As one of the nation’s largest and top respiratory therapy programs, the Cleveland Clinic Respiratory Therapy Section provides superb clinical care, advances the science and profession of respiratory care, and promotes education of patients and medical professionals. Respiratory Institute therapists work in collaboration with respiratory therapists in the Anesthesia Institute and Pediatric Institute.


Our respiratory therapists provide mechanical ventilation and other respiratory support measures for some of the most critically ill patients in the United States. Unique to the Cleveland Clinic, we also offer Respiratory Therapy Consult Services, which use clinical guidelines established by the American Association for Respiratory Care to optimize delivery of respiratory care services for patients.

The Respiratory Therapy Section provides 24-hour coverage for adult patients in the  Cleveland Clinic hospital units below:

  • Medical intensive care unit (64 beds)
  • Neurological intensive care unit (22 beds)
  • Surgical intensive care unit (30 beds)
  • Respiratory special care unit (12 beds)
  • Medical, neurological and surgical floors
  • Palliative care
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Bariatric

Advance Practices

In addition to traditional therapy, we also provide the following advanced practices:

  • Arterial line insertion
  • Bronchoscopy assistance
  • Mechanical ventilator management and weaning
  • High-frequency oscillation
  • Nitric oxide administration
  • Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation (NPPV)


Cleveland Clinic Respiratory Therapy section has more than 110 full-time and part-time respiratory therapists in addition to respiratory therapy supervisors and clinical specialists listed below.

Research & Clinical Trials

Research & Clinical Trials

Respiratory therapy physicians who specialize in pulmonary and critical care medicine, as well as staff respiratory therapists and researchers perform basic science and clinical studies to improve respiratory therapy protocols and treatments.

Respiratory Therapy Research

Our research focuses on lung simulators, workflow, and management processes and protocols. We also test new and existing ventilation devices to determine their effectiveness in treating patients.

Some of our best research tools include our fully-integrated electronic medical records, electronic documentation and data management systems, which allow us to consistently track our outcomes and conduct valuable research measurements. Such research allows Cleveland Clinic respiratory therapists to stay current in their field and be up-to-date on the latest pulmonary techniques.

Recommended Research Readings

View the most recent research abstracts, articles and books about respiratory care written by Cleveland Clinic physicians and staff, leaders in the field of respiratory therapy.

Respiratory Therapy Research Abstracts


  • Auto-PEEP during APRV varies with the ventilator model.
    Daoud E, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2010;55(11):1516.
  • Comparison of APRV and BIPAP in a mechanical model of ARDS.
    Daoud E, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2010;55(11):1516.
  • Comparison of nebulizer efficiency and treatment time.
    Chatburn RL, Zhou S. Respir Care 2010;55(11):1563.
  • Comparison of three methods to set T-low on airway pressure release ventilation – a model study.
    Siddiqui MF, Mireles-Cabodevila E, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2010;55(11):1571.
  • Comparative evaluation of pulsed dose oxygen conserving devices.
    Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2010;55(11):1536.
  • Determining interest in simulation among respiratory care educators.
    Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2010;55(11):1584.
  • Effect of volume or pressure control ventilation on simulated chest tube leaks.
    Nazarenko O, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2010;55(11):1517.
  • Evaluation of AARC benchmarking metric validity.
    Orens D, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2010;55(11):1527.
  • Evaluation of ABG practice in an academic MICU.
    Wollens C, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2010;55(11):1587.
  • Evaluation of a computer simulation for teaching mechanical ventilation.
    Volsko TA, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2010;55(11):1585.
  • Evaluation of Dräger APRV with AutoRelease: a model study.
    Chatburn RL, Babic S. Respir Care 2010;55(11):1593.
  • Is it more advantageous to administer surfactant to premature infants in the delivery room or wait until admission to the NICU?
    Aung K, Sutton DW, Brant S, Saker F, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2010;55(11):1580.
  • Proof of Concept: Mid Frequency Ventilation in a Live Animal Model.
    Mireles-Cabodevila E , Holt S, Thurman TL, Chatburn RL, Heulitt M. May 17, 2010.
    American Thoracic Society International Conference, New Orleans LA. Poster Presentation
  • Reference data for determining ventilator alarm limits.
    Mullin R, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2010;55(11):1520.
  • Strategies to enhance respiratory therapist’s professional satisfaction: Cleveland Clinic experience.
    Hoisington E, Chatburn RL, Stoller JK. Respir Care 2010;55(11):1557.
  • Using work-rate to establish respiratory care assignments.
    Gole S, Chatburn RL, Stoller JK. Respir Care 2010;55(11):1559.


