Patient / Client Assessment & Therapeutic Procedures

Respiratory Therapists (RTs) must assess patients/clients, to analyze the findings, establish priorities and goals, and implement and monitor responses to therapeutic procedures to deliver safe, competent, ethical patient/client-centred care.

Performance Requirements

Treat all patients/clients with sensitivity and compassion, considering their unique needs and goals when providing care.

Respect the autonomy of clients to make decisions regarding their own care, including their right to refuse or withdraw from treatment at any time.


Use knowledge, skill, critical thinking, and professional judgment to:

  • apply assessment procedures to evaluate patients’/clients’ status;
  • identify patient/client priorities, establish goals, develop, and implement a care plan of appropriate therapeutic procedures;
  • safely implement therapeutic procedures; and
  • monitor patients’/clients’ outcomes to evaluate the effectiveness of therapeutic procedures and adjusts interventions accordingly.
Implement discharge plans to coordinate required care and promote patient/client safety.
Notify, discuss, and document discussions with the appropriate healthcare team member if the RT feels the ordered assessment or therapeutic procedure is inappropriate for that patient/client.
Refuse and take the necessary actions if they determine a procedure is not in the patient’s/client’s best interest.
Institute immediate supportive measures and notify relevant healthcare team members in the event of deterioration of the patient’s/client’s condition.
Provide care, including products and services, to patients/clients without discrimination on any basis, and respect the rights and dignity of all individuals.

Must refrain from recommending, dispensing, or selling medical gases or equipment for an improper purpose.


Must refrain from administering medication for an improper purpose.

Patient / Client Expected Outcome

Patients/clients can expect that they will be treated with sensitivity and respect, and RTs competently apply assessment and therapeutic procedures to deliver safe, ethical patient/client-centred care.


Appropriate refers to in accordance with ethical, legal, technical and/or clinical requirements of professional practice.

Competent refers to “having the requisite knowledge, skills and judgment/abilities to perform safely, effectively and ethically and applying that knowledge, skills and judgement/abilities to ensure safe, effective and ethical outcomes for the patient/client.”[1]

Healthcare team refers to “peers, colleagues, and other healthcare professionals (regulated and non-regulated).”[2]

Patients/clients refer to individuals and their families requiring care or services. This may also include his/her substitute decision-maker or guardian.[3]

Professional or professional conduct is a term often used to describe the behaviours that are expected of individuals who hold a certain role in society. A “professional” is typically someone who has obtained skills that are recognized as requiring specific, intensive training and who applies those skills in a positon impacting others (e.g., engineer, lawyer, RT, PT, MD, etc.). Professionals are often held to moral, ethical, and legal standards because of this potential impact.[4]


  1. College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario. (2010). A Commitment to Ethical Practice. Available at:
  2. College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario. (2010). A Commitment to Ethical Practice. Available at:
  3. Adapted from College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario. (2010). A Commitment to Ethical Practice. Available at:
  4. Adapted from College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario. (2017). Conduct Counts! Available at: