CHAPTER 381a*

RESPIRATORY CARE PRACTITIONERS

*See Sec. 19a-88b re renewal of certain professional and occupational licenses, certificates, permits or registrations which become void while the holder is on active duty in the armed forces of the United States.

Table of Contents

Sec. 20-162n. Definitions.

Sec. 20-162o. Application. Qualifications. Fees. Regulations.

Sec. 20-162p. Disciplinary action. Grounds.

Sec. 20-162q. License required. Use of title. Exempt activities.

Sec. 20-162r. Continuing education. Definitions. Minimum requirements. Records. Exemptions. Waivers and extensions. Reinstatement of void licenses.

Secs. 20-162s to 20-162z. Reserved


Sec. 20-162n. Definitions. As used in subsection (c) of section 19a-14 and sections 20-162n to 20-162q, inclusive:

(a) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Public Health;

(b) “Respiratory care” means health care under the direction of a physician licensed pursuant to chapter 370 and in accordance with written protocols developed by said physician, employed in the therapy, management, rehabilitation, diagnostic evaluation and care of patients with deficiencies and abnormalities that affect the cardiopulmonary system and associated aspects of other system functions and that includes the following: (1) The therapeutic and diagnostic use of medical gases, administering apparatus, humidification and aerosols, administration of drugs and medications to the cardiorespiratory systems, ventilatory assistance and ventilatory control, postural drainage, chest physiotherapy and breathing exercises, respiratory rehabilitation, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and maintenance of natural airways as well as the insertion and maintenance of artificial airways, (2) the specific testing techniques employed in respiratory therapy to assist in diagnosis, monitoring, treatment and research, including the measurement of ventilatory volumes, pressures and flows, specimen collection of blood and other materials, pulmonary function testing and hemodynamic and other related physiological monitoring of cardiopulmonary systems, (3) performance of a purified protein derivative test to identify exposure to tuberculosis, and (4) patient education in self-care procedures as part of the ongoing program of respiratory care of such patient. The practice of respiratory therapy is not limited to the hospital setting;

(c) “Respiratory care practitioner” means a person who is licensed to practice respiratory care in this state pursuant to section 20-162o and who may transcribe and implement written and verbal orders for respiratory care issued by a physician licensed pursuant to chapter 370, or a physician assistant licensed pursuant to chapter 370 or an advanced practice registered nurse licensed pursuant to chapter 378 who is functioning within the person’s respective scope of practice.

(P.A. 86-376, S. 1; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 94-210, S. 4; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 99-102, S. 29; P.A. 05-8, S. 1.)

History: P.A. 93-381 replaced commissioner of health services with commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 94-210 redefined “respiratory care”, incorporating former definition of “respiratory care practice” within new definition and including new Subdiv. (3) regarding patient care in self-care procedures and redefined “respiratory care practitioner”, adding reference to orders issued by physicians, osteopaths, physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses and substituting reference to licensure for reference to certification; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 99-102 amended Subsecs. (b) and (c) by deleting obsolete references to osteopathic physicians licensed pursuant to chapter 371 and making technical changes; P.A. 05-8 amended Subsec. (b) to redefine “respiratory care” to include the performance of purified protein derivative tests and make technical changes.

