Incoming students - general information

Essential skills and abilities

The Department of Respiratory Therapy at the University of Manitoba is mandated with the responsibility of providing an educational program that ensures its graduates have the necessary knowledge, competencies, values, attitudes, and behaviours to enter the regulated professional practice of respiratory therapy in Manitoba or elsewhere.


The Department of Respiratory Therapy at the University of Manitoba is mandated with the responsibility of providing an educational program that ensures its graduates have the necessary knowledge, competencies, values, attitudes, and behaviours to enter the regulated professional practice of respiratory therapy in Manitoba or elsewhere.

Graduates are expected to have an understanding of the societal context in which the profession is practiced and the ability to make judgments and examine issues critically, rationally, and coherently in light of that context. They must have the cognitive, communication, sensory, motor, and social skills necessary to perform a variety of procedures in a specified period, while maintaining patient safety.

They are also expected to display an interest in and a concern for the value of life-long learning as a· fundamental precept of personal development. Further, they are expected to contribute to the enhancement of the profession as a productive member of the profession. The purpose of this document is to describe the skills and attributes required for success in completing the university program in Respiratory Therapy.

The competency standards for Respiratory Therapy are described in the National Competency Framework (NCF) for Respiratory Therapy in Canada1. The profile is produced by the National Alliance of Respiratory Therapy Regulatory Bodies (NARTRB). The University of Manitoba Respiratory Therapy program integrates these national competencies within its educational program.

In addition to completing successfully the accredited educational program and obtaining a degree in respiratory therapy at the University of Manitoba, the graduate must pass the registration examinations of the Canadian Board for Respiratory Care and be approved by the local regulatory body in order to be licensed to practice in a particular jurisdiction.

Prospective applicants to the BRT program should be aware that scientific and clinical knowledge, patient assessment, situation management, communication, and professional behaviors and attitudes are all evaluated during their clinical rotations, as well as in timed simulations of clinical situations. Additionally, students are required to travel to rural areas for their clinical education and may be required to assume necessary costs.

The BRT program is committed to providing appropriate assistance to help students succeed. Students are expected to have and/or develop these required competencies according to prescribed standards, with or without reasonable accommodation for a disability. Students who anticipate that reasonable accommodation will be needed to enable them to meet the required standards for these skills and abilities are

responsible for articulating their needs. Where necessary, reference should be made to the University of Manitoba Accessibility Policy and Procedure. All accommodations must be approved by Student Accessibility Services. Students

who anticipate requiring accommodation are responsible for notifying Student Accessibility Services in a timely and proactive fashion at the time of application, or at any time during their education program.

An offer of admission to the Respiratory Therapy Program should not be interpreted as evidence that the program has independently verified an applicant's skills, attributes, and abilities in the domains described below. These essential skills are required if the student is to be successful in achieving the competency standards for the profession.

The essential skills, attributes and abilities are grouped in six broad categories:

  • Aptitude/Attitude/Professional Behavior
  • Communication
  • Cognition/Knowledge
  • Sensory/Psychomotor//Observation/Perception/Physical Function
  • Problem Solving/Decision Making/Critical Thinking
  • Emotional Health

Each of the following sections provides illustrative examples of the expectations of students in the Respiratory Therapy program and in their profession. These are not meant to be exhaustive lists but rather demonstrate the physical, mental, and emotional requirements of the program and profession.

Aptitude/Attitude/Professional Behavior

  • Must have an interest in human health and medicine. In particular, they should have a desire to assist patients to maximize their respiratory and cardiovascular function using a variety of therapeutic interventions, diagnostic tools, and health education strategies.
  • Should have an interest in using sophisticated medical technology to achieve these goals.
  • Must demonstrate sensitivity, empathy, compassion, integrity, fairness and concern for others.
  • Must be respectful of individuality and diversity, be able to build trusting relationships, demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills, and be able to manage multiple demands.
  • Must be prepared to work a variety of shifts such as night shifts and potentially extended hours. They should expect to work in a variety of health care settings.
  • Must be able to deal with the rigors of the academic and clinical curriculum.
  • Must take primary responsibility for themselves and their behaviors. It is essential that students develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients, other members of their professional community, and other professionals comprising the health care team.
  • Are expected to be professional in all their interactions, comport themselves in a professional manner, and participate equally in addressing their learning needs as part of their professional development.


