Oakland Community College

Technical Performance Standards

Students entering and participating in the Respiratory Therapy Program must be able to demonstrate the ability:

Physical Stamina and Strength

  • To stand for up to 8-12 hours per day
  • To assist in lifting and transferring patients
  • To maneuver the ventilator or other machines from department to bedside or to a testing area
  • To demonstrate performance of chest physiotherapy
  • To demonstrate performance of effective  cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Visual Acuity and Perception

  • To perform a physical assessment including observation of patient color, changes in color, perfusion, chest configuration and chest rise during ventilation.
  • To differentiate shades of gray when evaluating the radiographic image
  • To read and interpret patient charts, lab results and reports both written and computer
  • To observe any situation which may prove potentially hazardous to a patient or other personnel

Manual Dexterity

  • To manipulate the controls and keyboard of the instrument panel of a ventilator and computer system
  • To assist the physician during specialized procedures (intubation/extubation and bronchoscopy)
  • To perform procedures using two hands: arterial puncture,  suctioning, chest compressions, manual ventilation, securing of endotracheal tubes , extubation and tracheostomy care


  • To listen for indicative signs of medical emergency: choking, shortness of breath, patient complaints of pain, return demonstration of procedures and discussion of medical history
  • To accurately access breath and heart sounds and be able to identify changes in the patient’s status
  • To accurately confirm the placement of an endotracheal tube


  • To communicate in English verbally and in handwritten form
  • To enunciate and be readily understood by patients, physicians, peers and families
  • To understand and respond to directions, instruction and statements made by patients, instructors, physicians and peers.

Maturity and Professionalism:

  • To maintain appropriate professional conduct and appearance
  • To react appropriately to critically ill patients and urgent situations
  • To respect patient privacy and demonstrate tact and empathy
  • To operate within the scope of the practice of respiratory care