32-3501. Definitions

In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. "Board" means the board of respiratory care examiners.

2. "Diagnostic testing" includes obtaining physiologic samples and determining acid-base status and blood gas values from blood samples and pulmonary function measurements.

3. "Licensed respiratory care practitioner" means a respiratory therapist who is licensed pursuant to this chapter.

4. "Medical direction" means direction by a physician who is licensed pursuant to chapter 13 or 17 of this title.

5. "Practice of respiratory care" means direct and indirect respiratory care services that are performed in a clinic, hospital, skilled nursing facility or private dwelling or other place deemed appropriate or necessary by the board in accordance with the prescription or verbal order of a physician and performed under qualified medical direction. These services include:

(a) Administering pharmacological, diagnostic and therapeutic agents that are related to respiratory care procedures and necessary to implement a treatment, disease prevention, pulmonary rehabilitative or diagnostic regimen prescribed by a physician.

(b) Transcribing and implementing the written or verbal orders of a physician pertaining to the practice of respiratory care and observing and monitoring signs and symptoms, general behavior, general physical responses to respiratory care treatment and diagnostic testing, including a determination of whether these signs, symptoms, reactions, behavior or general responses exhibit abnormal characteristics.

(c) Implementing appropriate reporting, referral, respiratory care protocols or changes in treatment based on observed abnormalities and pursuant to a prescription by a physician who is licensed pursuant to chapter 13 or 17 of this title.

(d) Initiating emergency procedures pursuant to board rules or as otherwise permitted in this chapter.

(e) Respiratory therapy.

(f) Inhalation therapy.

(g) Therapeutics.

6. "Respiratory therapist" means a person who successfully completes a respiratory therapy training program approved by the board.

7. "Respiratory therapy training program" means a program that is accredited by the commission on accreditation for respiratory care or its successor agency and that is adopted by the board.

8. "Therapeutics" includes the following:

(a) Applying and monitoring oxygen therapy.

(b) Administering pharmacological agents to the cardiopulmonary systems.

(c) Ventilation therapy.

(d) Artificial airway care.

(e) Bronchial hygiene therapy.

(f) Cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

(g) Respiratory rehabilitation therapy.

(h) Barometric therapy.

(i) Assisting physicians licensed pursuant to chapter 13 or 17 of this title with hemodynamic monitoring.

9. "Unprofessional conduct" includes the following:

(a) Committing a felony, whether or not involving moral turpitude, or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.

(b) Habitual intemperance in the use of alcohol.

(c) Illegal use of narcotic or hypnotic drugs or substances.

(d) Gross incompetence, repeated incompetence or incompetence resulting in injury to a patient.

(e) Having professional connection with or lending the name of the licensee to an illegal practitioner of respiratory therapy or any of the other healing arts.

(f) Failing to refer a patient whose condition is beyond the training or ability of the respiratory therapist to another professional qualified to provide such service.

(g) Immorality or misconduct that tends to discredit the respiratory therapy profession.

(h) Having a license refused, revoked or suspended by any other state, territory, district or country, unless it can be shown that this was not caused by reasons that relate to the person's ability to safely and skillfully practice respiratory therapy or to an act of unprofessional conduct prescribed in this paragraph.

(i) Any conduct or practice that is contrary to recognized standards of ethics of the respiratory therapy profession or any conduct or practice that does or might constitute a danger to the health, welfare or safety of the patient or the public.

(j) Any conduct, practice or condition that does or might impair the person's ability to safely and skillfully practice respiratory therapy.

(k) Violating or attempting to violate, directly or indirectly, or assisting in or abetting the violation of or conspiring to violate a provision of this chapter.

(l) Failing to report to the board within ten calendar days an incident or incidents that appear to show the existence of a cause for disciplinary action or that a licensed respiratory care practitioner is or may be professionally incompetent or is or may be mentally or physically unable to engage safely in the practice of respiratory care.