This past year brought on many challenges with COVID-19, and respiratory care has been on the front lines of this pandemic. With experience and knowledge of cardiopulmonary science and technology, respiratory therapists were proven critical during this pandemic. Respiratory therapists are trained in assessing, treating, and managing cardiopulmonary (heart and lung) conditions and the related co-morbid conditions. The outbreak of COVID-19 proved how vital it is to have highly educated, trained, and critical thinking respiratory therapists, but it also highlighted the need to have graduate-level trained respiratory therapists.
On January 14, 2021, in response to this need, the NC Respiratory Care Board voted to introduce language into the existing practice act (Article 38) that adds an emerging advanced practice respiratory therapist to the professional licensing process known as the Advanced Respiratory Care Practitioner (ARCP). The ARCP would work under the supervision of a physician to deliver expert care to their patients.
The passage of the Respiratory Care Modernization Act would allow a therapist with an accredited master’s degree in Advanced Practice Respiratory Therapy to:
1) Serve as a specialized assistant to the physician’s care.
2) Provide and expand more timely medical care for our most vulnerable patient population, especially in the rural areas of NC.
3) Reduce delays in waiting for the physician when critical changes in life support settings are required.
4) Deliver an expert level of care for patients with cardiopulmonary and related disorders in various settings such as hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and physician’s offices.
5) Provide the needed support to physicians and other medical professionals in helping with extended care of their patients.
To this end, we asked the NCGA to consider the changes to our practice act described in House Bill 610. As we move forward with these changes, please reach out to the NCRCB Executive Director, William Croft, Ed.D. Ph.D., RRT, RCP, for any clarifications or concerns by emailing [email protected]
or calling 919-878-5595. Your support for this effort is most appreciated. You will help advance a profession that is dedicated to saving lives one breath at a time. Please support House Bill 610. Thank you in advance