Respiratory therapists perform some or all of the following duties:
- Perform diagnostic tests, such as arterial blood gas analysis and cardiopulmonary functions tests
- Operate and monitor respiratory equipment to administer treatments such as oxygen, oxygen-air mixtures, humidified air or medications
- Operate, monitor, maintain and test a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic equipment
- Assess patients and perform or assist with interventions such as airway maintenance, line insertions, inductions and intubations
- Perform artificial respiration and external cardiac massage
- Assist with transport of high-risk patients
- Supervise and train students and other respiratory therapists
- Participate in home care programs for chronic respiratory patients and provide patient and family education
- Participate in research related to cardiac and pulmonary disorders.
Respiratory therapists may specialize in areas such as anaesthesia, critical care, pediatrics, cardiopulmonary diagnostics and respiratory home care.
Clinical perfusionists perform some or all of the following duties:
- Assemble, maintain and operate extracorporeal circulation equipment, intra-aortic balloon pumps and other heart assist devices to support or temporarily replace patients' cardiopulmonary functions during open-heart surgery
- Administer blood products, drugs and other substances through heart-lung machines and other devices as directed by cardiac surgeons and anaesthetists to maintain adequate flow of oxygenated blood to all organs of the body
- Monitor vital signs to support and maintain patients' physiological functions and metabolic needs during cardiopulmonary surgery
- Participate in routine maintenance, calibration and inspection of all perfusion related equipment
- Supervise and train student clinical perfusionists and other clinical perfusionists.
Cardiopulmonary technologists perform some or all of the following duties:
- Perform diagnostic tests, such as pulmonary function and asthma stress, or assist physicians with cardiac and cardiopulmonary stress tests and bronchoscopies
- Determine patients' blood characteristics such as activated clotting time and oxygen saturation
- Operate, monitor, maintain, calibrate and test diagnostic and therapeutic equipment
- Monitor patients and advise physician of any changes in patients' condition
- Prepare medications and administer inhaler and other treatments under supervision of cardiologist
- Provide information and care for patients during tests
- Assist with the preparation of cardiac catheterization room, prepare specialized catheters and assist cardiologists during catheterization
- Perform analysis, programming and monitoring of implanted devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators during surgery
- Supervise and train students and other cardiopulmonary technologists
- Provide technical support for research.