  • Must be able to hear, speak, write and comprehend English to a level that will avoid confusion of words and meaning and will elicit and convey information effectively. Examples include: transcribe events to patient chart, record data accurately, interview patients, review policies and procedures, use databases and other technology, and read test results and radiographs
  • Must be able to develop a rapport and therapeutic relationship by which effective and accurate information sharing can occur.
  • Must be able to coherently summarize and effectively communicate information to patients, patient's families, supervisors, and other members of the health care team.
  • Must be able to communicate verbally, in writing, and electronically using computers, pagers, public address systems, telephones, and video conferencing.
  • Must be able to communicate effectively with and to individuals and groups.
  • Must be able to discuss medical diagnoses and patient care with other health care professionals, discuss medical conditions with patients, provide them with instructions, and communicate with patient's families.


  • Must demonstrate varying levels of cognitive abilities necessary to measure, calculate, and comprehend, reason in order to conceptualize, apply, analyze, integrate, synthesize, and evaluate information
  • Must have sufficient numeracy skills in order to understand and apply equations and formulae, ratios and proportions; visual and spatial relationships; statistics and probability; and use a variety of measurement instruments
  • Must carry out problem-solving activities in a timely fashion with the ability to prioritize tasks. These skills must contribute to sound judgment based upon clinical and ethical reasoning

Sensory/Psychomotor/Observation/Perception/Physical Function

  • Must possess a significant degree of motor function to safely perform initial and on-going assessments and interventions on patients, including performing physical examination, treatment and other maneuvers, both on a general and emergent basis. They must be able to use an array of medical equipment and instruments for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes.
  • Must be able to acquire information through observation and perception by the use of the senses (visual, auditory, somatic) and mental abilities. Examples include: hear average speaking level sound to communicate with patient and other health care professionals, hear faint body sounds such lung sounds and high/low frequency alarms, feel vibrations such as pulses, see objects from 20 inches to 20 feet away, use depth perception and peripheral vision
  • Require hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills to perform a variety of procedures such as inserting airways, drawing blood samples, and administering therapies and tests.
  • Must be able to discriminate between colors to recognize color-coded identification.
  • Must be able to perform a range of activities requiring differing levels of strength and stamina, including moving equipment, cylinders, and moving patients. This may also include: movement within confined spaces and unusual positions (assess/treat patient on floor), reach below waist and across patient's bed, climb stairs, pick up/grasp small objects such as syringes, work entire shift (8 - 12 hours), stand and maintain balance, push and pull 25 pounds (11 kg).
  • Are expected to have the energy and strength to participate in all learning experiences of the educational program.

Problem Solving/Decision Making/Critical Thinking

Must be able to think on their feet, troubleshoot problems associated with equipment malfunctions, deal with patients who are uncooperative as a result of their medical condition, and suggest adjustments in therapy as a result of their findings.

Must be able to select appropriate equipment for patient needs and or physician orders. They choose the content and format of a variety of instructional materials.

Make decisions about type, intensity, and timing of patient care within their scope of practice. They judge the appropriateness of therapies and equipment for particular patients. They consider a patient's psychological capabilities, support systems, and living arrangements when evaluating equipment and therapy needs. They evaluate and monitor patients and equipment readings and make clinical decisions accordingly.

Must also demonstrate a capacity to accurately assess and reflect on their own performance to further direct their learning.

Emotional Health

  • Must consistently demonstrate the emotional health required for the full utilization of their intellectual abilities in the context of the physical, emotional, and mental demands of the program.
  • Must demonstrate the emotional balance and resilience to cope with a myriad of emotionally charged or ethically-challenging situations that frequently arise in the work setting such as sudden patient death or sudden critical illness
  • Must be able to function effectively under the stress of a high workload, changing environments, time constraints, demanding situations, and shift work.
  • Must be able to identify and to respond to changing patient needs
  • Must work responsibly as a team member and engage with others to create a quality practice environment.
  • Must manage their own behavior to provide safe, compassionate, competent, ethical care.

