Respiratory Care students must demonstrate competency in all three learning domains:
Students learn, practice, and verify these competencies in a number of settings including the classroom, laboratory and clinic.
To achieve the required competencies in the classroom setting, Respiratory Care students must perceive, assimilate and integrate information from a variety of sources. These sources include oral instruction, printed material, visual media, and live demonstrations. Students must participate in classroom discussions, give oral reports, and pass written and computer-based examinations of various formats. Completion of these tasks requires cognitive skills, such as reading, writing and problem-solving.
To be physically capable of the classroom work, the student must, with assistance, be able to: hear, see, speak, sit, and touch. Respiratory Care laboratories provide students with the opportunity to view demonstrations, evaluate and practice with medical devices and perform simulated clinical procedures.
In addition to the cognitive skills required in the classroom, students must demonstrate psychomotor skills in manipulating patients and equipment, as well as general professional behaviors, like team-building and interpersonal communications. To satisfy laboratory requirements, students must perform all procedures without critical error. This requires high levels of cognitive, perceptual, and psychomotor function.
In addition to the physical capabilities required for classroom work, the laboratories require students, with assistance to: assemble equipment, stand while using both hands to perform procedures, perform fine motor skills, and perform procedures requiring considerable strength. Examples of the latter procedures include: turning and moving patients, endotracheal intubation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Clinical education in Respiratory Care involves application of skills acquired in the classroom and laboratory settings to actual patients in the clinical setting. In addition to the cognitive skills required in those settings, students must demonstrate skills in patient assessment, developing and evaluating patient care plans, clinical reasoning, problem-solving, and troubleshooting equipment.
Professional behaviors required for clinical training include constructive responses to situations involving emergencies, deaths, stress, frustrating situations and complex interactions with other members of the health care team. Students must also demonstrate respect for others, empathy, responsibility, efficiency, integrity, and initiative.
In addition to the physical capabilities required during the classroom and laboratory sessions, clinical training includes moving briskly between patient care areas and meeting the mental and physical demands of twelve-hour shifts, on both day and night rotations.