Respiratory Care: Advancement of the Profession Tripartite Statements of Support
The continuing evolution of the Respiratory Care Profession requires that every respiratory therapist demonstrate an advanced level of critical thinking, assessment and problem solving skills. These facilities are essential in today’s health care environment not only to improve the quality of care but also to reduce inappropriate care and thereby reduce costs. Respiratory therapists are expected to participate in the development, modification and evaluation of care plans, protocol administration, disease management and patient education. Accordingly, the agencies representing the profession (American Association for Respiratory Care), program accreditation (Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care), and professional credentialing (National Board for Respiratory Care) together support the following as essential for the continued growth and advancement of the profession.
- The RRT credential is the standard of excellence for respiratory therapists. Evidence-based research documents the value of critical thinking, problem solving and advanced patient assessment skills. Therefore we encourage all respiratory therapists to pursue and obtain the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential.
- We support the development of baccalaureate and graduate education in respiratory care and encourage respiratory therapists to pursue advanced levels of education.
- We have complete confidence in the professional credentialing system. The three agencies will cooperate in evaluating the results of national job analysis research to insure that the credentialing system remains current and appropriate as the profession evolves. We recognize the NBRC’s obligation to administer job related, validated credentialing examinations based on the results of national job analysis research as mandated by the “Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing” (1999) published by the American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education. Job analysis research is also guided by Section 1607.14 of the Technical Standards for Validity Studies from the Federal Government’s Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures. These guidelines are found within Title 29 – Labor within the Code of Federal Regulations (29CFR1607.14). In addition, the NBRC must maintain its compliance with the standards for accreditation of certification programs developed by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
- The three agencies recognize the importance of effective recruitment and retention strategies to recruit and retain respiratory therapists for the health care workforce, and qualified respiratory therapy students. We encourage the use of existing resources available from the three agencies.
- The three organizations will cooperate in evaluating examination pass rates for entry level and advanced practice programs and for associate and baccalaureate degree programs to assure that the educational requirements for admission both to the educational programs and to the examination system are appropriate.
- We encourage the development of appropriate career ladders and pay differentials based on the advanced practice credential (RRT) and education beyond the Associate Degree.
- We strongly support faculty development activities specific to educational methodology.