Respiratory Therapist Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Respiratory Therapist, also known as a Respiratory Care Practitioner, works with Physicians and other healthcare providers to diagnose, treat, and care for patients with respiratory and cardiopulmonary diseases and disorders. Their duties include assessing the patient’s respiratory health, creating and implementing a therapy plan, and providing guidance and advice to patients and other healthcare professionals.

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Respiratory Therapist duties and responsibilities

A Respiratory Therapist’s duties and responsibilities vary with their work environment. The key role of a Respiratory Therapist is to provide care for patients who have trouble breathing. This includes many duties, such as interviewing, testing, and treating respiratory and cardiopulmonary conditions. Other vital responsibilities may consist of:

  • Perform diagnostic testing and assessments, such as cardiopulmonary function and lung volume testing
  • Monitor and maintain diagnostic and therapeutic equipment, including calibration and quality control checks
  • Use respiratory equipment to provide treatment, such as oxygen or humidified air
  • Provide breathing support in other environments outside of therapy, like emergency rooms or during surgery
  • Perform non-invasive therapies like continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines
  • Monitor and record a patient’s progress during treatment
  • Educate patients on the proper use of medication and respiratory equipment
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Respiratory Therapist Job Description Examples:


Example 1

Job Posting Details “ William Osler Health System (Osler) is a multi-site hospital system serving 1.3 million people in one of the fastest-growing and most culturally-diverse regions in Ontario. With our new [phone number]24 Corporate Strategic Plan, Going Beyond for Healthier Communities as our roadmap, we are shifting traditional thinking and re-imagining health care to help people live healthier lives, reduce chronic disease and improve access to care. At Osler, we are committed to providing safe, equitable, high-quality care in a fulfilling work environment that inspires our staff, physicians and volunteers to learn, innovate and grow. We are proud to be recognized, year after year, as one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers and Canada’s Best Diversity Employers.” Here you will work alongside a highly-committed and respected team that understands what it means to go beyond to meet the health care needs of our communities. HOURS: Currently Days, Evenings, Nights, including weekends and holidays (Subject to change in accordance with operational requirements) Position Summary: The successful applicant will be responsible for: Consulting as a resource to the patient care team regarding cardio-respiratory technical and/or clinical issues Respiratory assessment of the Adult, Pediatric and Neonatal patient Ongoing application, maintenance and calibration of cardio-respiratory support devices and monitoring equipment including advanced ventilatory modalities and ventilatory strategies Providing expertise in airway management Providing expertise in the initiation and application of O2 therapy and adjuncts Providing expertise in the delivery of medication by inhalation Consulting with other members of the multidisciplinary health care team in devising a plan of care Utilizes evidenced based guidelines in the practice of Respiratory Therapy Reporting workload measures and participating in quality assurance activities Other related duties as assigned Qualifications: Graduate of an accredited Respiratory Therapy program Member in good standing with the College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario Member of [website] and [website] preferred Current BCLS, ACLS, NRP certification Current PALS certification preferred Current certification in Adult Intubation and Adult Radial Arterial Line insertion Current certification in Neonatal Intubation preferred Actively participates in continuing education Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and supportively in a multidisciplinary team Demonstrated excellence in interpersonal and communication skills Demonstrated clinical expertise, and problem-solving abilities Excellent work performance and attendance record Travel between and work at all hospital sites as operationally required “Osler values inclusivity and diversity in the workplace. We welcome and encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds. We are committed to providing accessible employment practices that are in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. (AODA). If you require an accommodation at any stage of the recruitment process, please notify Human Resources at While we thank all applicants, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Any information obtained during the course of recruitment will be used for employment recruitment purposes only, and not for any other purpose.” #LI-RR1

Example 2

Language Requirement Written and spoken competence in English and French is required Closing DATE July 1, [phone number]JOB Summary As a member of the EMP team, the Respiratory Therapist is responsible for coordinating and providing quality care within the scope of practice to patients and families by, promoting, maintaining and/or restoring functional performance. Required Qualifications AND OTHER JOB RequirementS: Successful completion of an accredited school of Respiratory Therapy; Must be a member in good standing with the New Brunswick Association of Respiratory Therapists or eligible for membership; Have a current CPR Level C certification that has been issued in the last 12 months, or be prepared to obtain within 3 months; Knowledge of the target population of Extra-Mural Services and available community services; Must have a valid New Brunswick Class 5 Driver's License and good driving record (proof required); Submit a valid and clean criminal record check; Must demonstrate the ability to work efficiently as a member of the team and possess leadership and coaching skills, strong interpersonal skills, good judgment and decision making skills; Must be able to work all shifts as assigned, maintaining a good attendance record; Must have a high regard for and Must have excellent work habits and have a professional appearance. If you are interested in working with a dynamic team of professionals and possess the necessary qualifications, please click the 'Apply Now' button to submit your resume. We would like to thank all candidates for expressing interest. Please note only those selected for interviews will be contacted. EM/ANB Inc. is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in its employment practices and to providing an environment free from discrimination and harassment for all employees.

