If you’re a respiratory therapist, there are many good reasons to join the AARC. But chief among them is the idea that being a member of your professional organization can boost your career. Five members of the AARC’s Membership Committee address five of the best ways to use your membership to get ahead on the job.
- Network on AARConnect: Professional networking is vital for career development and is all about building and maintaining professional relationships and establishing connections with others in your profession. In this time of social distancing and canceled conferences, networking with other RTs may seem impossible. Fortunately, AARConnect, AARC’s members-only networking platform, provides the opportunity to connect virtually with members from across the country and around the world. AARConnect’s Help Line, general discussion groups, and specialty communities offer AARC members the opportunity to meet inspiring people, ask questions, get help, share resources, and learn from others. There is no better time to take advantage of virtual networking, so log on today and start connecting. — Amanda Richter, RRT, RRT-ACCS, RPFT, FACHE, FAARC
- Participate in the webcast program: One of the most exciting advantages/benefits of AARC membership to boost your career is the variety of webcast programs offered to members. These webcast programs address many different topics, disease entities, breakthroughs in treatment, and career advancing tips. The 60-minute programs allow you hear top experts in their field without ever leaving your home. Besides excellent presentations, there is an opportunity to ask questions of the experts and speakers. Also, webcast topics are archived for you to listen to at a later date. You can connect with the webcast through your PC or mobile device and earn CRCE credits with each live webcast. Participants receive 1 CRCE for each presentation in which the participant stays connected for a minimum of the first 40 minutes of the live webcast. At the end of the webcast, participants provide their name, AARC number, and login name used to access the webcast, plus an evaluation of the presentation. Credits are posted within two weeks. This is an incredible way to stay current and interact with experts and your colleagues across the nation on a regular basis. Check it out! — Gregg Marshall, PhD, RRT, RPSGT, RST
- Attend the AARC Congress and/or Summer Forum: Attending the AARC Congress and Summer Forum have boosted my career in a number of ways. The first year I attended, 2012, I began building a network of colleagues that continue to support me to this day. After the first year I was encouraged to be more involved. In 2013 I had the opportunity to present my first Open Forum By then I started to get to know more people in key positions, which helped me to get on the speaker circuit. I started having coffee with Doug Laher and Tom Malinowski at every event. They have mentored me and supported me as I made progress. Through Congress I met Natalie Napolitano, who introduced me to Margie Pierce, the director of my current department. Because of these connections I was able to move my family across the country and start a new chapter in my career. I am now more involved than ever, serving as Membership Committee Chair, doing research, and continuing to speak at AARC and state events throughout the year. — Karsten Roberts, MSRC, RRT, RRT-ACCS, RRT-NPS
- Join a Specialty Section: Specialty Section communities on AARConnect can enhance your career with the opportunity to network, communicate, collaborate, ask questions, and learn from peers. Benefits of joining a Specialty Section include access to newsletters that provide up-to-date research, the latest news, pertinent information, and more. Section members can advance the profession by using resource directories and web page content, and the availability of guest lectures provide continued knowledge and lifelong learning in specialty areas. —Cheryl Skinner, MSRC, RRT, CPFT
- Volunteer to serve on a committee: Serving on AARC committees allows you to develop skills that you may not have the opportunity to develop at your job. You have the chance to select committees and activities that you want to dedicate your time to, allowing you to develop new skills and utilize other talents you have. For example, by joining the Membership Committee, you have the opportunity to help create and communicate the value of AARC membership. If you would like to go into a leadership position, communication is critical. Serving on committees also helps you to build your professional network. Committee members that you serve with may become future references for you. Networking is valuable no matter what career path you may take. Always make sure to highlight the committees you serve on your resume or CV. — Jennifer Anderson, EdD, RRT, RRT-NPS