Respiratory Therapy Schools in Pennsylvania - PA
By an allied health world contributing writer
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The Pennsylvania Department of State governs the licensing of a variety of professions, including massage therapists, dentists, social workers, veterinarians, pharmacists, podiatrists and all medical personnel, including Respiration Therapists. A 2008 law changed the credentialing of RTs in Pennsylvania from certificate to license. While a certificate and a license may seem the same, before licensing became standard, there was no dedicated licensing board, and the cost to practitioners was the lowest in the nation, according to the Pennsylvania Society for Respiratory Care (PSRC). There was a struggle between RTs, who sought to become licensed rather than certified, and the state legislature, which felt enough licenses had been granted. Pennsylvania respiratory therapy schools design their programs around providing an education that meets all state licensure requirements as well as national certification requirements.
The “Prescription for Pennsylvania” program of Governor Rendell also increases the required Continuing Education hours to 30 every two years, which includes an hour of medical ethics and an hour of patient safety. This law will take effect in 2011.
Continuing Educational Requirements for Respiratory Therapists in Pennsylvania
Education never ends. For people working in healthcare, this is especially true, as our understanding of disease and biology advances along with pharmaceutical and medical technology. After obtaining your license to practice Respiratory Therapy in Pennsylvania, you must take at least 20 hours of Continuing Education coursework every two years. All of this will be documented when you reapply for your license every other year. A law passed in 2008 will increase the number of hours to 30, starting in 2011. This increase affects all licensed professionals in Pennsylvania, including nurses and physicians, midwives and athletic trainers.
At least 10 of the CE hours must be in seminars, live webcasts, or non-individual activities. The remaining half can be earned through CD-ROM courses, journals or a course taken on the Internet. Until the new law takes effect in 2011, one hour of the total CE coursework must be related to ethics and patient safety. This number will double in 2011.
The Board of Medicine and the Osteopathic Board of Medicine have authority over determining the fine-print requirements of the law, and may continue to make changes to it in 2010. So it is important to keep abreast of changes to ensure you are able to maintain your licensure.
If you only just earned your license to practice RT in Pennsylvania, the CE credits are not required. They only apply once the license reaches its expiration.