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Scope of Practice - Frequently Asked Questions

These responses should not be construed as having general application in circumstances other than those set forth in the original inquiry. The responses only reflect the board's current understanding of the laws and rules governing the practice of respiratory care in Ohio and do not establish a new rule or standard.

 

Some questions relate to “expanded cardiopulmonary roles” of individual RCPs. The Board affirms these roles only when related to “cardiopulmonary” as defined in Section 4761.01 of the Ohio Revised Code and provided that the licensee or permit holder has documented training and has demonstrated competency performing the procedure. The Board acknowledges that RCPs may not be authorized by some employers to perform the entire respiratory care scope of practice.

 

Below is a sample of paraphrased questions and responses related to “expanded cardiopulmonary roles.”

 

Questions

 

Responses

Are RCPs permitted to accept and write telephone orders for medications and treatments that they perform or deliver?

 

Yes, if the treatment or medication is within the RCPs scope of practice.

 

 

Are RCPs permitted to accept and write telephone orders for any medications and treatments that relate to the treatment of a cardiopulmonary condition?

 

No, the medications and treatments must be within the RCPs scope of practice.

 

Is starting a peripheral venous catheter (IV) or arterial catheter (A-Line) within the RCP scope of practice?

 

Yes, RCPs may insert intravenous or intra-arterial needles or catheters in the treatment or evaluation of cardiopulmonary impairment or in medical emergencies, such as CPR.

 

 

Can RCPs administer medications during stress tests including nitrates and anti- hypertensive medications required due to patient condition during/after testing?

 

Yes, RCPs may administer prescribed medications in the testing and evaluation of cardiopulmonary conditions including nitrates and anti- hypertensive medications

 

 

Is obtaining venous blood within the RCP scope of practice?

 

Yes, RCPs may obtain venous blood samples as part of an evaluation of a patient’s cardiopulmonary status. These samples may be analyzed for, blood gases, glucose, hema-tocrit, hemoglobinopathies, electrolytes, etc.

 

Is it within the scope of practice for a respiratory therapist to deliver anesthetic gases (e.g. sevoflurane and isoflurane) for the treatment of status asthmaticus?

 

Yes, anesthetic gases are medical gases and RCPs may administer anesthetic gases to individuals with status asthmaticus.

 

In a Code Blue, is a Respiratory Therapist allowed to push “ACLS” drugs, such as sodium bicarbonate, epinephrine, and atropine sulfate under the license?

 

Yes, administering ACLS drugs (sodium bicarbonate, epinephrine, and atropine sulfate, etc) used to treat cardiopulmonary impairment, specifically during CPR, is within the scope of practice.

 

Some questions are not related to “cardiopulmonary” as defined in Section 4761.01, and the Board acknowledges that RCPs may be asked to perform job duties not related to “cardiopulmonary” and not within their scope of practice.

 

RCPs may perform activities and duties which are not regulated by Section 4761, as long as no prohibitions exist by other state licensing boards, and they have demonstrated competency. RCPs must inquire to other state licensing boards to determine any prohibitions.

 

Below is a sample of paraphrased questions and responses that are NOT related to “cardiopulmonary roles.”

 

Questions

 

Responses

Is it allowable for a Respiratory Therapist to swab the nares for testing of MRSA as part of general pre-surgical testing?

 

Swabbing the nares as a pre-surgical screening test for MRSA is not within the scope of practice of respiratory care as defined by Section 4761.01 unless the MRSA is related to a cardiopulmonary disorder.

 

 

 

As a licensed RCP may I apply and change dressings in a wound clinic?

 

Performing dressing changes is not within the scope of practice of respiratory care as defined by Section 4761.01.

 

 

 

Am I covered under the Respiratory Licensure to practice nursing duties, such as IV insertions, Foley insertions, Blood Sugars, Bed Pans, etc...?

 

Some nursing duties (Foley insertions, bed pans) are not within the scope of practice of respiratory care as defined by Section 4761.01. Other nursing duties (IV insertion, glucose testing) may or may not fall within the scope of practice depending upon whether the purpose of such activities is for the assessment, evaluation, treatment, and care of individuals with cardiopulmonary disorders.