The Respiratory Therapy department is a large and dynamic group of individuals who support respiratory care and services at SickKids. Respiratory therapists are important members of the interprofessional team connected to many areas of the hospital.
Respiratory therapists provide airway and breathing support in several critical and emergency situations at SickKids. Respiratory therapists also provide a range of assessments, tests and treatments for cardio-respiratory throughout the hospital.
Beyond the respiratory therapists that support clinical care, the department supports diverse initiatives to improve respiratory health. The department provides respiratory education for families and other health professionals, and collaborates in cardiorespiratory research and other patient improvement initiatives.
In addition to the therapists who work with families, the respiratory technical area (a part of the department) maintains and prepares specialty respiratory equipment, such as mechanical ventilators, for the hospital.
Respiratory Therapists collaborate with various members of the Respiratory Medicine department to provide care. You may encounter an RRT in the following clinics:
- Severe Asthma Clinic
- Paediatric Asthma Care and Education Clinic
- Long-Term Ventilation Clinic
- Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Clinic
- Sleep Disorders Clinic
- Pulmonary Function Clinic
- Infant pulmonary function clinic
- Tracheostomy clinic
- TEACH (Tracheostomy Education and Communication for Home Clinic)
Respiratory Therapists (RRTs) are important, routine and integral members of several interprofessional teams within the hospital. You’ll find RRTs in the:
- Paediatric Intensive Care Unit
- Cardiac Critical Care Unit
- Extra Corporeal Life Support Program
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
- Intermediate Care Unit
- Emergency Department
- Perioperative Services
Respiratory Therapists provide education to families and patients who may be taking respiratory technology or airways (such as tracheostomy tubes) home. For many of these complex devices, specialized teaching and training will be needed and is provided through the Connected Care Training program.
For families and patients who are staying in the hospital, you may always ask the respiratory therapist to explain more or answer any questions about the support or cares that they are providing.
- Jason Macartney, Clinical Manager, Department of Respiratory Therapy
- Zelia Da Silva, Clinical Director, Neonatology and Respiratory Services
- Katherine Reise, Clinical Educator/Specialist, Critical Care Unit
- Leanne Davidson, Clinical Educator/Specialist, Cardiac Critical Care Unit
- Sophon Kang, Clinical Educator/Specialist, Neonatal intensive care unit
- Mark Todd, Clinical Educator, Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS)
- Diane Soares, Clinical Educator, Operation Lead, Resuscitation Oversight Committee
- Angela Pozzobon, Clinical Educator, Paediatrics Student Academics
- Amy Holden, Clinical Educator, Neonatal Student Academics
AboutKidsHealth has many descriptions of respiratory therapy care that are provided in the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, and the cardiac critical care unit. For patients and families who may be going home with a tracheostomy tube and ventilator, the Learning Hub is linked below.
The Respiratory Therapy department supports research that is RT-led in all areas of the hospital. Some projects include investigations of extubation readiness, unplanned extubations, paediatric mechanical ventilation practices (across Canada), and innovative intubation technologies.
There are volunteer opportunities for students (including student respiratory therapists) to support various research activities. If interested, please contact Mika Nonoyama at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Department supports a variety of student and professional development opportunities for health care trainees and professionals:
- For student respiratory therapists, academic placements are coordinated for students in accordance with the established of academic agreement/partnership.
- Any professional development events will be advertised through professional networks.
- The department also offers brief clinical learning opportunities for various interprofessionals.
The Respiratory Therapy department at SickKids intermittently offers professional development workshops for external clinicians interested in learning more about neonatal and pediatric respiratory care. These workshops are advertised through the SickKids Learning Institute and various professional associations such as the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapy and Respiratory Therapy Society of Ontario.
Members of the department offer outreach education to support and enhance neonatal and pediatric respiratory care, at the local, national and international level. In addition to outreach, members of the respiratory therapy department frequently speaks at national and international conferences to share their professional expertise.