Illinois Society For Respiratory Care
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 PRESIDENTS CORNER with Brian Lawlor  Send your comments and questions -

Table of Contents

  1. Welcome Readers
  2. Licensure and 5 Year Plan
  3. Written Orders
  4. Membership Vouchers
  5. Cpap/Bilevels
  6. Apply for RCP License in Illinos
  7. Benchmarking
  8. Pulmonary Function Testing
  9. CE credits

Welcome Readers

Hello. As your new President, I wanted to introduce myself to you, in case our paths have not crossed before. My path to becoming a Respiratory Therapist is an interesting one. I interviewed a physician, a critical care unit nurse, a radiology technician and a respiratory therapist (called an inhalation therapist at the time). I asked each of them the same questions: describe for me a typical day at work; tell me what education is required to do what you do; howhappy are you with the career decision that you made; and what do you see yourself doing in 5 years. What I heard from the Respiratory Therapist sold me. I would get to work with equipment and make a difference in people’s lives by helping them with their breathing issues. I would even get the opportunity to save someone’s life and have a new experience every day. It only took two years of education and you will make a decent living. I did what I needed to do and got myself enrolled in the RRT program at Triton College in River Grove, IL. 

I came into the field in 1974 and started working in the Inhalation Therapy Department at Mac Neal Memorial Hospital in Berwyn, IL as an OJT one month after starting my formal education. The first duty of Inhalation Therapists was hauling around oxygen cylinders and applying oxygen devices. I was referred to as “oxygen lady” by more than one of my patients. Job and educational program ads ranged from Respiratory Therapy Aid to Registered Respiratory Therapist. One of the Profession’s most outstanding and dedicated leaders was just elected as the 22nd President of the AART, Registry #263, Jimmy Albert Young, MS, RRT. The term “respiratory therapist” became standardized. Portable liquid oxygen systems and oxygen concentrators were introduced and aerosol therapy began. We were still hauling around Bird Mark 7 and PRII machines to perform IPPB treatments. I can still recall leaving the department with three machines and starting one treatment, moving along starting the next treatment, going back to check on the first patient then starting the third patient and so on. 

I have worked in Acute Care, Home Care, and Long Term Care Facilities. I have participated in research related to two products used in Respiratory Care – InspirEase (one of the first spacers) and RespiTrace Bands (used in Sleep Labs), received a literary award for a published article in the AARC Times, and have been a clinical instructor for several education programs. I have had, and continue to have, the good fortune of having great mentors through my career.

Fast forward to today:
I currently work at Rush University Medical Center as the Manager of the Adult Care Section. Since we are an Academic Medical Center we provide clinical rotations for Associate, Bachelor and Master Degree students. Their energy, enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge are exciting. I am looking forward to the prospects and role changes for Respiratory Therapists in the future, i.e. Bachelor’s Degree as entry level, disease manager for Asthma and COPD, and much, much more. Here is where I bounce the ball back into your court. 

Taking a cue from one of my mentors, I would like to extend an invitation to you to become more visible to your peers and in your Society. I am including the current Strategic Plan, (see page 2) so you know where your local professional organization is going and what challenges we face. Participation in an ISRC committee does not require more than some of your time and a desire to make a difference. A step that any professional can do, regardless of your degree, is to become an AARC member. I will be establishing a President’s Corner on the ISRC web-site titled ‘On My Mind’ where anyone can ask a question or raise an issue and get a reply from me. I would also like to establish a column in this newsletter titled ‘On a personal note’ and invite you to submit your own personal story. 
I am proud to say I am a Respiratory Therapist and am honored to serve as the President of your Society.

Valerie M. Klans, BS, RRT, RCP

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Licensure and 5 year strategic plan

Hi Valerie, I was just reading the ISRC newsletter on line and have a question about the 5yr strategic plan. 
Objective #2 states;
2. Prepare and submit verbiage changes regarding restructuring RCP Licensure requirements and submit by September, 2013, i.e. including RRT required for licensure, CRCE requirements, etc. what does this mean for our very skilled and valuable CRT's?

Thanks, NM

Nancy L Miller RRT

Existing licensees are unaffected. It will only apply to applicants seeking licensure after a certain, specific date. When any changes take effect those specifics should be part of the discussion/recommendation of the ISRC Licensure Committee.

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Written Orders

Hello Valerie, At Little Company of Mary Hospital we report to CNO, she is asking where it is written that RCP's can write phone orders. I'm searching the RCP Practice Act and cannot easily locate this information. Please let me know where this information is in the Practice Act as soon as possible. thank you, Mary Silder BA RRT Manager

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Membership Vouchers

Is the ISRC still offering vouchers for AARC membership? Where can they be found?

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I would like to know if there is any documentation, anywhere, that states that a CPAP/BiPAP device has to be set up by a licensed respiratory therapist in the state of Il. Thank you.

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Apply for Illinois RCP License

Hello! I am a RRT, and RCP licensed respiratory therapist in the state of California and looking into relocating to Illinois.. how do I go about applying for a RCP license for the state of Illinois.. thanks!

Information on the State of Illinois Respiratory License and applications can be found at

Hello I am currently pursuing opportunities in the Chicago area, and a question about licensure. I just wanted to be sure I am filling our the correct form. I graduated from an accredited school and now registered through the NBRC. I would fill out the RESPIRATORY CARE PRACTITIONER: ACCEPTANCE OF EXAMINATION correct?

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HI, am looking for benchmarks in respiratory care pertaining to missed therapies. I have one from UHC hospitals 2009 open forum but am interested in more information. What kind of numbers % do we see in other institutions? Thanks!
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Pulmonary Function Testing

Hi, I have a question regarding the Illinois Respiratory Care Act. Is there anything that prohibits a hospital or doctor's office from allowing a non-licensed person to perform complete pulmonary function tests including DLco and administrations of a bronchodilator? Thanks.
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CE Credit

Are ACLS credits acceptable CEUs when renewing RCP license for the state of IL?

AARC questions on CRCE courses can be found here

Illinois Rules for continuing education can be found here

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