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National Respiratory Care Week Celebrates RTs, Encourages Others to Join Ranks

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 professionals.


Media Contact:
Sherry Milligan
Communications Manager