  • Comparison of two different proportional assist ventilation algorithms.
    Chatburn RL, Wear JL. Respir Care 2009;54(11):1583.
  • CPAP effect of high flow nasal cannula in pediatric patients.
    Amadei J, Cook S, Volsko TA, Fedor K, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2009;54(11):1518.
  • Defining a minimum set of weaning criteria.
    Wollens C, Chatburn RL, Guzman J. Respir Care 2009;54(11):1540.
  • Determining the basis for a taxonomy of mechanical ventilation.
    Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2009;54(11):1555.
  • Does the time post delivery of surfactant administration have impact on the duration of ventilation in premature infants with respiratory distress syndrome?
    Aung K, Sutton DW, Brant DW, Dickson J, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2009;54(11):1517.
  • Effect of conserver systems on jet nebulizer performance.
    Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2009;54(11):1525.
    *Winner of Monaghan/Trudell Fellowship for Aerosol Technique Development
  • Effects of lung mechanics on oxygen delivery using simple oxygen masks.
    McKenney M, Zhou S, Cook SE. Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2009;54(11):1571.
  • Effects of lung mechanics on oxygen delivery with nasal cannulae.
    Zhou S, Cook SE, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2009;54(11):1573.
  • Effect of pressure rise time on volume delivery with changing pulmonary mechanics.
    Volsko TA, McMonagle G, Cook S, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2009;54(11):1541.
  • Evaluation of a new graphical interface for mechanical ventilation.
    Mullins R, Cook SE, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2009;54(11):1581.
  • Improved selection of initial tidal volume for mechanical ventilation based on the Radford nomogram.
    Cook SE, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2009;54(11):1555.
  • Mechanical effects of high flow nasal cannula in normal and obstructive adult lung models.
    Babic S, Cook S, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2009;54(11):1524.
  • Mid-frequency ventilation: optimum settings for neonates.
    Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2009;54(11):1559.
  • Modified I-Neb for the delivery of iloprost aerosol in catheterized patients.
    Devendra GP, Krasuski RA, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2009;54(11):1522.
  • Objective measures of ventilator performance using the pressure support mode.
    Wheeler DM, Cook SE, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2009;54(11):1557.
  • Prediction equations for tidal volume based on the Radford nomogram.
    Cook SE, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2009;54(11):1555.
  • Simulated neonatal patient-ventilator interaction using SIPAP and Bilevel NCPAP.
    Cook SE, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2009;54(11):1517.
  • Teambuilding as a change management activity in respiratory care.
    Orens D. Chatburn RL, Stoller JK. Respir Care 2009;54(11):1568.
  • Validating work-rate: a new parameter for distributing respiratory therapy workload.
    Gole S, Rado M, Chatburn RL. Respir Care 2009;54(11):1552.

Respiratory Therapy Research Articles




Respiratory Therapy Books

  • Handbook for Healthcare Research.
    Chatburn RL. 2nd edition. Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2011.
  • Newport wave ventilator.
    Chatburn RL, Volsko, TA. New York, Springer Science, 2012, in press.
    In: Donn SM, Sinha SK (Eds.): Manual of Neonatal Respiratory Care, third edition.
  • Mechanical ventilators: Classification and principles of operation.
    Chatburn RL, Volsko TA.
    In: Hess DR, MacIntyre NR, Mishoe SC, Galvin WF, Adams AB, Saposnick AB. Respiratory Care: Principles and Practice. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co, 2011 (in press).
For Medical Professionals

For Medical Professionals

Respiratory Therapy Opportunities

Full-time, part-time, and PRN positions are available for respiratory therapists at Cleveland Clinic, who desire to work in an environment that provides the opportunity to utilize the full spectrum of their clinical skills. Applicants must be registered or registry-eligible with an Ohio license, or respiratory therapy students with an appropriate license.

Work in Specialty Areas

We have an ongoing orientation process for preparing therapists to work in specialty areas, such as:

  • Respiratory therapy consult service (therapist-driven protocols)
  • Medical, neurological and surgical intensive care units
  • Respiratory special care unit (ReSCU, ventilator weaning unit)
  • Bronchoscopy assistance
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Palliative care

Benefits include:

  • Flexible scheduling options
  • In-house CME program, which gives therapists the opportunity to receive required continuing education for state licensure
  • Research opportunities (we highly encourage participation in data collection, writing, and the presentation of research)
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Reimbursement for passing the Registry exam
  • Opportunity for advancement through our unique career ladder

For questions about our respiratory therapy program, contact Ed Hoisington, RRT, Manager, by phone at 216.444.5797 or by email at hoisine@ccf.org.

Consult Service

Cleveland Clinic was one of the first hospitals to develop and modify care plans in the field of respiratory care. Developed in 1992, our pioneering consult service continues to be a benchmark for other respiratory therapy departments across the country.

Our Respiratory Therapy Consult Service ensures patients receive the best possible respiratory care by utilizing clinical practice guidelines developed by the American Association of Respiratory Care. The RTCS, referred to as Therapist Driven Protocols by some institutions, is a system that allows respiratory care practitioners to evaluate patients needing respiratory therapy using sign and symptom-based protocols.

Therapist evaluators use a series of sign and symptom-based branching logic algorithms to design care plans for administering aerosol therapy (see below), bronchopulmonary hygiene, hyperinflation techniques and oxygen therapy.

More Information

Learn more about how to become a respiratory therapist, helpful respiratory care electronic books and useful respiratory therapy web resources.

Careers in Respiratory Therapy

Respiratory therapists work to evaluate, treat, and care for patients with asthma, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, lung cancer and AIDS, as well as heart attack and trauma victims and premature infants.

Respiratory therapists perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures including:

  • obtaining and analyzing sputum samples
  • obtaining and analyzing arterial blood gas samples
  • performing pulmonary function tests
  • operating and maintaining various types of highly sophisticated equipment to administer oxygen or to assist with breathing
  • employing mechanical ventilation in patients who cannot breathe adequately on their own
  • monitoring and managing therapy to help a patient recover lung function
  • administering medications in aerosol form to help alleviate breathing problems and prevent respiratory infections
  • maintaining a patient's artificial airway, one that may be in place to help the patient who can't breathe through normal means
  • educating the patient about their disease process and treatments their physician has prescribed.

Education Requirements

Respiratory therapists are licensed health care professionals who must graduate from a fully accredited school offering either an associate's degree (two year) or a bachelor's degree ( four year). Currently there are 18 accredited schools in the state of Ohio (15 offering associate's degrees and three baccalaureate programs).

Generally curriculum includes courses in anatomy and physiology, biology, chemistry, math and respiratory therapy. Training is done in a variety of classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings.

Upon graduation, therapists are required to become certified by taking the entry-level exam (CRT). Once he or she has been certified, they may take the advanced level exam (RRT) to become registered.

Learn More


Respiratory Care Web Resources

Visit the following sites for helpful information about respiratory care.