Respiratory therapy

An overview of the services respiratory therapists provide at Providence Health Care.


At Providence, respiratory therapists provide care primarily at St. Paul’s Hospital and Mount Saint Joseph Hospital. They also support other sites on a consultation basis. They provide acute services – primarily critical care – and diagnostic services.

What to expect

Respiratory therapists are trained medical professionals who:

  • Initiate and maintain mechanical ventilation for critically ill patients.
  • Work as key members of the code blue team.
  • Establish and maintain advanced airways and arterial vascular access.
  • Assist with anesthesia procedural sedation and administer medical gases for the treatment of lung disorders.
  • Help stabilize, treat and manage patients during air or ground transport between hospitals.
  • Provide patient- and family-centred health care to a range of clients from newborns to seniors.
  • Collaborate with multidisciplinary health care teams and community supports on transitions from hospital to home. This may include patients requiring home oxygen, home sleep therapies, and tracheostomy, stoma or home ventilation assessments.

In acute care, respiratory therapists provide coverage throughout the hospital, however they have dedicated around-the-clock coverage in:

  • Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
  • Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU)
  • Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit (CSICU)
  • Post Anesthetic Care Unit (PACU)
  • Emergency Department (ED)
  • Medical/Surgical Wards
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Services provided

Some of the services that respiratory therapists provide include:

  • Full pulmonary function testing
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Cardiopulmonary exercise tests
  • Physiological monitoring for sleep apnea screening
  • Ventilator and airway management
  • Membership in trauma and cardiac arrest teams
  • Medical gas administration
  • Home oxygen assessment and discharge planning
  • Patient assessment and consultation
  • Respiratory education
  • Research

In Pulmonary Diagnostics, respiratory therapists are a part of a collaborative team in the following areas:

  • Pulmonary Function Lab (PF)
  • Cystic Fibrosis Clinic (CF)
  • Cardiopulmonary Exercise Lab (CPX)
  • Bronchoscopy Suite (Bronchs)
  • Respiratory Education Centre


Home oxygen program

The Home Oxygen Program (HOP) helps people with low blood oxygen levels get oxygen in their homes.

Once you qualify for the program, respiratory therapists from one of our contracted suppliers will come to your home. During the visit they will set up equipment, show you how to use it, and provide ongoing service. They will also talk to you about your blood oxygen levels, help answer your questions, discuss your needs, and provide ongoing assessment as long as you need it.

For more information about the Home Oxygen Program and eligibility criteria, please visit the VCH website.

Flying with Oxygen: Visit the HealthlinkBC website for more info on flying with oxygen: 

Home Oxygen providers include:

Support for Indigenous Peoples

The Indigenous Wellness Liaison Team is here to support your health journey. Team members offer cultural support and healthcare advocacy. Learn more below or call them at 604-682-2344,62937 or email

  • Indigenous wellness services

    The Indigenous Wellness Team at Providence is available to support Indigenous patients and their families. We are here to coordinate culturally safe wellness supports and services.

Education & resources

Below are some helpful resources and useful information to assist with your visit.

Medical & professional referrals