Respiratory Therapy Programs in Illinois - IL
Illinois is one of the 48 states in the United States that requires respiratory therapists and respiratory therapy technicians to be licensed by the state. The minimum requirement to apply for licensing is an associate’s degree from an entity accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
Nationwide, the need for respiratory care professionals is on the rise. One reason is the large number of baby boomers that are entering a phase of life that has an increased need for health care. Even though that generation has a higher population of need, respiratory therapists and technicians may work with any age group.
Typically, respiratory therapists and technicians work in hospitals or home health. However, there is about 20% of respiratory care professionals who work in environments outside of the hospital, including physicians’ offices, sleep centers, and medical supply facilities.
Respiratory therapists will have greater autonomy on the job than technicians. Respiratory therapy technicians report to respiratory therapists and are assigned very specific duties and procedures. Both practitioners are supervised under the overall direction of a physician. In Illinois, there are campus based and online programs offered through respiratory therapist schools that are able to facilitate training for all professional levels.
Continuing Education/Licensure Renewal
Licenses expire every two years on October 31 of those years ending in an odd number. The continuing education requirement for renewal is 24 hours every two years.
The NBRC offers applicants the ability get voluntarily recredentialed. The recredentialing process does count towards continuing education requirements.
Illinois Respiratory Therapy Associations
Within Illinois there is one major association for professional development for respiratory care professionals. Nationally, the American Association for Respiratory Care is the leading professional organization.
Respiratory care professionals specializing in sleep disorders may also choose to become a member of associations geared towards sleep professionals. These organizations have members that hold other occupations than respiratory therapy.
Illinois Society for Respiratory Care – The Illinois Society for Respiratory Care (ISRC) is a subsidiary of the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC). Anyone that is a member of the AARC AND resides in Illinois is automatically a member of the ISRC. The goal of the organization is to help professionals within Illinois network with each other, gain access to education, and to promote advocacy. The ISRC is broken down geographically into 7 chapters in Illinois.