Skills Cardiovascular Perfusion Clinical Instructor in Canada

Find out what skills you typically need to work as a cardiovascular perfusion clinical instructor in Canada. These skills are applicable to all Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists (NOC 3214).

Expertise

People working in this occupation usually apply the following skill set.

  • Monitor vital signs during cardiopulmonary surgery
  • Administer various substances through heart-lung machines
  • Assemble, maintain and operate heart assist devices during cardiac surgery
  • Assess patients and perform or assist with interventions such as airway maintenance, line insertions, inductions and intubations
  • Participate in home care programs for chronic respiratory patients and provide patient and family education
  • Assist with transport of high-risk patients
  • Participate in research related to cardiac and pulmonary disorders
  • Perform artificial respiration and external cardiac massage
  • Operate and monitor respiratory equipment to administer treatments
  • Perform diagnostic tests
  • Perform analysis, programming and monitoring of implanted devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators during surgery
  • Provide information and care for patients during tests
  • Perform diagnostic tests and assist physicians with cardiac and cardiopulmonary stress tests and bronchoscopies
  • Prepare medications and administer inhaler and other treatments under supervision of cardiologist
  • Monitor patients and advise physician of any changes in patients' condition
  • Determine patients' blood characteristics
  • Assist with the preparation of cardiac catheterization room, prepare specialized catheters and assist cardiologists during catheterization

Skills and knowledge

The following skills and knowledge are usually required in this occupation.

Essential skills

See how the 9 essential skills apply to this occupation. This section will be updated soon.

