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Support / Professional Services

Respiratory Therapy

What is a Respiratory Therapist?

Respiratory therapists are health care professionals who specialize in helping people breathe. Most respiratory therapists work in hospitals and play an integral role in the health care team, using medications, therapies and tests to assist in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of heart and lung disease.

Respiratory therapists graduate with a diploma of health science in respiratory therapy and must complete a national credentialing exam. Nearly half of our respiratory therapists have completed an additional post-secondary degree or diploma.

All of our respiratory therapists hold a certificate of registration with the College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario, a self-regulated professional organization. We work closely with this regulatory body to maintain our high standards of practice and to continually improve our knowledge and quality of care through their quality assurance program.

Respiratory Therapy at St. Michael’s Hospital

We literally help hundreds of people breathe each year. Whether you require relief from asthma or need the aid of a ventilator to help recover from an injury, you’ll find respiratory therapists at your side to help you safely and effectively.


You’ll find respiratory therapy services in most areas of the Hospital:

  • operating rooms
  • intensive care units
  • neonatal nurseries
  • general hospital wards
  • emergency department
  • pulmonary function and sleep labs
  • patient simulation training

Considered an essential service, we provide coverage 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Research Activity

Respiratory therapists are key participants in many critical care research initiatives. Our most current research effort is to identify and classify the complications associated with tracheotomies.

Inter-Professional Education

Respiratory therapy services is tremendously active in the Hospital's educational community. Last year we provided over 100 hours of education to patients and their families, healthcare students and staff from all disciplines.

Continuing Education

Whether attending international conferences or searching through the latest medical journals, our respiratory therapists are continuously seeking out and integrating cutting edge information into our clinical care.


We annually recognize our best and brightest clinicians through two awards. Last year’s recipients were:

  • Excellence in Respiratory Care Award: Rhonda Rutledge
  • Teaching and Mentorship in Respiratory Care: Stephanie Bovingdon, Kari Carhart and Jennifer Samarin

Respiratory Therapy Student Program

St. Michael's Hospital is affiliated with the Michener Institute of Applied Health Sciences and is one of the primary sites for student placement in the Greater Toronto Area. Many students view us as the preferred placement site because of our diverse patient population and progressive clinical role. The student program is also one of our leading sources for recruitment – we’re proud to have many of our former students now join us as staff.


Asthma Society of Canada
The Lung Association
Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists
College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario
Respiratory Therapy Society of Ontario
The Michener Institute of Applied Health Sciences