Respiratory Therapy Profession
Respiratory care is a specialized health profession focused on the diagnosis and treatment of cardiopulmonary diseases. The practice includes the administration of gas mixtures by various devices, application of mechanical ventilators to assist or control breathing, maintenance of airways, administration of drugs by inhalation, assistance with cardiopulmonary resuscitation, monitoring of heart and lung functions of critically ill patients, the evaluation of patients in the cardiopulmonary laboratories, and education of patients and their families about lung disease and ways to maximize their recovery. Respiratory Care Practitioners, also called Respiratory Therapists, work at the bedside alongside physicians, nurses and other health professionals. Respiratory Therapists work in a variety of healthcare settings such as hospitals, sleep laboratories, physician offices, patient homes, air transport and ambulance service programs to name a few.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of respiratory therapists is expected to grow 19 percent from 2006 to 2016, faster than the average for all occupations. This increasing demand for respiratory therapists will come from substantial growth in the middle-aged and elderly population who tend to suffer most from respiratory ailments and cardiopulmonary diseases such as pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and heart disease. Growth in demand will also result from the expanding role of respiratory therapists in case management, disease prevention, emergency care, and the early detection of pulmonary disorders.
Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)
The Respiratory Therapy baccalaureate program at Salisbury University (Salisbury, MD) is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (www.coarc.com). CoARC, formerly a specialized arm of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), became a freestanding accreditor of respriatory care programs as of November 12, 2009.
Commission on Accreditation for
1248 Harwood Road
Bedford, Texas 76021-4244
Visit their Web site: Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
Programmatic Outcomes Data: Annual Report of Current Status