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Respiratory Care Practitioner (8276)

Respiratory Care Practitioner

California State Personnel Board Specification

  • Schematic Code: TR75
  • Class Code: 8276
  • Established: 03/02/1977
  • Revised: 04/07/1987
  • Title Changed: 04/07/1987


Under general medical supervision, to assist in the evaluation of pulmonary dysfunction in clients; to provide care and treatment for clients with pulmonary disorders by means of respiratory therapy, chest physical therapy, and ventilatory assistance, and to do other related work.

Typical Tasks

Tests and measures respiratory dysfunction in clients with pulmonary disorders by such means as spirography, measurement of diffusion capacity, and obtaining arterial blood for blood gas analysis; administers chest physical therapy, including percussion, vibration and postural drainage; administers respiratory therapy through the use of oxygen or compressed air, with or without nebulized pharmacological agents; provides ventilatory assistance to conscious and unconscious clients; cares for airways in clients with endotracheal tubes or tracheostomies; observes client's reactions to treatment and reports unusual occurrences to medical staff; trains clients in methods of improved breathing mechanics and bronchial hygiene; trains and supervises nursing personnel in the use of positive pressure breathing apparatus, in the giving of oxygen to clients and in the application of such physical therapeutic techniques as percussion and vibration prepares of the chest and postural drainage; operates respiratory therapy equipment and maintains it in sanitary condition; maintains clinical notes and records and prepares reports; orders necessary equipment and supplies.

Minimum Qualifications

Education: Graduation from a school of respiratory therapy approved by the American Medical Association Council on Medical Education for Training of Respiratory Therapists or one supported by the Joint Review Committee for Respiratory Therapy Education. and A certificate to practice Respiratory Care issued by the Division of Allied Health Profession of the Board of Medical Quality Assurance of the State of California.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: Procedures for evaluating pulmonary dysfunction; procedures for providing ventilatory assistance to conscious and unconscious clients safely and effectively; respiratory disorders and appropriate therapeutic methods and practices; use and care of respiratory equipment, including aseptic procedures and sterilization techniques; procedures for keeping clients' airway free from obstruction; basic principles of training and supervision; basic pathology of respiratory disorders and nursing care.


Ability to: Perform various respiratory therapy procedures safely and effectively, apply emergency methods of cardiopulmonary resuscitation; employ appropriate tests and measures for evaluation of pulmonary dysfunction and to properly interpret results; obtain the confidence and cooperation of clients; analyze situations accurately and take appropriate action.

Special Personal Characteristics

Aptitude for and interest in working with acute and chronically ill respiratory clients; sympathetic understanding of respiratory clients, their attitudes and problems; willingness to comply with prescribed procedures; patience and emotional stability; aptitude nd interest in working with long-term ventilator dependent clients.

  Updated: 6/3/2012
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