RTSO Webinar: Covid-19 Vaccines

Recorded: January 14th, 12:00 – 1:30pm.

Description: Overview of SARS-COV2 biology, pathology, and epidemiology. Impact of public health measures on infection prevention and control. COVID-19 vaccine immunology, efficacy and expected impact on pandemic.

Speaker: Giulio DiDiodato MD, MPH, PhD
Critical Care Medicine & Chief Research Scientist
Centre for Education & Research
Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
Assistant Professor
Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence & Impact
McMaster University

Preregistration for the 2021/22 RTSO Membership Year is now open!

The RTSO requires your membership, your ideas and your experience to address the concerns and issues that impact RTs in Ontario. Your profession needs you!

If you become a new RTSO Practicing Member or renew your Membership by January 31st, 2021 you will be entered into a draw for a FREE Membership!


The RTSO would like to thank
countless people across Ontario.

Respiratory Therapists across this province demonstrated unbelievable resilience, leadership, and dedication despite the increased pressures and demands on our profession. In the interest of improving awareness of RT’s and creating improved opportunities for RT collaboration the RTSO board of directors decided to purchase services from the government advocacy agency Stosic & Associates. Part of the deliverables include increased awareness around our profession and our impact on patient care in Ontario. Collaboration with Stosic & Associates directly resulted in the announcements from both Hon. Christine Elliott and Premier Doug Ford. We take full responsibility for those announcements and are very proud of this accomplishment. I think we can all say that we are incredibly happy to be recognized!

The RTSO is alive and it is interesting to reflect to 2019 when Sue Jones stood up and let the membership know that the RTSO was at risk of closing due to a very bleak financial situation. Fast forward to now with Sue Martin presenting at our 2020 AGM that we now have a balanced budget despite not being able to generate revenue from an annual educational event. This is a massive success and is due to everyone who has supported the organization. We share this success with all of you from volunteers on the board and committees, to those of you who joined to support the organization, and with our corporate members who have supported the RTSO in both joining as members and supporting webinars. All this support has allowed us to focus on what is important to RT’s and to create a relevant strategic plan. Your support enabled the RTSO to be responsive to COVID-19 and your needs as this pandemic evolved. When the pandemic pay initiative surfaced, we were fortunate enough to be included due to your emails to political leaders and the start of a wonderful relationship with Stosic & Associates. This partnership has created a pathway for improved relationship building, creating awareness and introducing the addition of Respiratory Therapy in key legislative changes. We continue to engage with the government to realize our goals related to scope of practice, PTSD, and involvement of RT’s for improvements in clinical practice and patient care.

Not taking a back seat at all are the excellent learning opportunities that have taken place during this pandemic and over RT week. The RTSO is proud to have been responsive to RT’s evolving learning needs. Using virtual technology, we held the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the RTSO to provide the membership with the opportunity to hear about the work and successes the RTSO has realized over the past year.

Another great outcome of our work this year is the increased interest in RTSO involvement and membership. Annually there is turnover of Directors on the board. This year we posted several positions and received an impressive response with applications for each outgoing Director. This is a positive change as in the past several years recruitment proved to be difficult and was often a result of current board members directly reaching out to members. We are so proud to see interest increasing and hope that this continues as members see the value of this organization and how we can improve your daily practice. Stay tuned for the posting for President-elect for 2021 and please consider applying as we will continue to make a difference.

This past year has highlighted the tremendous value we bring to the healthcare system. Awareness and involvement of our profession is improving because of RTSO initiatives and members’ hard work. Now is the time to join the RTSO and be part of this exciting new chapter. To our members, we thank you for your loyalty, dedication and for showcasing how much stronger we are together. We could not have done it without you!

Announcements during RT Week from
Hon. Christine Elliott and
Premier Doug Ford

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!


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


The RTSO is seeking an RTSO member to join the
Board of Directors as Communications Director.

Deadline to apply: January 22, 2021

Joint Statement from the

As New Modelling Confirms ICU Cases Climbing Toward Devastating Levels, Health Organizations Re-issue Plea for Tougher Government Restrictions and Help from each Ontarian


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. 


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.