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Respiratory Therapy

We provide clinical and diagnostic expertise in both the in-patient and out-patient setting. 

About us

We are highly skilled health care professionals in the hospital health-care team, providing clinical and diagnostic expertise in both the in-patient and out-patient setting.

We provide a broad spectrum of care in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), inpatient modules, emergency department (ED), and diagnostic testing in either the Pulmonary Functions Laboratory or Polysomnography Laboratory (sleep studies).

We advocate for the patient, are committed to evidence-based practice, are a well respected health care professional, an active participant and supporter of interprofessional communication and collaboration, practice in diverse settings, have the qualifications and education to meet the evolving demands of the health care system, and are actively engaged in health promotion and wellness. We perform within the respiratory therapy national scope of practice and are ambassadors for the profession.

Our training

We receive specialized training through a College/University three year Diploma Program in Respiratory Therapy or through a University dual Bachelor of Health Sciences and Respiratory Therapist credential. Upon graduation from an accredited college/university program respiratory therapists must successfully pass a credentialing examination produced by the Canadian Board of Respiratory Care. The National Alliance of Respiratory Therapy Regulatory Bodies National Competency Profile directs all skills and knowledge tested on this examination for entry to practice.

Association & society

The Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists (CSRT) is the national professional association for respiratory therapists. Founded in 1964 as the Canadian Society of Inhalation Therapy Technicians, the CSRT is dedicated to excellence in cardiorespiratory care.

The CSRT represents the profession on medical, government, education and advisory bodies; maintains a national professional standards of practice; works with health organizations concerned with asthma, emphysema, smoking, and health care; awards the internationally recognized RRT credential; and publishes the Canadian Journal of Respiratory Therapy.

The British Columbia Society of Respiratory Therapists (BCSRT) is the provincial professional association for respiratory therapists. The role of the BCSRT is, but not limited to, promoting and advancing the interests of the respiratory therapists and the profession of respiratory therapy within the province of British Columbia.

Our work

The respiratory therapists working at BC Children's Hospital provide a broad spectrum of care in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), inpatient modules, emergency department (ED), and diagnostic testing laboratories.

The work includes:

  • facilitating invasive/ non-invasive mechanical ventilation
  • interpretation of chest x-rays
  • assisting with airway maintenance (endotracheal/tracheostomy tubes)
  • procurement, analyzing & interpretation of arterial/capillary blood samples
  • manipulation of ventilation parameters based upon arterial/capillary blood gas results
  • members of code blue and trauma teams (Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support certifications)
  • administration of medications, oxygen therapy and other specialty gases
  • assist with bronchoscopies
  • ensure the functional operation of invasive & non-invasive ventilators meet manufacturer's specifics prior to patient application
  • consultants for new and innovating respiratory care technologies (jet ventilation, filtering of patient exhales gases), and assist with respiratory care & conscious sedation in the Emergency Department.

The Pulmonary Functions Laboratory (PFT) is an accredited lab through the Provincial Diagnostic Accreditation Program and is the Provincial pediatric outpatient referral and resource site for other PFT labs in the province. Patients from various inpatient modules (neuromuscular, cystic fibrosis, asthma, oncology, meningomyelocele etc.) are also tested in the lab providing vital diagnostic results for the management of their disease and/or for discharge planning purposes.


The Polysomnography Program is accredited through the Provincial Diagnostic Accreditation Program. Sleep problems in children and youth are seen in a wide variety of medical and psychiatric disorders including neurological problems, pulmonary problems, psychiatric disease and primary sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea and narcolepsy.


The Home Tracheostomy Ventilation Program supports over 150 patients in communities across the province who have tracheostomies and/or home ventilation. These patients are seen in the Respiratory Clinic by respirologists, nurses and respiratory therapists for follow up and ongoing care.


In addition, respiratory therapists are trained as extracorporeal life support specialists (ECLS). ECLS specialists are the heart of the ECLS team and consist of respiratory therapists and critical care nurses. They are responsible for the front line management of the ECLS patient and are confident in making clinical decisions based upon their extensive knowledge base and skill set. Respiratory therapists who are trained in ECLS receive an internationally recognized certification.


The Respiratory Therapy department is involved in several training activities:

  • Affiliated with the Thompson Rivers University Respiratory Therapy student training program. This program if offered as a three year RT diploma program or a four year Bachelor of Health Sciences Degree Program.
  • Affiliated with the Thompson Rivers University Anesthesia Assistant training program (pediatric clinical site).
  • Mandatory education days are provided to ensure clinical practice standards are maintained and new practices introduced.
  • Respiratory focussed interprofessional education
  • Patient and parent teaching (i.e., airway management, home ventilator management)

SOURCE: Respiratory Therapy ( )
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