Core academic requirements

Students must meet requirements as outlined in both BFARs and Supplementary Regulation documents as approved by Senate. Students must also meet additional requirements that may be specified for their program.

Please review the bona fide academic requirements for additional information.

Supplemental regulations

Academic regulations

Incoming BRT, MOT and MPT students

This information applies to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Respiratory Therapy, Master of Physical Therapy and Master of Occupational Therapy programs.

First aid and CPR training

Occupational therapy and physical therapy students are required to maintain certification in both first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Please note that respiratory therapy students are not required to complete first aid or CPR training.

Courses should be booked through the University of Manitoba to ensure the correct training is completed. All costs are the responsibility of the student.

Note that CPR Level Basic Life Support (BLS) or CPR Health Care Provider (HCP) must recertified annually. Standard First Aid certification is valid for three years and must be recertified upon expiry.

Costs for training and certification are the responsibility of the student.


All students in the College of Rehabilitation Sciences must complete the immunization package and return it as indicated in the student welcome letter.

Full details are available on the Immunization Program page.

Lockers and mailboxes

Student lockers and mailboxes are assigned during the first week of classes. Students will be asked to complete a mailbox and locker form at the time of assignment. Lockers are maintained throughout the duration of your program. While there is no cost for lockers, mailboxes are issued at a cost of $15 each. You will have access to both your locker and mailbox through the duration of your program.

Mask fit testing

All students must undergo standard mask fit testing prior to commencing fieldwork/clinical placements.

The disposable mask (or respirator) is an item of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worn by health-care workers who are likely to be exposed to patients with airborne communicable diseases.

The fit testing process involves identifying the correct size and type of mask for all students and ensuring they know how to use it effectively.

Arrangements will be made for students to be mask fit tested during the first year of their program.

Please note that a clean-shaven face is required for those wearing N95 PPE.

There may be a cost to students for the mask fit test.


Nametags are issued to each new student at the beginning of the program.

If the badge is lost, there is a replacement cost of $10. Please see the receptionist for replacement which will take usually 1 to 2 weeks.

Rady Faculty attire/dress code guidelines


Because of innumerable appropriate dress choices, attire guidelines /dress code can be difficult to concisely define. This guideline is intended to provide general principles to be considered for attire (including personal grooming decisions) for staff, faculty members, and learners within the RFHS and its Colleges, to ensure safe learning and work environments, and is intended to respect equity, diversity and promotion of inclusion.


2.1 Staff, faculty members and learners have the right to express themselves, including in decisions about attire, along with a shared responsibility to maintain respectful, safe and positive learning and working environments.
2.2 Attire should be respectful of a community that is anti-oppressive, equitable, accepting and inclusive of a diverse range of social and cultural identities. Dress shall not promote offensive, harassing, hostile or intimidating environments.
2.3 Discretion and good judgment should be exercised in attire, taking into consideration:

  • The safe performance of work or learning duties, so that dress does not interfere with health or safety requirements for the intended activity;
  • The specific work or learning environment, ensuring that attire is appropriate to the environment;
  • Interactions with clients, business contacts, learners, faculty members and staff;
  • The importance of reducing the risk of spreading pathogens from person-to-person.

2.4 Scented products should be avoided, recognizing that some individuals have allergies and/or are sensitive to certain chemicals in scented products. Fragrances and other scented hygiene products shall not be used/worn in designated scent free zones. In areas that are not designated scent free zones, fragrances and scented hygiene products shall be used/worn in moderation and shall abide by any directions received in regard to the limitation or use of products with scents and/or fragrances to accommodate those with scent and/or fragrance allergies.

2.5 This guideline is not intended to replace more detailed College or Program-specific policies, such as learner attire in clinical settings. Please reference applicable College or Program-specific policies or guidelines.

