Mental and Physical Qualifications

Minimum acceptable mental and physical qualifications of a student for the profession of respiratory care include the following abilities:


Must be able to extend arms or hands in any direction and be able to reach oxygen, air, and vacuum outlets, emergency alarms, electrical and light fixtures above a patients bed, without the aid of a stool, i.e. approximately 5 feet from the floor and while leaning over equipment.


Must be able to lift and position patients in a chair or bed for the delivery of therapy. The ability to lift, carry, push or pull a minimum of a 30 lbs. load is expected.


Must be able to give clear verbal commands to a patient receiving therapy at a distance of 6 to 10 feet. This includes the ability to express and exchange information by means of spoken word.


Must not be physically dependent on non-prescribed drugs. Student must be able to pass drug screens at clinical sites.


Must have sight corrected (with clarity of vision up to 20 feet) so as to read reports and adjust respiratory equipment, and assess patient status by inspection.


Hearing must be corrected so as to be able to hear a patient at a distance of 6 to 10 feet, equipment alarms at a distance of 15 to 20 feet and listen to a patient's chest for respiratory and cardiac sounds with the aid of a stethoscope. Breath sounds must be heard for quality and intensity of sounds.


Must be able to feel, finger and handle equipment. This includes hands able to seize, grasp and turn. Fingers must be able to pick, pinch and work as a unit of the hand. Feeling includes the ability to note size, shape, temperature or texture by touching. Must be able to take pulses, draw medications, draw blood, manually ventilate with one hand, activate metered dose inhalers and repair equipment with small parts.


 Work in a standing position for long periods of time and do frequent slow- and fast-paced walking. Being able to negotiate stairs when required is also required.


Perform mathematical calculations for medication preparation and administration.


Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, using appropriate grammar, vocabulary, and word usage.

Students entering the Respiratory Care Program are responsible for determining their own eligibility in light of these qualifications, for informing the college of any potential problem areas and for identifying to the Respiratory Care Program any particular accommodations they may need. Students with disabilities are encouraged to register with the Office of Disability Services and may utilize these services to determine appropriate accommodations. Students with disabilities who enter the program do so with the understanding that they will be expected to meet course requirements with any REASONABLE accommodation that may be provided by the College.

Meeting the mental and physical requirements of the Respiratory Care Program does not guarantee that the student will meet the mental and physical requirements of the institutions that employ respiratory care practitioners.