Respiratory Therapist – Lexington Regional Health Center
Effective Date: October 24, 2021
Supervisor: Director of Respiratory Services
Department: Respiratory Therapy
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt
Principle duties and responsibilities
- Assesses and administers respiratory services while utilizing appropriate therapies to treat patients with deficiencies of the cardiopulmonary system, by prescription or approved protocol under the supervision of the patient’s Medical Provider and Director of Respiratory Services.
- Administers respiratory therapies such as: nebulizer treatments, oxygen therapy, inhaled medications, bronchial hygiene therapy, lung volume expansion therapy, etc. Reacts to patient’s status changes and emergency situations appropriately and efficiently.
- Administers diagnostic testing to patients with cardio-pulmonary abnormalities such as EKG’s, PFT’s, Cardiac Stress Testing, ABG’s, obtaining sputum cultures, Pulmonary Rehab, etc.
- Provides education to patients and families regarding lung diseases. This may include COPD, asthma, smoking cessation, etc.
- Performs a thorough patient assessment including listening to lung sounds, counting respirations, assessing work of breathing, etc.
- Thoroughly and accurately documents every procedure and assessment performed.
- Works with all age groups ranging from infants and pediatrics to adults.
- Trouble-shoots skills to adjust BIPAP/CPAP machines, oxygen equipment, ventilator, etc.
- Participates in patient care activities that could include blood exposure and risk to bloodborne pathogens (eg: lacerations, handling of blood-contaminated specimens, etc.)
- Responsible for safe bagging and disposal of biohazardous waste.
- Responsible for ensuring the environment meets appropriate governing body standards.
- Responsible for proper collection, storage and labeling of biological specimens.
- Ensure patients and visitors follow current infection control guidelines.
- Maintains patient and staff safety through the use of patient safety tools (TeamSTEPPS, Just Culture, etc).
- Regular attendance at the assigned work location is required.
- Performs all other duties as assigned.
Minimum knowledge, skills, and abilities
- Knowledge of respiratory care therapies and procedures, equipment operation and basic computer skills to document procedures and assessments, as is typically acquired through the completion of an Associate’s degree in a Respiratory Care program from an accredited school.
- Current licensure as a Registered or Certified Respiratory Therapist from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
- Current Basic Life Support certification via American Heart Association required.
- Attention to detail when assessing patients and completing patient documentation.
- Analytical skills to troubleshoot problems with equipment, observe and evaluate patient status, etc.
- Advanced communication skills to educate patients and families, correspond with other healthcare professionals regarding a patient’s plan of care, etc. Ability to effectively communicate with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
- Ability to maintain strict confidentiality with regard to protected and sensitive information.
- Ability to complete reports and correspondence at a professional level.
- Ability to immediately respond to common inquiries and complaints from patients, employees and regulatory agencies.
- Successful completion of required knowledge and training of standard precaution and transmission protocols and when to apply during principle duties and responsibilities.
- Spends approximately 2-4 hours/day completing documentation and desk work and the rest of the shift is spent completing various patient care activities, approximately 8-10 hours. Patient transferring is required for the job, up to 35 pounds 5% of work time. Required to transport various equipment for patient care activities: Computer On Wheels for documentation, oxygen tank carts, compressed air tank carts, single canisters of oxygen/compressed air, percussion machine, etc. for 15% of work time, with up to 20 pounds of horizontal force in hallways up to 300 feet in distance and up to 45 pounds of horizontal force to get over threshold into rooms 2 feet in distance. Required to use percussion tool, which weighs 2-3 pounds and creates vibration, and hold up to patient for percussion 10-40 minutes depending on patient diagnosis. Routine patient care requires reaching to hold equipment up to patient for breathing treatments, requiring different amounts of time. Supplies are to be stocked at various times, from 4 ¾ inch from floor up to 70 ¾ inch height shelves to be reached daily and 90 ¼ inch height monthly. Oxygen tanks, weighing 10 pounds when full, and compressed air tanks, weighing 15 pounds when full, are to be filled and transported to carts to be utilized for patient care 10% of work time. During emergency situations, CPR is a job duty that will need to be performed and may require performance in different body positions.
- Frequent exposure to infections, contagious diseases, hazardous anesthetic agents and body fluids and wastes up to 60% of the time. Regularly exposed to the risk of blood borne diseases and to hazards of flammable, explosive gases, up to 30% of the time. Occasional exposure to unpleasant patient or unit elements, up to 10% of the time.
- Exposure to chemicals and other hazards related to patient care. Appropriate safety precautions, such as safety glasses, gloves, etc. must be used to minimize risk of injury.
- Direct exposure to body substances during patient care activities and on contaminated surfaces such as patient equipment.
Job description statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned to this job title. They are not intended to be a complete list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required.
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