Respiratory Therapy Curriculum

What courses are offered in the Respiratory Therapy Curriculum?

Semester 1

APRS110: Human Anatomy & Physiology I

This foundation course, Human Anatomy & Physiology I (APRS110), will introduce the basic principles of anatomy and physiology with those of biochemistry and biophysics. Beginning with the cell, the course will progress through various organ systems emphasizing the relationship between structure and function. The interrelationships between body systems and how all systems help to maintain normal homeostasis will be emphasized

BPRS110: Basic Professional Skills

This course will broaden your understanding of working within a professional team in the health care environment and provide you the opportunity to acquire clinical skills vital to the delivery of collaborative patient-centered care. Through academic knowledge and laboratory experiences, you will develop essential clinical competencies that are required in the practice of respiratory therapy.

You will learn how to ensure a safe working environment through the study of infection prevention and control techniques, microbiology and body mechanics. The course also covers patient management through study and measurement of vital signs, transportation of patients, the use of isolation and sterile techniques, the administration of medications, and the care of lines. You will also have the opportunity to become more familiar with some of the common patient care support equipment and begin the practice of self-reflection as a health care professional.

CVRS110: Cardio-vascular Diagnostics I

Cardiovascular Diagnostics evaluates a patient’s heart and blood systems to aid in the diagnosis of disease and to guide patient management. It is a required skill for Respiratory Therapists (RT) to perform a variety of tests and assessments to monitor the heart and its blood characteristics. It is performed in a variety of situations, over a wide range of patient care areas and for a multitude of reasons in an effort to identify health care needs. The application of technology through invasive and non-invasive monitoring and cardiac testing to assess cardiovascular function is one of the cornerstones of Respiratory Therapy.

Successful completion of this course will prepare the Student Respiratory Therapist (SRT) for the clinical portion of the program where these skills will be performed on patients. The student will have the background knowledge skills and attitudes to achieve specific competencies outlined in the National Competency Profile (NCP). This will be achieved by performance of the stated competencies in simulated patient environments.

RSRS111: Respiratory Care Procedures I

Respiratory Therapists work in critical care areas, operating rooms, wards, and diagnostic areas of health care facilities to deliver respiratory care to adults, children and newborn with cardio respiratory disorders. The equipment that the respiratory therapist works with is broad; starting with gas and vacuum delivery equipment to oxygen, humidity, and aerosol therapy. In order to safely and knowledgeably operate this equipment, the Respiratory Therapist must learn the basic principles of operation, use and patient application of each device. The therapist must then apply the proper device using basic respiratory care procedures.

This course is the first of a series titled Respiratory Care Procedures. In semester 1, the students will develop knowledge and skills in the use of medical gas delivery devices. The course begins with a review of the basic mathematical, chemical and physical principles of gases, including fluid properties, characteristics of gases and both static and dynamic gas laws. The structure of gas cylinders and associated safety systems is studied in-depth. Other storage and delivery systems, including liquid oxygen, compressors, and suction systems are also discussed. The structure of gas delivery devices, associated safety systems, and gas analysis is studied in-depth. A brief introduction to electrical concepts and safety concludes the theoretical portion of the fall semester of the course.

Semester 2

BARS120: Basic Airway Management

You will learn theory and skills for providing safe and effective airway maintenance. Establishing and maintaining a secure and patent airway is key to providing effective assisted ventilation. Emphasis will be placed on areas of practice related to manual ventilation equipment and techniques, orotracheal suctioning techniques, basic airway management equipment including various artificial airways, laryngoscopes, and adjunctive equipment. You will learn basic airway management techniques (intubation, extubation, tube security and maintenance), and advanced techniques for the management of a difficult airway including a few specialty tubes, fiberoptic techniques, surgical airway techniques, and protocols.

CRRS120: Cardio-pulmonary Physiology

The study of anatomy and physiology provides the Respiratory Therapist with knowledge that can be applied to pulmonary medicine in evaluating and avoiding potential difficulties in clinical practice.

This course is designed to provide the student with additional education in respiratory, cardiovascular and renal anatomy and physiology. In addition, this course will introduce students to arterial blood gas interpretation. Understanding the rationale for presentation of abnormal blood gases requires that a student have a sound basis in normal anatomy and physiology. Ultimately, this course will prepare the student for future studies in pathophysiology and the treatment of disease.

PFRS120: Pulmonary Diagnostics

Respiratory therapists assess patient’s pulmonary function every day using various methods. You have already learned how to complete the simple patient assessment as part of vital signs, specifically the respiratory rate and rhythm. In this course, you will learn several specific test methods that measure patients’ lung function including volumes and flow rates and metabolic rate. During the labs, you will have an opportunity to practice many of these tests with your peers. You will also look at the different methods of obtaining sputum samples for diagnostic purposes, including bronchoscopy and sputum induction.

PVRS121: Pulmonary Ventilation I

This course explores the underlying theories, concepts and practical applications of mechanical ventilation. The content covered in this course is the foundation from which the students can subsequently learn about ventilators and how to safely use them to mechanically ventilate patients.

