Statement on Respiratory Care Practitioner Credentialing
Developed By: Committee on Respiratory Care
Reaffirmed: October 18, 2023 (original approval: October 15, 2003)
While respiratory care practitioners should provide respiratory care only under the medical direction of an anesthesiologist or other qualified physician, the American Society of Anesthesiologists also believes that all personnel providing respiratory care directly to patients must demonstrate the competencies necessary to provide safe and effective care to patients and possess qualifications appropriate to their level of training. For this reason, the Society enthusiastically supports the efforts of the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) to provide outcomes-based accreditation of educational programs in respiratory care, and the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) to provide a national credentialing system for respiratory care practitioners.
All U.S. states except Alaska have enacted legislation which credential respiratory care practitioners by establishing state licensing systems. Any legislation relating to the credentialing of respiratory care practitioners should be consistent with the following principles:
- The scope of practice is defined.
- Practice should be permitted only under the medical direction of an anesthesiologist or other qualified physician.
- The minimum standards for education, training, and competency required by the various states should be consistent and compatible with existing national (nongovernmental) standards for credentialing of these practitioners.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists supports state credentialing systems based upon these principles. When called upon to assist with proposed legislation involving the credentialing of respiratory care practitioners, component societies of ASA are urged to support through testimony and legislative advocacy any proposed credentialing statute that is consistent with the principles above.