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Academic and Technical Standards

Academic Standards

Courses must be taken on or before the listed semester on the RTT Roadmap. It is not permitted for any course to be taken after it is listed on the Roadmap. (Exception: US 10097) For further information, please refer to the Progression Policy.

Technical Standards

Essential Functions
The following list contains information regarding essential functions outlining the physical abilities and behavioral characteristics necessary for the student to successfully participate in and complete the respiratory therapy program. The student should carefully look over the essential functions for the program and ask questions if not familiar with the activities or functions listed. The student must decide if he or she has any limitations that may restrict or interfere with satisfactory performance of any of the requirements. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to meet these essential functions with or without accommodations. The student should consult with their physician and the Program Director to discuss any concerns related to meeting these essential functions.

  • Hearing ─ Students must be able to hear and understand patients and staff; assess and monitor patient sounds; use a stethoscope to hear heart and breath sounds; hear percussion sounds during patient assessment and have the ability to hear sounds of a variety of equipment alarms.
  • Mobility ─ Students must have mobility and strength to support and move patients. They must be able to work while remaining in a standing position for 60-90 minutes. Additionally, students must be able to move quickly from place to place to perform patient care including support and transfer of patients safely and to respond to emergencies in a timely manner. They must be able to reach above shoulder height and below waist level to manipulate equipment and be able to lift and transport oxygen cylinders and attach regulators.
  • Motor Skills (fine and gross) ─ Students must be able to perform multiple motor tasks simultaneously. They also must have fine and gross motor skills sufficient to handle equipment and provide safe and effective patient care including preparing and manipulating syringes and needles, administer aerosols, suction patients, adjust pressure gauges, perform airway management and CPR. Students must have steady arm and hand movements while manipulating objects or assisting patients. They must have the ability to lift a minimum of 40 pounds.
  • Visual ─ Students must be able to monitor and assess patient and equipment function. They also must have ability to provide safe and effective respiratory care including reading written instructions/orders and reading fine print on monitors and gauges. Students must be able to differentiate color/character of sputum for signs of infection or disease and be able to chart procedures and observations legibly. They must have ability to see and discriminate between a variety of equipment visual alarms and be able to observe demonstrations, patients close up, and at a distance to learn skills and gather patient data (e.g., observe a patient’s gait, appearance, posture, etc.).
  • Tactile ─ Students must be able to assess patient’s response to therapy tactilely including distinguishing textures, degrees of firmness, temperature differences, pulse rate, vibrations and strength.
  • Communication - Students must be able to effectively communicate in the English language orally and in writing with patients and members of the healthcare team. Students also must be able to read and comprehend written material in English.
  • Intellectual and Cognitive Abilities - Students must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, integrate and apply information. Problem solving and clinical skills required of therapists involve all these aforementioned intellectual abilities.
  • Behavioral and Social Attributes - Students must possess the emotional health required to use their intellectual abilities fully, such as exercising good judgment, promptly completing all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and developing mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and other healthcare workers. Students must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties and ambiguities inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are personal qualities that will be assessed during the educational process.
  • Ethical Standards - Students must demonstrate professional demeanor and behavior and must perform in an ethical manner in all dealings with peers, faculty, staff, and patients.
  • Students with Disabilities
    In accordance with University Policy Register (6.02, 6.03), if you have a documented disability, you may request accommodations to obtain equal access and to promote your learning in the classroom. Accommodations in the clinical setting will be made after discussion between the Student Disability Services Coordinator, the RTT Program Director and the student.

Skill Competencies (Skill Check-Offs)
After students learn and practice a procedure, they will complete a peer check-off conducted by another member of the class. Following completion of the peer check-off, students will complete a lab skill check-off with an instructor. Successfully completing a skill check-off with an instructor on the first attempt will be considered satisfactorily passing the check-off, and the student will earn an "S" or a satisfactory for their skill check off. If a student fails the first attempt, the student will earn a "U" for unsatisfactory, but will be given the opportunity to practice as needed and reattempt the check-off within two (2) weeks.

If the student does not pass the check-off on the second or subsequent attempts the student will earn a "U" or unsatisfactory for each failed attempt. Students who earn an unsatisfactory in the laboratory three (3) times will earn a grade of "F" for that course.

Students may not perform any skill in the clinical setting until they have successfully passed the check-off in the lab. All competencies must be successfully completed within the required semester. Students will receive an unsatisfactory laboratory grade if all required skill check offs are not complete by the beginning of finals week for that semester.

Clinical Check-offs (Competencies)
Students are expected to complete a specified number of clinical competencies throughout their clinical rotations. Students must be clinically competent in all areas prior to graduation. In the event that a student completes clinical competencies and is unable to continue in the program, the clinical competencies will remain active for 1 calendar year. Prior to the student restarting the program, the student will be required to demonstrate these skills in the lab setting to ensure competency in these areas.

Students will be provided with a list of clinical check-offs that are to be completed at the beginning of each semester in the course syllabus. All skills may not be performed at each facility. Skill check-offs not completed for this reason can be completed at another facility prior to graduation. All students must be clinically competent in each skill prior to graduation.

Students will be asked to perform check-offs that may have already been completed in a prior semester to ensure ongoing competency. If a student is unsuccessful in completing the skill at the clinical site, then remediation will be necessary and the policy in section 7.12 will be utilized.

Remediation
Clinical Instructors or preceptors will work individually with students on a skill/competency 3 times with the student. If a student is struggling with the skill after these attempts, the Clinical Instructor will enter a clinical competency for this skill as "Major Unsatisfactory" into DataArc. Comments are required describing why the student is failing to progress on the skill. The clinical instructor must immediately notify the Director of Clinical Education and/or Program Director of the student’s need for remediation. Students must complete all clinical competencies successfully to complete the program.

  • Students will be referred for remediation by their clinical instructor or preceptor if they repeatedly perform the same portion of a skill/competency incorrectly or if they repeat the skill and miss different steps each time they perform the skill/competency.
  • Students referred for remediation will be reinstructed by a program instructor, required to practice, and re-demonstrate laboratory competency.
  • Students will be given 1 attempt to re-demonstrate competency on campus with a program instructor within 2 weeks of reinstruction.
    • Students unable to successfully complete a lab competency at this time will receive a clinical failure, resulting in a failing grade for the course and dismissal from the program.
  • Remediation documentation will be completed on campus and signed by the student and program instructor overseeing the remediation.
  • When returning to the clinical site after remediation, the student will have an additional 3 attempts to work on the skill and demonstrate clinical competence individually with a clinical instructor or preceptor.
    • Successful completion of the skill should be entered into DataArc as a "Satisfactory" competency by the clinical instructor or preceptor.
    • Unsuccessful completion of the skill following remediation will be entered into DataArc as a "Major Unsatisfactory" clinical competency. Comments are required describing why the student’s performance was unsatisfactory.
    • Students unable to complete a clinical skill following remediation will receive a clinical failure, resulting in a failing grade for the course and dismissal from the program.
  • Remediation referrals that occur less than 2 weeks before the end of a semester will carry over for completion into the next semester.
    • Clinical instructors or preceptors will make every effort to complete required competencies with students and make referrals prior to the last 2 weeks of the semester.
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