2.6 Should there be an issue identified respecting an individual’s attire, please contact the appropriate manager, Human Resources, or learner authority (program director, associate dean, etc.) for consultation and direction. Enforcement of individual attire or dress code requirements should not reinforce or increase marginalization or oppression of any individual or group based on any of the personal characteristics as set out in the Human Rights Code (Manitoba). The Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management may also be consulted.


3.1 The Human Rights code (Manitoba) C.C.S.M. c. H175

3.2 The Respectful Workplace and Learning Environment Policy, University of Manitoba


Please contact the Director, Planning & Priorities, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, with questions regarding this document.


These guidelines were approved by the RFHS Dean’s Council on April 28, 2020.

Security checks

College of Rehabilitation students are required to complete a criminal record check, an adult abuse registry check and a child abuse registry check annually in order to participate in clinical placements. Students must provide results of the above checks by September 1 of every year while in the program. The checks must have an issue date no earlier than August 1 of the current year.

Costs for these checks are the responsibility of the student.

Incoming students - Thesis-based research

This information applies to students in the Master of Science: Rehabilitation Sciences and Applied Health Sciences programs.

Thesis and practicum

The Faculty of Graduate Studies requires masters (thesis/practicum routes only) and doctoral students to present, submit and defend a written thesis or practicum as partial requirements for their degree.

Ensure you are familiar with the rules and requirements for creating and submitting your thesis.

Writing support

The Academic Learning Centre offers individual writing support for UM graduate students.


Take advantage of a variety of workshops for graduate students to help you throughout your program.

Classroom protocols

Attendance - General information

Regular attendance is required and expected. If you must miss a class, you are required to contact your course coordinator in advance.

If you are absent due to illness, you may be asked to present a medical note.

Persistent non-attendance and other unacceptable behaviour can lead to debarment.

Attendance - Master of Occupational Therapy

Regular attendance is important for the development of competencies for entry into the occupational therapy profession.

Excused or unexcused absences that exceed 15% of class time for any course are to be reported to the department head who will determine the appropriate consequences in conjunction with university policy.

Unexcused absences or persistent non-attendance may result in debarment from classes or exams and failure in that course.

Certificate of illness

A certificate of illness is not normally required if a student misses class when sick.

However, the College of Rehabilitation Sciences can, at its discretion, request a medical note for absences due to illness.

If requested, it can be obtained from College of Rehabilitation Sciences main office or downloaded here.

Documentation must include location and telephone number of a certifying physician.

Classroom maintenance

Many classrooms in the College of Rehabilitation Sciences can be reconfigured to meet the needs of the class, including desks, equipment, and other items that can be shifted or removed.

If a room is reorganized during the course of a class, staff and students are asked to return all materials to their original positions before the next class begins.

Routine maintenance such as vacuuming and garbage removal will be handled by cleaning staff.

Timing of classes

Classes at the College of Rehabilitation Sciences end at 10 minutes to the hour to allow time for the students to move between classrooms. The lecturer in consultation with the students can set the timing and length of breaks for classes greater than 50 minutes in duration.

If the lecturer is delayed in arriving for a class, students are required to wait 10 minutes past the class start time and then may leave. If a lecturer anticipates being delayed, the individual should notify the college’s office assistant at 204-789-3897.

Cancelled classes are rescheduled whenever possible. However, there is limited flexibility for changing classes. If a lecturer must cancel a class, the coordinator should be notified as much in advance as possible so that the students may be notified and alternate arrangements made.


Visitors may be permitted to attend class if prior approval of the class instructor has been obtained.


Audiovisual support

Students who require audiovisual equipment for in-class presentations should organize this through their instructor and should go to Information Services and Technology (IST) for the arrangements, not to the college’s classroom technician.

Students may book laptops, portable data projectors, document cameras, etc. from IST.

Students can only access data projectors and cable hook-ups that are kept in audiovisual cabinets through their instructors who must sign out the equipment and ensure proper use.