Successful completion of this course will equip the Student Respiratory Therapist (SRT) with the basic skill sets and knowledge to perform, interpret, provide and optimize pulmonary ventilation for the adult population in a didactic and simulated clinical setting.

RSRS121: Respiratory Care Procedures II

Respiratory Therapists work in critical care areas, emergency rooms, operating rooms, labour and delivery suites, wards and diagnostic areas of health care facilities and in patient’s homes to deliver respiratory care to adults, children and newborns. Respiratory Therapists work with a broad range of equipment hence they must learn the basic principles of operation, appropriate and safe usage, and application to the patient for each device. The therapist must then apply the proper device using safe and appropriate respiratory care procedures.

This course is the second of three in a series titled Respiratory Care Procedures. In this course, students will develop skills in the application and delivery of medical gases, humidification and medication via inhalation. An in-depth understanding of the physics, devices, and their application to the patient in specific scenarios is expected.

Semester 3

MDRS230: Disease Management I

MDRS230 is part one in a two-part series on the management of disease. The focus of the course is not solely on the pathology of disease and the pharmaceutical treatment, but a more holistic view of the diagnosis and management of respiratory diseases.

PVRS230: Pulmonary Ventilation II

Respiratory Therapists work in critical care areas, operating rooms, wards, and diagnostic areas of health care facilities to deliver health care to adults, children and newborns with cardiopulmonary disorders. Mechanical ventilators are a mainstay of life support in these areas. There are numerous ventilators in use today, ranging from older pneumatically operated machines to complicated microprocessor controlled equipment. In order to safely and knowledgeably operate this equipment, the Respiratory Therapist must learn the basic principles of operation, and how to use and apply each instrument to particular patients. In this course, topics that will be covered include positive pressure ventilation (non-invasive and invasive), and various forms of non-conventional ventilation used in the acute care setting.

RMIP231: Research

This course is designed to introduce you to research methods that can be applied to issues relevant to you and to your discipline. For example, some students may apply research methods to writing and piloting a new protocol/policy; other students may utilize research to create educational material; and others may have a clinical question that can be answered through the application of research methods.

This course will help improve your practice by: making you more adept at reading and critically analyzing the scientific literature; prepare you for your clinical research and evaluation projects; and advance your skills in evidence-based clinical practice (EBCP). For some students, it may also inspire you to make a contribution to the research in your respective areas of interest.

RSRS231: Respiratory Care Procedures III

This is the third and final course in Respiratory Care Procedures. While it follows and builds on the skills learned in these courses, you will gain new skills in assessment and treatment that will carry you through your simulation semester, to the hospital and from there into the community and home environments.

In RSRS231 you will apply the knowledge and skills obtained in year one courses to manage patients with cardiorespiratory disorders. Your skills in communication and professionalism will be required to complete a comprehensive patient assessment. Your foundation in cardiopulmonary physiology will assist you in using the information obtained in the assessment to develop a respiratory treatment plans for patients that include bronchial hygiene techniques, patient education, pulmonary rehabilitation. During the course you will broaden your knowledge of artificial airway management, medical gas administration and ventilation to include long term management strategies outside the acute care environment.

Semester 4

IPCL252: Interprofessional Collaborative Clinical Simulation

This course is designed to develop your interpersonal and interprofessional competencies. Themes of Communication & Feedback, Quality & Safety and Ethical Patient Care are the foci of this course. Using a variety of simulation-based learning modalities (e.g., online, video debrief, standardized patients, small group), you will practice using communication strategies and models to support ethical patient-centred care and interprofessional practice.

Learners will practice using a variety of tools and models to support simulation based education. In particular, the MSR video based debrief model developed by the MSR Israel Center for Medical Simulation at the Sheba Medical Center will be used. MSR is one of the world’s foremost centers for patient safety and education and considered an international leader in simulation enhanced education. MSR describes simulation-based health education as a complement to cognitive learning and offers students a safe environment to learn from errors without risk of harming real patients.

MDRS240: Disease Management II

This course is part two in a two-part series on the management of disease. The focus of the course is not solely on the pathology of disease and the pharmaceutical treatment, but a more holistic view of the diagnosis and management of cardiac, neurological and other diseases of patients who require the assistance of a respiratory therapist. You will also attend a mandatory one day observational clinical site visit in an attempt to better understand the role of the RT and apply learning in the context of the clinical setting.

SPRS240: Specialty Practice I

Respiratory Therapists work in critical care areas including the operating room facilities to deliver health care to adults, children and newborns with cardiopulmonary disorders. Mechanical ventilators, monitoring, and technology are a mainstay of life support in these areas.

This course incorporates 3 distinct components of anesthesia: airway management, instrumentation, and case management, which includes pharmacology. The course starts with a review of basic airway management and continues with the application of these concepts in anesthesia. Then, anesthesia equipment is discussed in detail, starting with an introduction to basic gas supply and physics and following with its application to the pre-operative and peri-operative setting.

