Just in time for RT Week!
The 2020 Fall Edition of RTSO Airwaves
is now on-line.

Some fantastic RTSO work is highlighted in the Executive Message and in the many Committee and Interest Group updates found in every issue of Airwaves. The Fall issue contains information on community RTs and shifting roles and ways of practicing in a pandemic.  From our Leadership Committee to our Social Media Report, great work is happening through our team of RTSO volunteers!  The Research Interest Group have provided another couple of great reads – a Research 101 article on P-values by Tara Fowler, and an article submitted by Samira Fard on Re-exploring Non-Invasive Ventilation.  Student Affairs provides us with an update, and several students have submitted some pretty amazing articles – we do hope they get you thinking!


RT Week 2020 Webinars and Activities

The RTSO board and various committees have worked hard to plan a virtual RT week filled with fun and relevant learning activities.

Debunking COVID-19 Myths…What We Have Learned So Far

Thu, Oct 29, 2020 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

Happy RT Week! This educational opportunity was made possible by the RTSO Leadership Committee.

Learning Objectives:

  • COVID-19 transmission, what do we know now?

  • Clarification of low prevalence and what that means clinically when looking at the numbers in the news.

  • Aerosol Generating Medical Procedures update….what do we know about transmission with our various procedures?

  • Transmission in healthcare workers and workplaces…what do we know after the first wave?

  • Having kids in schools…what should healthcare workers do to minimize the risk of bringing COVID to their patients?

  • Lessons learned


Dr. Zain Chagla

Dr. Chagla is an Associate Professor of Medicine at McMaster University, and is an Infectious Diseases Consultant at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton. He also is Co-medical director of infection control at St. Joseph’s, as well as Niagara Health System, and is a part time consultant to Woodstock General Hospital. As part of the provincial response he has also been a part of Ontario Health Guidelines on personal protective equipment, as well as treatment of COVID-19.

Christopher Wituik MSc, BScN, RN, CIC

Christopher is an infection prevention and control nurse at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton. Throughout this pandemic he has been working alongside RTs as the frontline IPAC resource for various areas such as the ED, Outpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program, Pulmonary Diagnostic Area, Code Blue Policy Development, COVID unit and Urgent Care. He has assisted the RTSO on various initiatives and participated in the Town Halls at the beginning of the pandemic to help members gain an understanding of what was known about the transmission of the virus.

CLICK HERE to Register

“It’s All About You” Meeting the Personal /Professional Challenges
Facing RT’s in a COVID World

Fri, Oct 30, 2020 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

During this presentation, the participant will:

  • Review key identified professional issues faced by RT’s in COVID World

  • Identify the impact on one’s personal health and well being

  • Find out where you are right now

  • Discover effective strategies and tools in pro actively addressing healthy work life balance


Murray Hillier RN, Dip. Adult Ed. (Can.)

Mr. Hillier is a Registered Nurse and has worked in various professional capacities in health care for 40 years. His areas of service have included: Administration, Education, Emergency, Mental Health and Psychiatric Emergency Services. His practice also included having been a Master level instructor and Consultant in both Crisis and Suicide Intervention. His clinical experience and expertise have made him a sought-after speaker, giving keynote speeches, and highly interactive workshops and seminars for all levels of Government, Academic Institutions and Private Corporations. Currently he is a Clinical Educator, Professional Practice Department at Providence Care Hospital in Kingston Ontario and is also a Professor at Algonquin College in Ottawa, having held development and teaching positions in the Paramedic, Critical Care, Mental Health and Allied Health programs.

CLICK HERE to Register

The Student Affairs Committee have also planned a fun activity on October 30.

Join the SAC and the RTSO Friday October 30th, 2020 from 6-8 pm for a Respookatory Virtual Trivia Night full of RT related fun.

Teams will consist of 3-4 members. Questions will be a mix of RT related knowledge as well as other topics such as Pop Culture. Show us your steady RT hand and carve a pumpkin with your mascot to earn additional points. Additional points will also be awarded for creative team names and costumes, teams with members from various years and colleges, and creative team chants.


Contact gdonde@fanshaweonline.ca with any questions.

Deadline to register is today, October 28th 2020

CLICK HERE to Register

The RTSO’s Student Affairs Committee Challenges Schools of Ontario to decorate a door/wall of their school to promote the profession for RT Week.

Prizes for the best design!

Post pictures during RT week and tag the RTSO

RT WEEK OCTOBER 25 – 31, 2020

We look forward to celebrating our profession
with our hard working members!