Sec. 20-162o. Application. Qualifications. Fees. Regulations. (a) Each person seeking licensure as a respiratory care practitioner shall make application on forms prescribed by the commissioner, pay an application fee of one hundred ninety dollars and present to the commissioner satisfactory evidence that (1) he has successfully completed an educational program for respiratory therapists or respiratory therapy technicians which, at the time of his completion, was accredited by the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation, or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, in cooperation with the Joint Review Committee for Respiratory Therapy Education, or was recognized by the Joint Review Committee for Respiratory Therapy Education, (2) he has passed the entry level or advanced practitioner respiratory care examination administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc., and (3) he is currently credentialed by the National Board for Respiratory Care as a certified respiratory therapy technician or registered respiratory therapist.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the department may issue a license as a respiratory care practitioner to a person who (1) was credentialed by the National Board for Respiratory Care as a certified respiratory therapy technician not later than June 30, 1978, or as a registered respiratory therapist not later than June 30, 1971, and (2) meets the requirements of subdivisions (2) and (3) of subsection (a) of this section. Each person seeking licensure pursuant to this subsection shall make application on forms prescribed by the commissioner, pay an application fee of one hundred ninety dollars and present to the commissioner satisfactory evidence of his credentialing by said board.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the department may issue a license as a respiratory care practitioner to a person who (1) has been registered as a respiratory therapist by the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists, (2) has passed the clinical simulation examination of the National Board for Respiratory Care, and (3) is currently credentialed by said board as a registered respiratory therapist. Each person seeking licensure pursuant to this subsection shall make application on forms prescribed by the commissioner, pay an application fee of one hundred ninety dollars and present to the commissioner satisfactory evidence of his credentialing by said society and said board.

(d) The department may, upon receipt of an application for respiratory care licensure, accompanied by the licensure application fee of one hundred ninety dollars, issue a temporary permit to a person who has completed an educational program in respiratory care which satisfies the requirements of subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of this section. Such temporary permit shall authorize the permittee to practice as a respiratory care practitioner under the supervision of a person licensed pursuant to this section. Such practice shall be limited to those settings where the licensed supervisor is physically present on the premises and is immediately available to render assistance and supervision as needed, to the permittee. Such temporary permit shall be valid from the date of issuance of same until the date of issuance of the results of the first examination administered pursuant to subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of this section, following the permittee’s completion of said educational program in respiratory care. Such permit shall remain valid for each person who passes said examination until the permittee receives their license from the department. Such permit shall become void and shall not be reissued in the event that the permittee fails to pass said examination. No permit shall be issued to any person who has previously failed said examination or who is the subject of an unresolved complaint or pending professional disciplinary action. Violation of the restrictions on practice set forth in this section may constitute a basis for denial of licensure as a respiratory care practitioner.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, from July 1, 1995, until July 1, 1996, a person seeking licensure pursuant to this section may present to the department satisfactory evidence that he has, from July 1, 1980, until July 1, 1995, practiced as a respiratory care practitioner for at least ten years and has been determined eligible by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. to sit for the examination required pursuant to subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of this section, provided any license issued pursuant to this subsection shall become void on October 1, 1997, unless the person has, on or before that date, presented to the department satisfactory evidence that he has met the requirements of subdivisions (2) and (3) of subsection (a) of this section.

(f) Licenses shall be renewed annually in accordance with the provisions of section 19a-88. The fee for renewal shall be one hundred dollars.

(g) No license shall be issued under this section to any applicant against whom professional disciplinary action is pending or who is the subject of an unresolved complaint in this or any other state or territory.

(h) The commissioner may adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 to administer provisions of sections 20-162n to 20-162q, inclusive.

(P.A. 86-376, S. 2; P.A. 89-251, S. 94, 203; P.A. 94-210, S. 5; P.A. 95-271, S. 30, 40; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1, S. 20, 121; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 209.)

History: P.A. 89-251 deleted former Subsec. (c) re commissioner’s establishment of fee for certificate and corresponding reference to such fee in Subsec. (a), relettering Subsec. (d) accordingly and imposed fee of $83; P.A. 94-210 amended Subsec. (a) to change certification to licensure, to increase the application fee from $83 to $150 and to add new Subdiv. (1), (2) and (3) requirements, amended Subsec. (b) to delete certificate provisions and add time limits for certificate holders to become licensed, inserted new Subsecs. (c) to (f), inclusive, re licensure for those registered in Canada, re temporary license, re annual renewal and re disciplinary action, respectively, relettering former Subsec. (c) as (g); P.A. 95-271 inserted new Subsec. (e) re eligibility based on prior practice and relettered the former Subsecs. accordingly; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1 made a technical change in Subsec. (d), effective June 24, 1998; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 increased fees from $150 to $190 in Subsecs. (a) to (d) and from $50 to $100 in Subsec. (f).

