments/medication administration and/or mechanical ventilator checks.
- Provides pre-operative instruction regarding post- operative respiratory therapy modalities; instruction for home respiratory care; and instruction for breathing retraining.
- Initiates, monitors and discontinues all modes of oxygen therapy and initiates, monitors and discontinues all modes of supplemental airway humidification, including ultrasonic nebulizers, continuous aerosols and humidity tents in conjunction with physician’s orders.
- Obtains and/or induces adequate sputum specimens for lab analysis. Inspect, clean, test and maintain respiratory therapy equipment to ensure equipment is functioning safely and efficiently, orders repair when necessary.
- Provides diagnostic evaluation of spirometric and pulmonary mechanics to include vital capacity, peak flow, forced expiratory volume and/or flow rates.
- Initiates, monitors and discontinues mechanical support of ventilation. Performs weaning parameters, extubation, and evaluates need for further airway support and communicates with the physician. Weans patients from ventilators per department policy and procedure. Performs patient assessment duties. Charts in the patient record summary of all therapy modalities administered.
- Receives documents and carries out verbal orders from the physician related to respiratory care. Checks for current and accurate physicians’ orders, if necessary, notifies the clinical supervisor. Acts as a consultant to the physician on matters of respiratory care and the practice of respiratory therapy.
- Assists in the training and orientation of students and new employees when requested to do so. Performs related duties as assigned. Teach, train, supervise, and utilize the assistance of students, respiratory therapy technicians, and assistants.
- Performs, administers and evaluates cardiopulmonary diagnostic studies (PFT, Holter Monitor, EKG, ETT, etc.).
- Assists in emergency and/or elective intubation, oral or nasal, on patient with impending respiratory failure/cardiac arrest. Provides tracheostomy care (changing and maintaining tracheal tubes). Performs arterial and venous punctures for the purpose of blood analysis.
- Acts as charge therapist when assigned. Charge or lead responsibilities include but are not limited to making out shift assignments and handling emergency calls. Complies with all safety rules regarding oxygen delivery, setup, storage and administration as set forth by the National Fire Prevention (NFPA), Department of Transportation (DOT), and the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP).
- Maintains the skills and knowledge necessary to administer care to all age groups.
- Maintains positive working relationships with others with excellent customer service abilities, effective listening, and communication skills (i.e. ability to communicate with colleagues, patients and families during time of emotional and physical stress)
- Responsible for electronic health records data entry pertinent to patient service role.
- Takes occasional on-call responsibilities for night shift coverage.
- Ensure proper PPE is always worn while on duty including but not limited to, face mask, gloves, gown, isolation gown, NIOSH-approved N95 filtering facepiece respirator or higher, if available), and eye or face shield.
- Complete all donning and doffing tasks in a safe acceptable method and discard of used PPE accordingly. (see CDC website for most current updates)
- Complete task training for all routine cleaning and decontamination processes for all surfaces contaminated by a communicable disease to ensure a high level of patient, visitor, employee and external customer satisfaction.
- Performs other duties as assigned.
MENTAL AND PHYSICAL EFFORT
The physical and mental demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Work requires prolonged ability to perform the following physical actions throughout the shift: sit, stand, walk, bend, kneel, crouch, twist, maintain balance, and reach; occasionally requires climbing and driving. Agility and the ability to lift, pull and bend is required to move patients to and from beds, wheelchairs, stretchers, et cetera and in moving equipment and medical supplies with the ability up to over 100 pounds prolonged throughout day. Incumbent must have the vision for far, near, color, depth perception, seeing fine details, hearing normal speech, hearing overhead pages over a loudspeaker, and use the telephone prolonged throughout the day. Incumbent must have the prolonged ability to use both hands to manipulate simple and firm grasping, fine manipulation, and use of keyboard functions.
Contacts often require tact and sensitivity as those related to stressful situations such as death, dying and catastrophic illnesses. Must be able to prioritize and use good judgment. Must be able to coordinate a variety of issues while being frequently interrupted. Facility provides guidance and basic training for awareness and consideration regarding cultural aspects particular to this geographic area. Employees are expected to act on this awareness as a general condition of the workday. Other mental and emotional requirements include the ability to: Cope with high levels of stress; make decisions under high pressure; cope with anger/fear/hostility of others in a calm way; concentrate; handle a high degree of flexibility; handle multiple priorities in stressful situation; work alone; demonstrate high degree of patience; adapt to shift work; work in areas that are close and crowded; and frequently be able to manage altercations. Must be able to accept flexible schedule to meet unit needs.
Incumbent may experience prolonged exposure to infectious disease and hazardous or moving equipment; frequent exposure to chemical agents; dust, fumes, gases; loud noises; and, occasionally exposed to extremes in temperature or humidity and unprotected heights.