Reading
  • Read reminder notes and text entries in forms. For example, they read physicians' entries in patients' records to become familiar with diagnoses and treatment recommendations, and to learn about unusual conditions that may affect treatment plans. (2)
  • Read entries in communication logbooks. For example, they read about changes to schedules, times and topics for in-service meetings, new equipment and changes to procedures. (2)
  • Read memos, letters and e-mail. For example, they read memos from co-workers in their own organizations on topics such as policy changes, safety and medical procedures. They read letters from referring physicians which identify patients' medical conditions and prescribe treatments and therapies. They also read e-mail from colleagues who describe problems encountered in areas such as cardiovascular care and request possible resolutions for the problems. Clinical perfusionists read e-mail which describe special techniques surgeons intend to use for upcoming surgical procedures and messages from anaesthesiologists about the equipment they require. Respiratory therapists read e-mail about difficulties home oxygen equipment and symptoms patients are experiencing. (2)
  • Read equipment, policy and procedure manuals. For example, they read manuals for new equipment to understand operating and troubleshooting procedures. They may use this information to prepare learning guides and training materials for the equipment. They read their organizations' policies on topics such as contagious infection control, use of personal protective equipment and cleaning and disinfecting equipment. They may read the Pulmonary Function Laboratory Management and Procedure Manual outlining standard North American procedures for all cardiopulmonary testing. (3)
  • Read legislation. For example, they may read the Compressed Gas Association's standards for air quality and Transportation of Dangerous Goods regulations. They may also read provincial health ministries' qualification criteria and funding application procedures for home oxygen therapies. (3)
  • Read journal articles and research studies. For example, they may read articles in the Canadian Respiratory Journal, Canadian Perfusion and Chest to become familiar with new treatments for respiratory conditions, diagnostic methodologies, medical breakthroughs and new equipment. They may read research studies to remain knowledgeable of advancements in the field. (4)
Document use
  • Scan equipment gauges. For example, respiratory therapists scan equipment gauges to record readings when conducting cardiopulmonary function tests. Perfusionists and anaesthetic assistants view gauges to check flows of air, paralytics, relaxants and anaesthesia during operations. (1)
  • Scan product, equipment and identification labels for dates, concentrations and other data. For example, they scan labels on inhalers and gas and oxygen canisters to locate expiry dates. Anaesthetic assistants scan coloured labels to identify paralytics, relaxants and anaesthesia. They then verify trade names and required concentration levels. They match information on patients' wrist identification labels to requisition forms. (2)
  • Locate data in lists and tables. For example, they scan various lists to locate co-workers' contact numbers, review appointments and confirm supply and equipment inventories. They locate acceptable ranges of blood gases in specification tables and side effects of medications which patients are using on asthma medications charts, and identify brands. They also confirm their shift times and operating room assignments on staffing schedules. (2)
  • Refer to a variety of diagrams and drawings. For example, respiratory therapists refer to assembly drawings to identify parts, switches and connections on cardiopulmonary testing equipment. Perfusionists and anaesthetic assistants verify cable and tubing connections on basic schematic drawings when troubleshooting malfunctioning heart lung bypass machines and ventilators. (2)
  • Interpret test results displayed in graph formats. For example, they view patients' sleep and breathing graphs to determine when and what stages apnoeas and hypopnoea occur. They may view results of patients' pulmonary function tests to determine lung volumes and flows. Clinical perfusionists and anaesthetic assistants monitor heart and breathing patterns to ensure patients' safety and comfort. (2)
  • Interpret radiographs. For example, they view chest radiographs to identify spots and lesions on patients' lungs, potential pulmonary oedema, lung collapse and positions of catheters and breathing tubes. (3)
  • Locate data in entry forms. For example, they scan forms in patients' charts to verify dates and test results and review requisition forms to confirm patients' identities and tests ordered. They view testing equipment printouts such as displays of patients' blood gas levels, Holter reports and pulmonary function analyses. Respiratory therapists confirm equipment rental and consent forms are properly completed and signed by patients. They also review patients' responses to questionnaires such as the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Follow-up forms. Clinical perfusionists review pre-anaesthetic forms to determine anaesthesia plans and operating room set-ups. (3)
  • Complete a variety of checklists and forms. For example, they may enter their observations of students' capabilities and progress in performance evaluation forms, note strengths and weaknesses, and make training recommendations. Clinical perfusionists complete pre-bypass checklists. Respiratory therapists complete scheduled maintenance checklists, ventilator flow sheets, blood gas summary forms and instruction checklists for new clients. Anaesthetic assistants complete detailed anaesthetic records prior to and during surgery. (3)
Writing
  • Write short notes and reminders. For example, they write notes in communication logbooks to report malfunctioning equipment, request the use of shared resources and describe changes in procedures and staffing schedules. (1)
  • Write e-mail, memos and letters. For example, they write e-mail to ask co-workers to set up meetings and inform them of safety and equipment concerns and to suppliers to request product information. They write letters to physicians and palliative care nurses to provide test updates and ask them to reassess patients. They may write memos to instruct patients about medications and use of oxygen equipment. (2)
  • Write entries in patients' charts. For example, they comment on symptoms, test results, treatments administered, patients' responses and ventilator weaning measurements. Perfusionists and anaesthesia assistants record exceptional reactions that occurred during surgery. (3)
  • May write procedural summaries and instruction sheets for co-workers. For example, they may write summaries of procedures for new testing and treatment methods and instruction sheets for operating and disinfecting new equipment. (3)
  • May write short reports. For example, clinical supervisors may write short reports on policy standards for care in respiratory therapies and cardiology technologies. They include recommendations for review by regional committees. (3)
NumeracyMoney Math
  • May collect payment from clients. For example, respiratory therapists employed by oxygen supply companies may collect payment and provide change for deliveries of oxygen therapy equipment and supplies. (1)
  • May prepare invoices. For example, respiratory therapists employed by oxygen supply companies may calculate prices of therapy equipment and supplies and apply client-specific mark-ups and taxes. (3)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • May establish schedules for patients' appointments. For example, supervisors allocate appointment times for initial and follow-up consultations and procedures such as conducting cardiopulmonary function tests and instructing patients in the use of ventilators. (2)
