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Respiratory Science

Respiratory Clinical Physiologist – Information for Health Professionals.

Respiratory Science

A Clinical Physiologist (Respiratory) measures breathing. They see patients who could have Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or other lung disease. They may see them before an operation or help assess a patient’s fitness for flying or see them before and after treatment. They may also work in exercise testing or allergy testing.

The ACCP and the ANZSRS encourage Clinical Physiologists (Respiratory) to achieve gaining certification with the credential of the Certified Respiratory Function Scientist.


A Clinical Physiologist (Respiratory) may be involved in the conduct of a range of diagnostic tests, treatments and other related activities. The scope of practice may be within neonatal, paediatric or adult domains. Some respiratory clinical physiologists may be involved within clinical research. Tests conducted may, for example, investigate ventilatory function, respiratory mechanics, gas exchange, respiratory muscle function, ventilatory control and airway hyperresponsiveness. Some diagnostic tests may include exercise as either an assessment of overall physical functioning, exercise induced asthma or comprehensive cardiopulmonary exercise testing. Such tests and assessments can be applied for diagnostic and prognostic purposes, including pre-surgical risk assessment, defining treatment options in diseases such as lung cancer, screening for occupational or recreational pursuit health hazard or prescription of oxygen therapy and other drugs.

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