Primary Care – Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) Job Description

The Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) works as part of an interdisciplinary team to provide direct client, team and community support, respiratory care and education programs and performs necessary clinical functions to facilitate the delivery of comprehensive primary health care to achieve best health outcomes for clients with or at risk of developing respiratory disease.

Representative Activities

The RRT

  • Leads the development, implementation and evaluation of Lung Health-related programs including policies and procedures within a quality improvement framework, in collaboration with management and other relevant team members ensuring patient-centred care, guideline compliance, and best practices.
  • Leads and facilitates the development of relevant population health respiratory-related programs and services needed in the community through local partnerships with a range of community stakeholders.
  • Provides health education and disease prevention services both on an individual and group basis in response to the specific needs of patients, their caregivers, interdisciplinary team members and/or community groups.
  • Assesses and addresses potential barriers to respiratory management, including the social determinants of health
  • Provides relevant point-of-care (POC) testing including quality control and maintenance of POC device/s in accordance with Canadian medical and manufacturer’s standards. This includes but is not limited to spirometry, oximetry and arterial blood gas collection and analysis.
  • Performs home oxygen assessment (including walk test and blood gas procurement) and completes the Application for Funding Home Oxygen and other relevant authorization in accordance with provincial policies and legislation.
  • Leads the development of an evidence-based coordinated care plan for a specified group of clients relative to needs of the client and their caregiver including those with complex needs and multi-morbid conditions, to maximize health outcomes.
  • Works with clients/families and primary care providers to develop, implement and revise customized self-management plans (Action Plans)
  • Leads and/or participates in relevant quality improvement and/or research initiatives within the primary care setting, as well as external partnerships and collaborations, assessing process and outcome measures that impact the providers’ and patients’ experiences and outcomes.
  • Contributes to the planning and strategic direction for the organization and relevant partners such as Health Links initiatives and Local Health Integration Networks including policies, procedures, the implementation of relevant regulations, industry standards and guidelines, patient safety processes as well as identifying health equity and other relevant issues that impact patient outcomes and organizational processes and efficiency.
  • Provides education and demonstrates respiratory care procedures to health-care professionals and student trainees.

Typical Qualifications

The RRT

  • Is a graduate of an accredited Respiratory Therapy program, is registered to practice and maintains practice standards and continuing education required by the College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario
  • Having an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline from a recognized university is an asset
  • Is certified as a Smoking Cessation Counsellor, Certified Respiratory Educator, in Basic Cardiac Life Support and/or has other relevant specialization.
  • Has 3-5 years’ clinical experience working with clients conducting spirometry, lung health assessment,management, treatment and education, the development and delivery of health education and promotion programs in an interprofessional primary care setting.
  • Provides effective and accessible education/care to patients, families, community groups, and health professionals based on current best practice recommendations
  • Has an understanding of the intersection between a range of health challenges in order to improve the prevention and management of chronic diseases across the continuum
  • Is experienced in working with diverse clients and communities
  • Understands concepts of health promotion, patient education, research and secondary prevention as a part of primary care
  • Demonstrates computer literacy with the use of electronic medical records and is familiar with various relevant computer programs.
  • Has excellent organization, written and oral communication skills
  • Is able to prioritize, manage time effectively and be flexible with tasks at hand.
  • Demonstrates the abilities to
    • Engage conflict management skills as necessary
    • Be autonomous and function effectively with minimal supervision
    • Function as part of a high performing team
  • Demonstrates critical thinking, using logic, reasoning and evidence-based knowledge to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems at the patient, team and community service levels.

Working Conditions

The RRT

  • Works in a clinical environment with moderate demands relative to administering medical tests, patient assessment, management and education and physical efforts related to pulmonary rehabilitation exercise demonstration within an interactive team-based approach to care. There may be times the ‘clinical environment’ includes the patient’s home or elsewhere within the community.
  • Is at high risk for the transmission of infectious diseases due to occupational exposures via contact, droplet, or airborne routes.
  • Has a considerable demand on sensory attention, as work activities require a need for sustained concentration, particularly when interacting with clients for lengthy periods of time, calibrating equipment, or when maintaining accurate client records.
  • Prioritizes work to accommodate urgent cases and complex needs of individual patients and their caregivers collaborating with colleagues as appropriate.
  • Manages scheduling, personal and interpersonal conflicts to minimize or eliminate impact on responsibilities and priorities with conducting tests, managing patients and monitoring equipment while maintaining quality in service delivery.

Approved by the Respiratory Therapy Society of Ontario Board of Directors: June 9, 2016