Anesthesia monitoring systems and the process of monitoring a patient during general and regional anesthesia is integrated into the discussion during the second section and then all concepts including the management of the patient pre-operatively and intra-operatively concludes with the understanding of anesthesia pharmacology. Clinical simulations and practical laboratories facilitate the integration of all components of the course.

SPRS241: Specialty Practice II

In Specialty Practice II, students will study the anatomy and physiology, pathologies, diagnostic and management strategies for the neonatal and pediatric cardiorespiratory systems. This course integrates the specific concepts of respiratory therapy instrumentation and mechanical ventilation previously studied and applies them to the specialty areas of neonatology and pediatrics. Specialty Practice II is designed to address the equipment specific to maintaining cardio-respiratory function in these specialty populations. Clinical case-based scenarios, practical laboratories and open labs (where applicable/feasible) will facilitate the integration of skills in the course. This course will lay the ground work for success in the neo/peds components of the summer simulation courses SNRS 251 and CPRS 250 prior to entry to clinical.

An appropriate knowledge level in anatomy and physiology is essential for comprehension of the various neonatal and pediatric disorders, and for future competency in the understanding and application of therapeutic modalities within this specialty area in the clinical setting.

Semester 5

CPRS250: Clinical and Simulation Practice

This course is delivered concurrently with SNRS251 with patient assessment skills underpinning all competencies. The course will provide you with additional opportunities to practice known foundation skills and procedures in Respiratory Therapy. This will be important for a number of reasons. First, you are expected to enter your clinical rotations with good basic skills and knowledge. As it has been 2-3 semesters since you have had the chance to practice or apply many of these skills, these skills can and should be improved. Secondly, within SNRS251 you are expected to use your skills within the context of a patient simulation exercise. Often students miss key signs and symptoms during a simulation as they are so focused on the proscribed procedure, they lose sight of other patient needs that must be considered at the same time. If skill performance can become ‘second nature’ to you through practice, then your patient care management will become seamless in its application.

Each week, you will have one three-hour session to enhance your skills. The skills include blood procurement (arterial punctures and art-line draws), blood gas interpretation and oxygen therapy, ventilation (initiation, management) and airway management. You will also undertake certification in the Neonatal Resuscitation Provider (NRP) program in this course, including completion of an on-line NRP didactic exam prior to the beginning of Week 4. You will be given individualized feedback, which may include video debrief each week. Opportunities to participate in observational learning of peer performances will be integral to success in this course. Assessment of skills will occur throughout the course.

PPRS250: Professional Practice

This course is focused on preparing students for entry into the Respiratory Therapy clinical practicum as it relates to professional and clinical expectations. We will explore standards of practice, making ethical decisions, and self-assessment with a plan for improvement. The student will also participate in pre-clinical orientation activities. These will include review of clinical documents and professional expectations to support your success.

SNRS251: Specialty Clinical Simulation

This course is designed to prepare you for entry into the clinical environment. Each week you will be assigned to simulated patient cases in a variety of “simulated clinical environments” that are typical for Respiratory Therapists. The environments include Intensive Care Unit, Wards/Emergency Dept., Sub-Acute Care, Diagnostics, Neonatology, Pediatrics and Operating Room. The expectation is to review relevant didactic course material in preparation for each environment. Materials are available on Blackboard to direct your review.   Your success depends in large part upon your preparation.

The course is divided into two 5-week blocks. Each block consists of 4 different “environments”. The week begins with a 2-hr plenary session that will introduce patient cases and material required for the week. During Tuesday to Thursday, you will take turns rotating through each of the 4 environments with a small lab group. On-going peer and instructor verbal de-briefing sessions will occur within the simulated environment sessions each week, in order to provide you with continuous feedback.

Semesters 6 and 7

The clinical education component for the Respiratory Therapy Program consists of 2 courses, CLRS360 (Clinical Practice I) and CLRS370 (Clinical Practice II). Each course is 15 weeks long within a 32 week clinical schedule. Students will begin in either CLRS360 or CLRS370 depending on scheduling arrangements, and proceed through various clinical rotations to achieve course requirements. They will switch courses at the start of the next semester until both courses are complete. There will be 1 week of base site clinical orientation before the start of the student clinical schedule.

CLRS360: Clinical Practice I

In CLRS360, students will have the opportunity within an interprofessional team, to provide and manage respiratory care for patients in the adult intensive care unit, the operating room, the wards and emergency department, the rehabilitation/longterm care unit, as well as the pulmonary function laboratory. Evaluation emphasis will be placed on safety, professionalism, performance of clinical competencies, and various performance assessment tasks such as oral presentations and written examinations.

CLRS370: Clinical Practice II

In CLRS370, students will have the opportunity within an interprofessional team, to provide and manage cardiorespiratory care for patients in the adult intensive care unit, the adult wards and emergency department, neonatal and pediatric environments. Evaluation emphasis will be placed on safety, professionalism, performance of clinical competencies, and various performance assessment tasks such as oral presentations and a summative written examination.