Computers are typically available for student use in the Neil John Maclean Library. Due to COVID-19, the Bannatyne library is currently closed, but computer access is still available at the Fort Gary campus.

Recording lectures

Students may be permitted to record lectures under the following conditions:

  1. Permission to record a lecture is sought on each occasion from the instructor giving the lecture
  2. The recording is used only for personal study purposes
  3. Recordings are not to be copied or loaned to others
  4. Recording of lectures will not be used for any other purpose, including course evaluation, promotion, tenure, or disciplinary hearings, but not limited to the above examples
  5. Refusal to permit recording shall remain the prerogative of the instructor, except in the case of a student with special needs

UM email

Students are required to have and use a UM email account to communicate with faculty, academic advisors, and other members of the university. Setting up your UM email is quick and easy.


A wireless network is available in the College of Rehabilitation Sciences and throughout the campus through uofm-secure.


Classroom equipment

The College of Rehabilitation Sciences has a variety of assessment and intervention tools and equipment available for short-term loan. Please note that priority goes to classroom use and access may be restricted at certain times.


Items must be signed in and out. This is managed by the classroom technician using a tracking sheet.

Instructors will not sign out equipment on behalf of the classroom technician unless previous arrangements have been made with him/her. If the classroom technician is not available to receive returned items, please see the receptionist in the main office.

The loan period is typically three days. Late returns will be fined at a rate of $2.00 per day.

If equipment is lost or damaged, the borrower is responsible for the cost for replacement/repair.

Ethics and conduct

Academic integrity

The University of Manitoba takes academic integrity seriously. As a member of the International Centre for Academic Integrity, the university defines academic integrity as a commitment to six fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility and courage. Visit the university's academic integrity page for full details on academic integrity and how it affects you.


Guidelines for contacting external stakeholders

Students are often directed or choose independently to contact external resources (personnel outside the university) for information when completing assignments and projects.

External resources might include persons located in hospitals, personal care homes, community agencies, government services and/ or private corporations. Students may wish to talk with therapists or other health professionals and personnel or may simply seek information from support staff or receptionists. It is important that a consistent and thoughtful approach be taken in communicating with all resource personnel.

Contacting community resources

The most important consideration in contacting community resources/personnel is to respect the time and expertise of those you are contacting. Many clinicians and support personnel have very full schedules and generally work hard to accommodate student requests. The following guidelines will facilitate a successful experience as you approach and work with external resource personnel.

Provide external resource persons with as much lead-time as possible. Students generally know assignment requirements and due dates on the first day of a course. Call early to set appointments or to request information. Do not expect an immediate response (i.e. same day or next day service). People will try to accommodate your requests, however, they can’t be expected to drop everything because your assignment is due the next day!

If the person you are trying to contact is not available, try to determine a good time to re-contact him/her or ask for an alternate resource person. Do not ask resource personnel to contact you outside of work hours.

During your initial contact or phone call

  • Introduce yourself as a student in the College of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Manitoba
  • State that you are taking a course and name the professor
  • Explain that you are doing a project on and would like to meet with them to discuss some questions you have
  • If possible, indicate the amount of time anticipated for the meeting
  • Be courteous during your contacts and respect your resource’s time
  • Present yourself as a professional colleague
  • Always leave a contact number (and “best time” to contact) with the resource person so that if his/her plans change he/she is able to contact you.

Plan your questions ahead of time

  • Do some background reading on relevant topics before meeting with the resource person
  • Organize your thoughts around what you want to know and request enough time with your resource person to collect this information
  • Being organized and preparing ahead helps you to make the best use of your time during the interview/meeting.
  • If you want to take pictures or audio/video tapes of the session then ask permission during your initial phone call. Do not turn up with cameras/tapes expecting that you will be allowed to use these. In addition, remember that release or consent forms are often required for audio, video or picture taking. Be prepared by taking along a consent form that can be signed by those involved. Information required in a consent form should be discussed with the course lecturer.

Avoid changing appointments

Changing appointment times should be avoided. If a change must be made (e .g. you are ill or an emergency situation arises) provide as much lead time as possible and arrange a new appointment time as soon as possible.