  • May create staff assignment schedules. For example, when developing work schedules, supervisors consider numbers of respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists available, the lengths of shifts and the need for continuous care coverage. They make adjustments to cover vacation, sick and personal leaves. (3)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Measure vital signs and blood gas test levels at specified intervals. (2)
  • Take a variety of measurements using specialized tools. For example, they measure oxygen and carbon dioxide gas exchanges, blood temperatures, blood and intrapulmonary pressures, and lung capacities using a variety of medical and diagnostic equipment. (2)
  • Calculate medication dosages and delivery rates. For example, they calculate dosages to be administered based on manufacturers' specifications such as 5 millilitres of medication per one hundred pounds of patients' weight. They calculate oxygen flow rates and lung volumes using patients' heights, weights and lung pressures. (3)
Data Analysis Math
  • Monitor inventory levels for their work units to ensure that sufficient supplies are available at all times. (1)
  • Compare equipment readings to specified values. For example, clinical perfusionists compare patients' blood temperature readings, and monitor and adjust gas flows and pressure settings to levels specified by surgeons. Anaesthetic assistants monitor and compare patients' pre and post-operation vital sign readings and fluid levels. (1)
  • Compare patient response rates to standards for their genders and ages. For example, cardiopulmonary technologists monitor patients' heart rates, blood pressures, breathing patterns and colouring during stress tests to ensure that they stay in normal ranges. (2)
  • Analyze data to determine patterns. For example, they analyze oxygen moderator readings to determine numbers of apnoeas and hypopnoeas occurring during various stages of sleep. (3)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate oxygen flow requirements by comparing pressures and flows of gases in patients' bloodstreams. (2)
  • May estimate oxygen supply requirements of patients. For example, they may estimate oxygen requirements of patients travelling by air. They consider combined ground and air travel times, patients' typical usage patterns, contingencies for travel delays and time required to access oxygen supplies at their destinations. (3)
Oral communication
  • Listen to hospital paging systems. For example, they listen to emergency code calls to determine the nature of emergencies. (1)
  • Discuss ongoing work with co-workers. For example, they provide their shift replacements with updates on patients and their care plans. They inform their co-workers of malfunctioning equipment and possible resolutions. They discuss shift and appointment coverage and general work schedules. (2)
  • Receive instructions and directions from supervisors and managers. For example, they observe demonstrations of equipment and new procedures such as properly ventilating newborns and ask their supervisors for clarification. Respiratory therapists receive their work assignments and care instructions for specific patients from their supervisors. (2)
  • Discuss medical diagnoses and patient care with other health professionals. For example, respiratory therapists speak to other medical practitioners about patients' assessments, test requisitions and results, and treatment protocols. They seek clarification of treatment orders such as care for patients who have 'do not resuscitate' orders. Clinical perfusionists receive directions from surgeons and anaesthesiologists before and during surgical procedures and inform them of vital sign readings and flow rates. They speak to department heads of care units to resolve conflicts involving patient care and service. (3)
  • Discuss medical conditions with patients and provide them with instructions. For example, they interview patients to gather health histories and understand their symptoms. They provide patients with pre-test instructions and inquire about their comfort levels during cardiopulmonary function tests. Respiratory therapists provide instructions on safe use of home oxygen equipment and explain medical disorders for which patients are receiving treatment. (3)
  • Speak to patients' families. For example, respiratory therapists in hospitals may speak to family members during cessation of life support. They reassure family members and confirm that their loved ones are not experiencing discomfort. (3)
ThinkingProblem Solving
  • Encounter uncooperative patients. For example, respiratory therapists encounter patients who refuse to wear equipment required to gather data on sleep patterns. They explain the function of the equipment and suggest adjustments that can be made to make wearing equipment such as masks more comfortable. (1)
  • Experience equipment malfunctions. For example, when ventilators and blood gas machines fail to work properly, they check power supplies, equipment connections and read troubleshooting suggestions in manufacturers' manuals. When unable to repair equipment, they borrow from other care units while waiting for service technicians. (2)
Decision Making
  • Choose equipment and medication for various surgeries. For example, anaesthetic assistants choose equipment and medication to suit the types of surgeries being conducted, pre-operation anaesthetic plans and known preferences of anaesthesiologists. (2)
  • May choose the content and format for a variety of instructional materials. For example, when conducting in-service sessions on new equipment, procedures and testing methods, supervisors and instructors decide what is critical content for inclusion in instructional handouts, equipment reference sheets and presentation materials. (2)
  • May make decisions about the type, intensity and timing of patient care within their scopes of practice. For example, respiratory therapists choose methods for weaning patients from ventilators. They review gas and pressure readings, metabolic conditions such as kidney functioning and types of ventilation before deciding how to proceed. (3)
Critical Thinking
  • May assess strengths and weaknesses of new therapists and students. For example, supervisors consider the work performance of therapists and students in the various wards they have been assigned and listen to criticism from patients and co-workers. They observe new respiratory therapists and students interacting with patients, practising their assessment skills and using medical equipment. (3)
  • Judge the appropriateness of therapies and equipment for particular patients. For example, respiratory therapists consider patients' ages, activity levels, airway obstruction, lung capacities and available medications when evaluating therapy possibilities. They determine which therapies and equipment will allow patients to lead relatively normal lives with minimal discomfort. They consider patients' psychological capabilities, support systems and living arrangements when evaluating oxygen equipment needs and supply formats. (3)
  • Judge the health of patients. For example clinical perfusionists and anaesthetic assistants assess patients' vital signs including heart rates, body temperatures, blood pressures and oxygen saturation levels. They monitor types of medications and anaesthetics being administered and remaining operating times. They also constantly evaluate monitor readings and respond to any changes to ensure that they sustain patients' lives. (3)
Job Task Planning and Organizing