Sec. 20-162p. Disciplinary action. Grounds. The commissioner may take any action set forth in section 19a-17 if the license holder fails to conform to the accepted standards of the respiratory care profession, including, but not limited to, the following: Conviction of a felony, fraud or deceit in the practice of respiratory care; illegal conduct; negligent, incompetent or wrongful conduct in professional activities; emotional disorder or mental illness; physical illness, including, but not limited to, deterioration through the aging process; abuse or excessive use of drugs, including alcohol, narcotics or chemicals; wilful falsification of entries in any hospital, patient or other record pertaining to respiratory care; misrepresentation or concealment of a material fact in the obtaining or reinstatement of a respiratory care practitioner license; failure to comply with the continuing education requirements set forth in section 20-162r; or violation of any provisions of sections 20-162n to 20-162q, inclusive, or any regulation adopted pursuant to said section 20-162o. The Commissioner of Public Health may order a license holder to submit to a reasonable physical or mental examination if his physical or mental capacity to practice safely is the subject of an investigation. Said commissioner may petition the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford to enforce such order or any action taken pursuant to section 19a-17. Notice of any contemplated action under said section, of the cause therefor and the date of hearing thereon shall be given and an opportunity for hearing afforded as provided in regulations adopted by the commissioner.

(P.A. 86-376, S. 3; P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 94-210, S. 6; P.A. 95-220, S. 4–6; 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 06-195, S. 11.)

History: P.A. 88-230 replaced “judicial district of Hartford-New Britain” with “judicial district of Hartford”, effective September 1, 1991; P.A. 90-98 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1991, to September 1, 1993; P.A. 93-142 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1993, to September 1, 1996, effective June 14, 1993; P.A. 93-381 replaced commissioner of health services with commissioner of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 94-210 changed certificate to license and added as grounds for disciplinary action illegal conduct and misrepresentation or concealment of material fact in obtaining reinstatement; P.A. 95-220 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1996, to September 1, 1998, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 06-195 added as ground for disciplinary action failure to comply with continuing education requirements specified in Sec. 20-162r.

Sec. 20-162q. License required. Use of title. Exempt activities. (a) No person shall engage in the practice of respiratory care, as defined in section 20-162n, unless he is licensed under section 20-162o.

(b) No person, unless licensed under section 20-162o, shall (1) use the title “respiratory care practitioner” authorized in sections 20-162n to 20-162q, inclusive, or any initials associated with such title, or (2) advertise services under the description of a “respiratory care practitioner”, as defined in section 20-162n.

(c) Nothing in sections 20-162n to 20-162p, inclusive, or this section shall be construed to require licensure as a respiratory care practitioner for the performance of the following: (1) Private care in a home environment by a family member or a live-in companion, provided said person does not hold himself out as a respiratory care practitioner or as being able to practice respiratory care and does not receive compensation for such care and is acting pursuant to the instructions of a respiratory care practitioner licensed pursuant to section 20-162o; (2) pulmonary function testing services performed by a person who is credentialed on or before October 1, 1997, by the National Board for Respiratory Care as a certified pulmonary function technologist or a registered pulmonary function technologist; (3) respiratory care services performed in the course of the interstate transport of a patient by any person legally authorized to perform such services outside of this state, provided such services may not be rendered for more than two calendar days in any calendar year; (4) emergency cardiopulmonary resuscitation provided to a person who requires such emergency measures; (5) services performed by a person enrolled in an educational program satisfying the requirements of subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 20-162o, provided such services are a required component of such person’s course of study in such program and are rendered under the direct and immediate supervision of a respiratory care practitioner licensed pursuant to said section 20-162o, and provided such person is designated by a title which clearly indicates his status as a student; (6) services performed by a person licensed in this state and functioning within the scope of such license; or (7) services performed in a youth camp, provided the person performing such respiratory care services is licensed as a respiratory care practitioner in another state whose requirements for licensure are equivalent to or greater than those required in this state and such services are provided for a period not to exceed two weeks in any calendar year.

