Transitioning the Respiratory Therapy Workforce for 2015 and Beyond
|Transitioning the Respiratory Therapy Workforce for 2015 and Beyond (2011)
|American Association of Respiratory Care|
Thomas A Barnes, EdD RRT FAARC1; Robert M Kacmarek, PhD RRT FAARC2; Woody V Kageler, MD MBA3; Michael J Morris, MD4; Charles G Durbin, Jr, MD FAARC5
- 1: Department of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts.
- 2: Department of Anesthesiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, and with Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
- 3: Department of Health Sciences, Tarrant County College, Fort Worth, Texas.
- 4: Department of Internal Medicine, Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas.
- 5: Department of Anesthesiology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Correspondence: Thomas A Barnes EdD RRT FAARC, Department of Health Sciences, 316 Robinson Hall, Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115-5000. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Association for Respiratory Care established a task force in late 2007 to identify likely new roles and responsibilities of respiratory therapists (RTs) in the year 2015 and beyond. A series of 3 conferences was held between 2008 and 2010. The first task force conference affirmed that the healthcare system is in the process of dramatic change, driven by the need to improve health while decreasing costs and improving quality. This will be facilitated by application of evidence-based care, prevention and management of disease, and closely integrated interdisciplinary care teams. The second task force conference identified specific competencies needed to assure safe and effective execution of RT roles and responsibilities in the future. The third task force conference was charged with creating plans to change the professional education process so that RTs are able to achieve the needed skills, attitudes, and competencies identified in the previous conferences. Transition plans were developed by participants after review and discussion of the outcomes of the first two conferences and 1,011 survey responses from RT department managers and RT education program directors. This is a report of the recommendations of the third task force conference held July 12-14, 2010, on Marco Island, Florida. The participants, who represented groups concerned with RT education, licensure, and practice, proposed, discussed, and accepted that to be successful in the future a baccalaureate degree must be the minimum entry level for respiratory care practice. Also accepted was the recommendation that the Certified Respiratory Therapist examination be retired, and instead, passing of the Registered Respiratory Therapist examination will be required for beginning clinical practice. A date of 2020 for achieving these changes was proposed, debated, and accepted. Recommendations were approved requesting resources be provided to help RT education programs, existing RT workforce, and state societies work through the issues raised by these changes.
In 2007 the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) established the “2015 and Beyond” task force. The charge to this task force was to determine the changes required by the profession of respiratory care to meet the evolving demands of the medical community and to position respiratory therapists (RTs) as a vital member of the medical community in 2015 and beyondCite error: Invalid
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- How will patients receive healthcare services in the future?
- How will respiratory therapy be provided?
- What knowledge, skills, and attributes will RTs need to provide care safely, efficiently, and cost-effectively?
- What education and credentialing systems are needed to provide this knowledge and these skills and attributes?
- How do we get from the present to the future with minimal impact on the respiratory therapy workforce?
The task force elected to address these questions through a series of 3 conferences. The first conference was held in the spring of 2008. The results of this conferenceCite error: Invalid
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Conference 2 was held in the spring of 2009. In this conference the attendees focused on identifying the competencies graduate and practicing RTs will need in 2015 and beyondCite error: Invalid
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The third conference of this series was conducted on Marco Island, Florida, July 12–14, 2010. The goal of this conference was to determine what changes in the profession are necessary to position RTs to fulfill the roles and responsibilities identified in conference one and to ensure that future and practicing RTs acquire the competencies identified in conference two. It was postulated that changes would be needed in the RT education, accreditation, and credentialing processes to meet the needs identified from conferences one and two. This paper reports the results and recommendations formulated during the third “2015 and Beyond” conference.
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