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Certifications and Continuing Education

#Sample College Research Paper

Certifications and Continuing Education Appropriate for a Respiratory Therapist

Basic training in college or university is never sufficient to optimize professional competence at the work place. This is because every profession aims to respond to given human need, and human needs are dynamic. Therefore, professionals must constantly improve their skills as job portfolios get revised over time. This article examines the available opportunities that can favor professional development for respiratory therapists.

American Association for Respiratory Care

The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) is a body for respiratory therapists in clinics and with home care organizations, leaders of respiratory and cardiopulmonary institutions, and trainers who in respiratory care. AARC has its headquarters in Irving, Texas. It was founded by Edwin R. Levine. The mission of AARC as a professional association is to become the leader nationally and internationally for respiratory care. In its vision AARC strives to enhance and support professional expedience, promote research and implementation of respiratory care programs, and provide advocacy services for patients, their kin, citizens, the profession and the respiratory care practitioners.

The AARC is an important player in shaping training of respiratory care professionals. For instance, AARC recently organized a project dubbed the 2015 and Beyond project. The project brought together stakeholders representing employers, insurers, professional organizations, foundations, state and federal government agencies, patients and consumers, the education community, accrediting and credentialing agencies, and state licensure boards. The aim of this gathering was to identify changes needed to enable the current education system to produce respiratory therapists with the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to provide quality care today (Barnes, Gale, Kacmarek & Kageler, 2010).

Professional development and other opportunities in AARC

AARC offers a number of opportunities for professional development of a respiratory therapist (AARC, n.d). For example, every year, the Association hosts the AARC International Respiratory Congress which brings together over 6000 participants. The four-day event exposes attendants to professional lectures, networking opportunities and state-of-the art exhibitions of emerging cardio-respiratory care technology.

Another example is the Summer Forum which is also an annual event hosted by AARC. The Forum focuses specifically on aspects of education and management in relation to respiratory care. It attracts presentations from experts in general health care management practices. The forum can help in nurturing competent leadership and management of respiratory care facilities.  

Another opportunity related to this organization is the AARC University. The University offers online continuing education programs and cutting edge information to help respiratory care professionals earn continuing credits. In addition to the above, AARC also organizes various respiratory care workshops and trainings yearly around the US to focus on emerging challenges in the field. An awareness of such challenges can help practicing respiratory therapists to make dynamic changes to their professional and management practices to adapt to new environments.

AARC works with a number of other affiliated organizations to promote respiratory health care. For example, AARC recently collaborated with the National Lung Health Education Program (NLHEP) in an effort to spearhead initiatives to promote preventive and curative lung health practices (MacIntyre, 2004). Other notable associations affiliated with AARC include the American college of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, American Thoracic Society, the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, among others.

Why it is important to belong to a professional organization

The benefits of being a member to a professional organization revolve around the areas of information, networking, employment, conferences and research (Pulliam, 2007). Professional associations offer platforms for exchanging current and reliable information on latest developments in the field. They also help professionals to build networks that are useful in career mobility and resource mobilization. Membership to professional organizations is increasingly becoming an additional quality to a good resume. It indicates a person’s ability to build network beyond college or university experiences which is a good quality of progressive employees.

Professional associations organize regular meetings, seminars, conferences and forums which can help members to stay abreast of the latest innovations in the field. Often, members get benefits such as discounts in costs for taking part in such events. Moreover, professional organizations keep records of vital information that can be easily accessed by members doing research in the specific field. Certain associations subscribe to libraries and offer members limited charges to access information through the association’s links. The pool of membership and skills found in a professional association offers members a chance to find proper mentorship. According to Greggs-McQuilkin (2005), many professional organizations offer certification. Becoming certified demonstrates your commitment to excellence in your practice.

The link to AARC

The American Association for Respiratory Care website link provides detailed information about the organization. The link also gives updates on upcoming events. It further documents the benefits of joining the Association. These benefits favor both professionals in the field and students of respiratory care. The link also provides important information to promote advocacy. Contacts are provided for state licensure among other regulatory offices. Other information is provided under publications, clinical resources, professional documents, programs and projects, and tools and software.

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American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) (n.d.). Professional Development. Retrieved November 3, 2016 from

Barnes, T. A., Gale, D. D., Kacmarek, R. M., & Kageler, W. V. (2010). Competencies Needed by Graduate Respiratory Therapists in 2015 and Beyond. Respiratory Care, 55(5), 601-616.

Greggs-McQuilkin, D.  (2005). Why join a professional nursing organization? Nursing, 35(Fall), 19.

MacIntyre, N. R. (2004). The American Association for Respiratory Care and the National Lung Health Education Program: Assuring Quality in Spirometry. Respiratory Care, 49(6), 587-588.

Pulliam, M. G. (2007). Discover the benefits of Joining a Professional Associaton. Retrieved November 3, 2016 from

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