Example 3

We have a great career opportunity for someone looking to join a growing team of health professionals! At AvantSleep, we are committed to providing the highest quality in sleep therapy services across Canada. We provide clinical consultation, diagnostic services (sleep testing) and treatment for a wide range of sleep disorders. This is a great opportunity for a *RN, RPN, RPSGT, Sleep Technologist or Respiratory Therapist* looking for a meaningful career with lots of potential for growth and competitive compensation. AvantSleep is committed to providing high quality patient care and support. We are dedicated to helping our patients improve their lives through better sleep. Visit *[website]* for more details. *Position Description: * · Respiratory Therapists provide professional comprehensive sleep consultations with patients; This includes basic sleep education as well as the support and compliance maintenance of therapeutic devices like CPAP and BiPAP for the treatment of sleep disordered breathing. · This role involves a high level of patient interaction and support. · Respiratory Therapists follow up with patients on a long-term basis to ensure sleep standards and compliance are maintained. · Respiratory Therapists respect the professional code of conduct while maintaining Canadian guidelines, ensuring reports, communications and proper documentations are met. *Position Qualifications: * · Registered Respiratory Therapist or RN, RPN, RPSGT, Sleep Technologist could be considered. · A positive and supportive, service approach (our patients deserve the best). · A professional and mature demeanor, with strong communication skills. · Very strong organizational and multi-tasking skills. · A high aptitude for learning. · Experience with CPAP is an asset. Training is provided. · Experience using an EMR system is an asset. Salary: To be discussed Job Types: Full-time, Permanent Salary: $28.00-$34.00 per hour Benefits: * Dental care * Extended health care * Life insurance * On-site parking * Paid time off * Vision care Schedule: * 8 hour shift * Day shift Ability to * Moncton, NB: reliably commute or plan to relocate before starting work (preferred) Work remotely: * No

Example 4

*Position: Respiratory Therapist* *Department: Respiratory Therapy* *Position Status: Temporary Part-Time* *Temporary Contract End Date (if applicable): up to one year* *Union: PARA* *Number of Positions: 1* *HOURS OF WORK: * Please note that the hours of work are approximate and are schedules are subject to change depending on operational needs. Any changes made to the hours of work will be done in accordance with the terms of the Collective Agreement. *WHY WORK FOR US: * Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) is a regional hospital with a proud local history extending back over a century. With a capacity of 494 beds, our regional hospital has one of the busiest Emergency Department in Ontario and offers an extensive range of services, including specialized programs in renal, stroke, cardiac, cancer care, and vascular surgery. We wouldn't be the hospital we are today without the people and nothing is more important to us then our team of dedicated employees. At PRHC, we pride ourselves on creating and maintaining an environment where people are valued, recognized, and treated with respect. We believe that the best way to support our patients is through our people. We do this by providing our employees with competitive and comprehensive benefit plans, a pension program with matching employer contribution, professional development opportunities, employee and family assistance program, health and wellness programs (gym and yoga memberships, annual wellness fair, travel discounts) and a learning fund for educational development. Exploring new positions, programs, or development initiatives is encouraged as it contributes to your personal and professional growth. PRHC supports and encourages you to pursue whatever path you choose. *WHAT YOU’LL DO: * The role of the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) is to provide airway management, mechanical ventilation (invasive and non-invasive) bronchodilator and inhaled medication therapy, oxygen and medical gas therapy, therapeutic intervention and education and pulmonary diagnostics to adult, paediatric and neonatal patients within the established standards of practice of professional [website]’s are self-regulated members of the College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario (CRTO) and as such are required to meet yearly continuing competency requirements. *WHAT YOU’LL BRING: * Respiratory Therapy Diploma from an accredited program. Professional registration in good standing with the CRTO. Current BCLS and NRP ACLS preferred *WHO YOU ARE: * Ability to assess, evaluate and communicate appropriate Respiratory Therapy Care Plans Ability to conduct respiratory tests and treatments Ability to keep accurate records and patient charts Ability to assess patient response to care and to respond appropriately Ability to deal with conflict situations Ability to collaborate with others as a member of the team Ability to provide good customer service Experience with critical care and emergency situations. Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills. Demonstrated ability to work independently and use good judgement. Good organizational skills. Computer literate with hospital systems Demonstrated willingness to continually upgrade skills and be active in the continual development of Respiratory Services. Demonstrated ability to maintain a good attendance record. Knowledge of anaesthesia equipment an asset *OUR Commitment: * Peterborough Regional Health Centre is committed to providing accessible employment practices that are in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (‘AODA’). Should any applicant require accommodation through the recruitment and selection process, please Notify us by indicating you require an accommodation in your application form. A representative from Human Resources will be in touch with you to tailor the recruitment process to meet your accommodation needs. While the Health Centre appreciates your expression of interest in this position(s), only those applicants selected for an interview will be notified. Part-time hours: 30 per week Job Types: Full-time, Part-time Salary: $32.99-$45.56 per hour Benefits: * Extended health care Schedule: * 10 hour shift * 12 hour shift * 8 hour shift * Day shift * Holidays * Monday to Friday * Night shift * Weekend availability Experience: * respiratory therapist: 1 year (preferred) Work remotely: * No

