Woman walking with machine in the ICU

Respiratory Care Services at ZSFG

Resources for current RCS employees

About us

Respiratory Care Services at Zuckerberg San Francisco General has been a renowned leader in respiratory care for over 50 years, with a primary focus on critical and acute care, featuring an expanded scope of practice. The department has a growing presence in outpatient clinics and community services, and its Respiratory Care Practitioners serve as consultants to nurses, providers, and other healthcare professionals. 

Respiratory Therapists are integral members of the Code Blue, Trauma Resuscitation, and Medical Emergency Response Teams (MERT). Therapists are involved in ventilator management and lung-protective ventilation, including therapist-driven protocols for ARDS, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Staff routinely perform ancillary therapies such as aerosolized prostacyclin, prone positioning, and recruitment maneuvers, and participate in the transport and monitoring of mechanically ventilated patients. The practice includes standard oxygen and aerosol therapy, lung expansion, and pulmonary hygiene therapies, as well as non-invasive ventilation, emphasizing evidenced based, protocolized management with quality assurance oversight. 

Therapists pre-round with ICU fellows, participate in multidisciplinary rounds,  round with on-call ICU residents on both day and night shifts, and play a role in inpatient sleep medicine screening. In the Neonatal ICU, therapists assist in high-risk deliveries and ventilator management, including HFOV, providing therapies like inhaled nitric oxide, surfactant administration, High Flow, BCPAP, and NAVA. They also perform advanced diagnostic testing and monitoring, including arterial blood gas procurement, and metabolic studies. 

Throughout the hospital, Respiratory Care Services provides care in general care wards, functions as consultants, responds to emergencies, cares for tracheotomy patients, and offers full-service care in all areas.

respiratory care therapist in a hospital room.

Local, Regional, and National Representation / Leadership

Respiratory therapists at ZSFG have served on the AARC program committee, the NIH Delphi Committee on VAP Guidelines, and the National Board for Respiratory Care. Therapists have served as peer reviewers for numerous medical journals including The Lancet, CHEST, Critical Care Medicine, Anesthesia & Analgesia, American Journal of Respiratory, Critical Care Medicine, Critical Care, and Intensive Care Medicine as well as serving on the editorial board of Respiratory Care. Over the years department members have held leadership positions within Bay-Area Society for Respiratory Care, the California Society for Respiratory Care, and the Respiratory Care Section of the Society of Critical Care Medicine.