National Respiratory Care Week Celebrates RTs, Encourages Others to
For Immediate Release
DALLAS (October 1, 2003) – National Respiratory Care
Week, a yearly event designed to promote lung awareness and the work
of respiratory therapists in all care settings, is set for October 19-25,
2003. The week, sponsored by the American Association for Respiratory
Care (AARC), points out the many ways RTs work to ensure the lung health
of all Americans through advocacy, public education, and research.
“Respiratory therapists all across the country are gearing up for this
celebration,” says David Shelledy, PhD, RRT, 2003 AARC President. “Since
1982, the AARC has celebrated the work of respiratory therapists, the
frontline health caregivers who treat respiratory diseases and conditions.”
Over the past few years the respiratory therapy profession, like other
health-related professions, has experienced a workforce shortage. Today,
the respiratory therapy workforce is about 112,000 strong – but estimates
from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that this workforce needs
to grow by 21-35 percent by 2010 because of substantial growth in the
middle-aged and elderly population—a development that will heighten
the incidence of cardiopulmonary disease , Shelledy adds.
During Respiratory Care Week 2003, the AARC would like to point high
school and college students who are interested in health care to the
profession of respiratory therapy.
New this year at the AARC.org
Web site is an updated career
section for both potential and current respiratory therapists.
There, those interested in the profession can learn why others have
chosen the field, find colleges that offer the degree program, and more,
says Bill Dubbs MHA, MBA, RRT, AARC director of education.
The American Association for Respiratory Care, a professional
membership association of respiratory therapists, focuses primarily
on respiratory therapy education and research. Its goals are to ensure
that respiratory patients receive safe and effective care from qualified
professionals and to benefit respiratory health care providers. The
Association continues to advocate, on behalf of pulmonary patients,
for appropriate access to respiratory services provided by qualified