What does a Respiratory Therapist do?

Respiratory Therapists conduct diagnostic testing of a patient to determine respiratory and pulmonary function. They develop and implement therapy plans to aid with respiratory disease and disorders in conjunction with physicians and other medical professionals. A Respiratory Therapist also provides education and training to patients, family members, and caregivers for the daily management of respiratory conditions.

Respiratory Therapists can work in various settings, including hospitals, extended care facilities, public healthcare centers, and respiratory home care companies.

Respiratory Therapist skills and qualifications

As a professional healthcare provider, a Respiratory Therapist has various prerequisite skills and qualifications needed for their role. Depending on the work environment, they may be working alone and directly one-on-one with patients in a home care situation. Or they may be working within a team of healthcare professions in an emergency room or healthcare clinic. Key skills and qualifications are similar, and include:

  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a diverse group of healthcare professionals
  • Ability to work well under high-pressure situations
  • Strong communication skills and the ability to provide care to a diverse patient population
  • Compassion and a desire to help others
  • Provide the highest standards of care according to the Canadian Board of Respiratory Care
  • Desire to develop their professional skills and training continuously

Respiratory Therapist experience requirements

A successful Respiratory Therapist has a sound foundation in all relevant procedures and treatments. Candidates need to be registered with their province or territory’s regulatory licensing body. Each region has a different set of experience requirements for Respiratory Therapists to meet before they can complete their registration. Respiratory Therapists may also choose to specialize in one field like anesthesia, pediatrics, emergency care, or respiratory home care. In that case, they need specific experience in that field to practice.

Respiratory Therapist education and training requirements

A Respiratory Therapist needs to hold a specialized three-year college diploma or a four-year university degree program. In most Canadian provinces and territories, Respiratory Therapist is a regulated profession, and candidates need a licence to practice with their relevant regional association. Respiratory Therapists also need to complete the nationally recognized Canadian Board of Respiratory Care (CBRC) exam. 

You may prefer candidates with additional training courses, such as an Advanced Cardiac Life Support certification. Candidates also need regular Life Support and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training, so ensure their most recent training is still valid.

Respiratory Therapist salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, average pay for a Respiratory Therapist in Canada is $33.75 per hour. It can vary depending on factors like experience, education, location, and the hiring company.

Job description samples for similar positions

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Respiratory Therapist job description FAQs

What qualities make for a good Respiratory Therapist?

A successful Respiratory Therapist conducts their work with integrity and compassion for all patients under their care. They understand their patients’ legal rights and uphold the standards and regulations of the province or territory they work within.

What should you look for in a Respiratory Therapist's resume?

When reviewing resumes for a Respiratory Therapist, you want to ensure that the candidate has the necessary qualifications and licences to practice in the province or territory in which you operate. You want to look for relevant experience in your specific work environment. For example, if you offer respiratory home care, looking for candidates with previous experience working one-on-one with patients in a home or small clinic setting.

What makes an excellent Respiratory Therapist job description?

When creating a job description for a Respiratory Therapist, include any specific licences required to practice in your company’s province or territory. Provide a clear description of your company, culture, and vision. A detailed list of daily duties also allows candidates to understand what an average day looks like in the position with your company. 

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Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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