(P.A. 86-376, S. 4; P.A. 94-210, S. 7; P.A. 95-271, S. 31, 40.)

History: P.A. 94-210 inserted new Subsec. (a) to prohibit practice without a license, relettered Subsec. (a) as Subsec. (b) and made technical changes, relettered Subsec. (b) as Subsec. (c) and added provisions re not limiting the practices of other practitioners; P.A. 95-271 amended Subsec. (c)(2) to require credentials on or before October 1, 1997, rather than “currently” and added Subsec. (c)(7) re youth camps.

Sec. 20-162r. Continuing education. Definitions. Minimum requirements. Records. Exemptions. Waivers and extensions. Reinstatement of void licenses. (a) As used in this section:

(1) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Public Health;

(2) “Contact hour” means a minimum of fifty minutes of continuing education activity;

(3) “Department” means the Department of Public Health;

(4) “Licensee” means any person who receives a license from the department pursuant to this chapter; and

(5) “Registration period” means the one-year period for which a license renewed in accordance with section 19a-88 is current and valid.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in this section, for registration periods beginning on and after October 1, 2007, a licensee applying for license renewal shall earn a minimum of six hours of continuing education within the preceding registration period. Such continuing education shall (1) be directly related to respiratory therapy; and (2) reflect the professional needs of the licensee in order to meet the health care needs of the public. Qualifying continuing education activities include, but are not limited to, courses, including on-line courses, offered or approved by the American Association for Respiratory Care, regionally accredited institutions of higher education, or a state or local health department.

(c) Each licensee applying for license renewal pursuant to section 19a-88 shall sign a statement attesting that he or she has maintained credentialing as a respiratory therapist, issued by the National Board for Respiratory Care, or has satisfied the continuing education requirements of subsection (b) of this section on a form prescribed by the department. Each licensee shall retain credentialing records, or records of attendance or certificates of completion that demonstrate compliance with the continuing education requirements of said subsection (b) for a minimum of five years following the year in which the licensee was recredentialed or in which the continuing education activities were completed and shall submit such records to the department for inspection not later than forty-five days after a request by the department for such records.

(d) A licensee applying for the first time for license renewal pursuant to section 19a-88 is exempt from the continuing education requirements of this section.

(e) In individual cases involving medical disability or illness, the commissioner may, in the commissioner’s discretion, grant a waiver of the continuing education requirements or an extension of time within which to fulfill the continuing education requirements of this section to any licensee, provided the licensee submits to the department an application for waiver or extension of time on a form prescribed by the department, along with a certification by a licensed physician of the disability or illness and such other documentation as may be required by the commissioner. The commissioner may grant a waiver or extension for a period not to exceed one registration period, except that the commissioner may grant additional waivers or extensions if the medical disability or illness upon which a waiver or extension is granted continues beyond the period of the waiver or extension and the licensee applies for an additional waiver or extension.

(f) Any licensee whose license has become void pursuant to section 19a-88 and who applies to the department for reinstatement of such license pursuant to section 19a-14 shall submit evidence documenting successful completion of six contact hours of qualifying continuing education within the one-year period immediately preceding application for reinstatement.

(P.A. 06-195, S. 12; P.A. 07-252, S. 31.)

History: (Revisor’s note: In 2007 the word “and” following the words “section 19a-88” in Subsec. (a)(5) was deleted editorially by the Revisors); P.A. 07-252 amended Subsec. (b) to delete provision re maintaining credentialing as respiratory therapist, issued by National Board for Respiratory Care, or its successor organization, effective July 1, 2007.

Secs. 20-162s to 20-162z. Reserved for future use.