Essential Functions of a Respiratory Therapy Student

Essential functions are those considered to be necessary or fundamental to the performance of a job.  In postsecondary education, the student’s job is to learn and participate in an academic environment and the clinical environment as well. The student, with or without reasonable accommodation, must possess these essential functions.

  • Physical Requirements:  Must be physically able to operate a variety of types of equipment including computer, calculator, polysomnograph, other medical equipment, etc.  Must be physically able to exert up to twenty-five pounds of force occasionally and/or frequently lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects.  Must be able to lift and/or carry weights up to fifty pounds.  Physical demands are in excess of sedentary work, including walking, running, standing, stooping, reaching, crouching, etc. for extended periods of time.  Requires the ability to perceive attributes of objects such as size, shape, temperature, or texture by means of receptors in skin, particularly those of the fingertips.  Must possess refined auditory and visual discrimination.
  • Data Conception:   Requires the ability to compare and/or judge the readily observable functional, structural, or compositional characteristics (whether similar to or divergent from obvious standards) of data, people, or objects.
  • Interpersonal Communication:   Requires the ability of speaking and/or signaling people to convey or exchange information, including the ability to receive information and instructions from instructors, patients, physicians, and other health care providers and provide feedback to same.
  • Language Ability:   Requires the ability to read and comprehend a variety of documents, reports, and books such as medical charts, various medical texts, etc.  Requires the ability to prepare various documents and reports such as patient reports, etc., using proper format, punctuation, spelling and grammar.  Requires the ability to communicate with instructors,  patients,  physicians, other health care practitioners, etc. with poise, voice control, and confidence.
  • Intelligence:   Requires the ability to use critical thinking skills and problem solving skills in order to complete tasks accurately and within assigned time frames.  Requires the ability to apply principles of logical or scientific thinking to a wide range of intellectual and practical problems, to deal with nonverbal symbolism in its most difficult phases, and to comprehend the most abstruse classes of concepts.
  • Verbal Aptitude:   Requires the ability to record and deliver information and to follow verbal and written instructions.  Must be able to communicate with others via effective verbal communication. Must be able to integrate multiple abstract concepts and express them in a comprehensive and concise manner.  Must possess knowledge of medical terminology and symbolism.
  • Numerical Aptitude:   Requires the ability to utilize mathematical formulas; add, subtract, multiply, and divide numbers; determine percentages and decimals; determine time and weight; apply algebraic, geometric, and trigonometric principles; and utilize descriptive statistics.  Requires the ability to utilize metric systems on a regular basis.
  • Form/Spatial Aptitude:  Requires the ability to inspect items for proper length, width, shape, and depth.
  • Motor Coordination:   Requires fine psychomotor coordination of hands and eyes in utilizing automated equipment, etc.
  • Manual Dexterity:   Requires the ability to grasp, handle, hold, cut, push, pull, and feel.  Requires the ability to manipulate a variety of control knobs, switches, etc.
  • Color Discrimination:   Requires the ability to differentiate colors, shades, and tones of color.
  • Interpersonal Temperament:   Requires the ability to deal with people beyond receiving instructions.   Must be adaptable to performing under high stress when confronted with an emergency.
  • Physical Communication:  Requires the ability to talk and hear.  Must be able to understand various types of nonverbal communication.
  • Personal Traits:  Requires the ability to build constructive and cooperative working relationships with others and maintain them over time and to develop specific goals and priorities to organize and accomplish work.  Must demonstrate professionalism, show the ability to work alone or within a team, demonstrate integrity and sincerity, and show an attitude of caring and sensitivity.  Must demonstrate neatness and good hygiene.  Requires a positive attitude when receiving constructive criticism.
  • Travel:  Requires the ability to travel to and from the College campus, clinical facilities, and other assigned locations off campus.