Staged Precautions for Pulmonary Diagnostic Testing During and After
COVID-19 Pandemic in Ontario

The Respiratory Therapy Society of Ontario (RTSO) recognizes the need for guidance for pulmonary diagnostic testing (PDT) during and after the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario. RTSO also acknowledges that there is limited and emerging evidence surrounding the potential for exposure to COVID-19 by patients and clinicians during PDT.

As the Province moves through the various phases/stages of pandemic control, considerations must be made to ensure that patient and clinician safety is balanced with clinical benefit during these procedures. When there is a lack of clear evidence, the RTSO recommends that precautionary principles govern the decision making process to optimize a safe approach and minimize the risk of disease spread.

The following document is intended to provide guidance for a staged approach for PDT in a variety of settings, taking local public health guidance and resources into consideration including:

1. Organizational Risk Assessment for Services and Test Capacity
2. COVID-19 Screening
3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
4. Reconfigure Test Space and Patient Flow
5. Environmental Controls and Cleaning
6. Reorganize Test Scheduling

This document may be updated as new evidence emerges.


We hope that this information will be helpful in providing a safe pulmonary diagnostic testing process for both patients and staff. Any feedback should be forwarded to the RTSO Office at office@rtso.ca.

Thank you,
RTSO Board of Directors
RTSO Leadership Committee


Action required by all RRT’s
in Ontario!
Members and Non-members

The RTSO is lobbying and working behind the scenes to improve your ability to use ultrasound equipment when performing procedures to improve patient care.  We have been working with a government relations firm Stosic & Associates and we are now reaching out to you for some help.  Simply download and copy/paste the templated letter into an email and send it to your MPP. We have also included instructions on how to find your MPP.

The more RT’s across Ontario that send this letter the more support we will have moving forward with changing the authorization of the use of ultrasound. 


RT Week is October 25 – 31

Send your family, friends or colleagues an eCard to thank them for their hard work and dedication.


has permanent part-time positions  available for
Cardiopulmonary Technicians

has job opportunities for a
Full Time and a Part Time
Respiratory Therapist


Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) Integrated Role Profile in Ontario

The RTSO has created a document with the help of many RT’s across the province to assist organizations who employ or intend to employ RT’s with a description of a broad, inclusive role working in a variety of practice settings across the continuum of care, demonstrating our specialized expertise in all sectors of healthcare.

Please take some time to familiarize yourself with the document and use it as a reference and share broadly with other stakeholders.


AAs Excluded from
Pandemic Pay

Doug Ford recognized many healthcare workers in his pandemic pay initiative. However, he forgot key players that were in hospitals every single day and in direct contact with COVID patients throughout the pandemic.

These forgotten healthcare workers have fought for recognition of their services during this pandemic and for entitlement to pandemic pay. They include Anesthesia Assistants, Perfusionists, Medical Radiation Technologists, Diagnostic Medical Sonographers,  Medical Lab Technicians, Registered Dieticians, and Physiotherapists. This list is not exhaustive.

Imagine you’re a very sick COVID patient entering a hospital. An Anesthesia Assistant helps anesthetize you and place your breathing tube. The progression of COVID’s effect on your lungs/body is tracked by images taken by radiation technologists/other medical imaging staff; they will take multiple images/scans during your hospitalization to help guide treatment. Blood work and labs are collected and analyzed by medical lab technicians. Your condition worsens and you require extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) – the most intense form of life support – a perfusionist will be managing that machine and keeping you alive until the machine is no longer necessary. Perfusionists see the sickest COVID patients every single day. Your body is continually growing weaker as it is fighting COVID, physiotherapists ensure your body stays strong while registered dieticians manage your diet to optimize your body for recovery. Diagnosis, treatment, recovery, and rehab are a team effort.

All these individuals were left off the list of being eligible for pandemic pay despite having direct contact with COVID patients. If painters, plasterers, locksmiths, carpenters, truck drivers, electricians, and other hospital staff who did not directly contact COVID patients qualified, WHY DIDN’T WE?

Please help us appeal to Doug Ford to remedy this situation.

If your profession was also excluded from Ford’s pandemic pay program in Ontario, please email me at fairpandemicpay@gmail.com.

Please sign the Pandemic Pay for Ontario’s Forgotten Healthcare Workers Petition


Occupational Stress Injury (OSI) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Respiratory Therapists (RTs)

It is imperative to have services and supports in place to keep RTs protected, mentally fit and healthy to ensure we can carry on our important and heavily replied upon expert services in this very intense and stressful role…for the good of each one of us and the patients we serve.

Respiratory therapists (RTs) work as essential members of rapid response, various code, disaster, radiation and other emergency response teams.