SCSRC Respiratory Care Summit 2022

What a Great Day to be an RT!

The SCSRC hosted a Respiratory Care Summit on August 12 at Newberry College to bring together clinical and industry leaders, educators, and other stakeholders to assess the state of the Respiratory Care profession in South Carolina. While the day was filled with responses from an engaged audience, we did not have the time we needed to discuss everything that was on our original agenda. However, several critical connections and valuable suggestions were made at the summit. During this meeting we discussed:

  • A large majority of the attendees shared staffing concerns within the industry and what their facilities are doing to recruit and retain Respiratory Therapists.
  • A representative from MUSC shared several creative tactics they are using to retain and recruit new staff members and assist with recruiting new RC students for the Trident Technical College’s Respiratory Care Program.
  • SCSRC delegates and representatives from the AARC shared that everyone needs to encourage staff to pursue higher education.
  • There is a great need to recruit more students into the profession
    • A group from the SCSRC is meeting with the SC Hospital Association and the SC Department of Commerce on August 23, 2022 to discuss a potential partnership to create a campaign to recruit students into the Respiratory Care programs in the state. Amanda Clark, owner of Carolina Diagnostics provided some valuable leads on potential contacts which resulted in the start of valuable conversations and this first meeting.
    • Wayne Barfield, SCSRC Delegate shared some statistics from the CoARC website relating to our 7 associate degree Respiratory Care programs in this state. In total, the maximum number of students that all 7 programs are allowed to enroll are 161 students each year. Looking at 2018-2020, the 7 programs together could have accepted 483 students. In 2018-2020 the total number of students enrolled in these 7 respiratory care programs were only 338. Only 246 of those 338 students graduated from a respiratory care program. So the 7-respiratory care programs only graduated about 50% of their maximum.
  • How the SCSRC can better serve the state:
    • Assist with recruitment of future respiratory therapists through collaboration with educational programs in this state. Ask retirees to assist with visiting high schools and hospital career fairs to recruit.
    • Timely follow-up and response to offers for assistance and requests to volunteer on committees that are written on annual conference evaluation sheets
    • Increase educational and networking events and opportunities ALL OVER THE STATE.
    • Get the RT Navigators, Educators, Asthma Educators, and Telemedicine Providers involved in SCSRC Committees and target educational and networking events for this population
    • Visit RT departments to promote SCSRC and AARC membership and events
    • Pursue non-traditional ways to recruit members, students, and SCRSC leadership
      Support RRT as entry-level for licensure or employment
    • Share success stories about Respiratory Therapists in our state and share all the many things our license allows us to provide
    • Share positive outcomes when RTs are doing advance practice procedures in the state – (i.e. intubations, placing arterial lines and central lines, performing bronchs, working on ECMO teams, etc..)
    • More in-person communication and meetings
    • More communication defining SCSRC, who we are, what we do, and how others can get involved
    • Educate and discuss with industry leaders on what RT departments are reimbursed for versus what we really do
    • More virtual CEU opportunities
  • How can industry leaders and Respiratory Care Practitioners support the SCSRC/AARC:
    • Advocate for the SCSRC
    • Help with lobbying events
    • Encourage staff and students to get involved in SCSRC
    • Use personal social media to help recruit students in RC programs
    • Encourage staff to pursue BSRT
    • Help with supporting funding and ordering a state car license tag for Respiratory Therapists only
    • Volunteer to host SCSRC BOD meetings and provide a meeting venue so we will be able to hold the meetings in different areas of the state
    • Take the time to explore the different committees and needs of the SCSRC to give of time and talents
    • Develop a mentorship program
    • Collaborate with educators, LLR, SCSRC, and other managers to discuss what skills and therapies student employees can/should be performing to set a state standard. Share the process of employing students.
    • Require AARC membership
    • Support private insurance for LTAC’s
  • LLR:
    • There is a large influx of applications for state licenses from contractors and therapists relocating to South Carolina
    • There is a need for a timely turn-around for licenses
    • Is our current structure working?
    • What do we need to do to push the APRT forward in this state?
    • RRT as entry-level for licensure or employment
  • CMS
    • How can we increase of scope billable services?
    • How can we increase reimbursements from CMS for Respiratory Therapists providing services and therapies?
    • How can we change the opinion or image of Respiratory Therapists in the eyes of CMS and governmental officials?
  • One topic we were not able to give appropriate attention and discuss: RC scope and practice expansion

Downloadable version of this article: SCSRC Respiratory Care Summit 2022 (PDF)

Respiratory Care Summit Photos