  • Recognize resource person(s) in your reference list
  • Invite resource person to your presentation
  • Write a thank you letter. You may want to write a thank you note following your meeting/contact with each resource person. You may want to include a copy of your report/assignment.

Guidelines for personal reference requests

Students often seek references from fieldwork educators and professors whether it be for a job, scholarship application, or admission into a program of study.

There are several things you should keep in mind when asking for a reference:

  • Recognize that giving references takes time and energy and you should be respectful of what this entails.
  • Only ask fieldwork educators in fieldwork experiences in which you have had an outstanding experience.
  • Asking every fieldwork educator for a reference is an imposition on their time and will not enhance your application.
  • Similarly, only approach professors who can speak to an aspect of your performance in their course that was special or outstanding.
  • References should be requested for a specific application or situation; do not ask for a generic letter of reference.
  • Generic reference letters hold little value with a reviewer. Furthermore, your referee has no control over when such a letter is used or how it is represented.

When approaching an educator or professor:

  • Ask the person whether he or she thinks she can provide a good reference for your request. If the person declines, approach someone else.
  • Provide sufficient time to craft a thoughtful reference and ensure that the person is aware of any deadlines.
  • Provide background information including a current resume, notes about the aspects of the course or fieldwork experience that you feel are most relevant, a copy of your academic history.
  • Provide information about the position to which you are applying.
  • If applicable, provide a self-addressed stamped envelope that can be mailed to the institution or individual requesting the reference.
  • Clarify whether you are asking for a written or verbal reference or both.
  • Clarify whether you are asking for a reference for a singular occasion or are asking if the person can be listed as a reference on your resume for current and future use.
  • If a person is listed on your resume, ensure that you notify that person each time you anticipate that he or she will be contacted.
  • Ask if there is any additional information you can provide that would assist them in providing a reference.

Respectful work and learning environment

The University of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WHRA) both support a climate of respect in the work and learning environment. Students and employees of the University and institutions comprising the WRHA are entitled to a respectful work and learning environment that is free from:

Discrimination and human rights-based harassment: differential treatment or failure to provide reasonable accommodations; conduct or comments directed toward a specific person or group, which contravenes the Manitoba Human Rights Code. e.g. Treating a student differently based on their ancestry, gender, religion, or sexual orientation; refusing to facilitate access to large-print material for a student who has a visual impairment.

Sexual harassment: unwanted sexual attention; gender-based abusive conduct; sexist jokes or remarks; sexually oriented gestures or physical contact; sexual solicitation made by someone with power to confer or deny benefit to the recipient; reprisal for rejecting a sexual advance.

Personal harassment: a course or pattern of behaviour which serves no legitimate work or academic purpose, and creates an intimidating or humiliating environment. e.g. A student being referred to with a derogatory nickname by peers and instructors. Sexual Assault: The intentional sexual touching of another person with any object or body part without consent or by force.

Respectful work and learning environment and sexual assault RWLE/SA policies and procedure

For an expanded definitions for the above list of prohibited behaviours, visit the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management website.

Students who have concerns about, or allegations of, the above prohibited behaviors can access informal resolution or formal complaint mechanisms under the RWLE/SA policies and procedure. Students are also encouraged to access advice and support on these matters from the University of Manitoba:

The Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management

The Student Advocacy Office (SAO)

WRHA Respectful Workplace Policy

Sexual Violence Support and Education

Responsible computer use

Students are expected to adhere to all guidelines when using UM computers, facilities and software.

Social media

Although we recognize that social media tools on the internet are a common forum for students to communicate with one another. It is IMPERATIVE that no information relating in any way to your classroom or clinical experiences (including students, professors, patients, preceptors, etc.) is shared through any of these forums.)

Faculty members are reminded that professional conduct must be maintained at all times and that they should not “friend” students on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, or engage in any other social media contact.

Contact us

Dean's office

College of Rehabilitation Sciences
R106 - 771 McDermot Avenue
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0T6 Canada