Own Job Planning and Organizing

Respiratory therapists working with home care companies plan their days and tasks to complete pre-scheduled appointments. Emergency calls may require them to reschedule previously set appointments.

Respiratory therapists and cardiopulmonary technologists working in hospitals perform set duties as assigned by their supervisors. They are provided with a list of patients to see each day. Their tasks vary from out-patient testing through intensive care and emergency room demands. They may need to adjust their schedules to accommodate newly-admitted patients requiring diagnoses before returning to their scheduled appointments.

Clinical perfusionists' tasks and duties are determined by the daily operating room schedules and vary according to the types of surgeries. They order their tasks in accordance with their profession's standards and the anaesthesiologists they assist. Surgical schedules and critical care patients are first priority. They coordinate their work plans with those of surgical teams.

Supervisors of respiratory therapists are responsible for planning and organizing their daily schedules which include providing their departments with medical round updates. When short-staffed, they work with patients. They may need to re-prioritize their schedules to complete their administrative duties and be required to implement new procedures and protocols within set timelines. (3)

Planning and Organizing for Others

Supervisors of respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists create shift schedules and assign specific tasks to team members. (3)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember procedures and protocols for tests they administer.
Finding Information
  • May find information about surgery preparations by reading anaesthetic plans and patients' files and speaking to surgical team members. (2)
  • May find information about patients by reading charts and medical files and speaking to them, their families and attending medical staff. (2)
Digital technology
  • May use word processing. For example, supervisors use word processing software to prepare memos for co-workers, letters to physicians, training materials and patient handouts. (2)
  • May use graphic software. For example, supervisors may use presentation programs such as PowerPoint to create slide presentations for use in training sessions. (2)
  • Use databases. For example, they search their organizations' databases to access patient information and review test results. They also enter patients' demographic data, test results and treatment information. (2)
  • May use spreadsheets. For example, supervisors use programs such as Excel to create shift schedules, and record and track data on equipment, inventory and patients. (2)
  • Use communications software. For example, they use programs such as Outlook to exchange e-mail with co-workers, colleagues and patients. Clinical supervisors may use Outlook's calendar functions to record appointments and project timelines. (2)
  • Use the Internet. For example, they use search engines to locate professional association web sites, journals, medical reference pages and information about medical equipment. (2)
  • Use other computer and software applications. For example, they use various functions on medical testing equipment to view, print and download patients' test results. Anaesthesia assistants monitor, adjust and record levels of anaesthesia and drugs using specialized software programs. (2)
Additional informationOther Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists work as members of multi-disciplinary teams in a coordinated effort to manage the ongoing health of patients. They work with physicians, their supervisors and other medical personnel to ensure patients are tested and treated for various types of cardiopulmonary diseases. (2)

Continuous Learning

Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists must maintain current knowledge of testing protocols, treatments and medications. The majority of their learning occurs on the job and through interactions with co-workers and supervisors. They may also read medical journals such as Chest, Respiratory Care and Canadian Journal of Respiratory Therapy. Their employers offer training when new equipment and procedures are introduced.

Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists are required to maintain certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. In some provinces and territories, respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists are required, by their professional associations, to complete a prescribed number of hours of continuous learning to maintain accreditation.

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