AARC Election 2024 — Jennifer Watts

Transport Chair

Jennifer Watts

Respiratory Clinical Education Specialist – Neonatal-Pediatric Transport
Advocate Children’s Hospital
Member Since: 1996

AARC Activities:

  • Neo-Peds section member (2003 to present)
  • Transport section member (2006 to present)
  • Leadership & Management section member (2014 to present)

Affiliate Activities:

  • Illinois Society of Respiratory Care’s (ISRC) Vice-President from 2016-2017
  • ISRC education committee co-chair for that year 2016-2017

Related Organizations:

  • American Heart Association – certified instructor for basic life support, pediatric advanced life support and adult advanced life support (2007-present).
  • I am also part of the training center faculty for all three certifications (2018-present).


  • CRT, Waubonsee Community College, Sugar Grove, 1996.
  • RRT, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, 2000.
  • C-NPT (Certified Neonatal Pediatric Transport), Chicago, 2015.

Elections Committee Questions:

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the profession of respiratory care, and what do you recommend the ARC do to address it?

Visibility. I believe that even though during the pandemic the public became better acquainted with who a respiratory therapist is and what we do, people still are unaware of the impact we have on the overall patient plan of care. We need to promote ourselves early on when young people are starting to consider options for their careers. I think the AARC has an opportunity to connect to young folks as they navigate college admissions for the health sciences.

Healthcare is changing more rapidly than ever. What ideas do you have to help today’s respiratory therapist meet these changes?

As a clinical educator, I work to remain abreast of learning opportunities from the industry – both within and outside of my company. I strive to share these with my team and other respiratory therapists with which I have contact. When considering the overall profession outside of my immediate vicinity, communication to local respiratory departments, societies, even college programs of the most recent updates to therapeutic modalities, medications, etc. would be a great start. Encouraging RTs to utilize their state and national societies as sources of information. Personally, I offer to be a resource to anyone who may have questions, but I am only one person. I would like to think I encourage others to have questioning minds and to search for the best practices or the best resource to guide them.

Role-Specific Questions:

If given the opportunity to represent your section, what would you do to increase section membership and promote engagement?

I would collaborate with other sections such as adult critical care and neonatal pediatrics. Between these two sections, RTs may be performing transports as a team member that is not part of a dedicated transport team. While we as a transport section may have some best practices established, the viewpoint from a different perspective allows for additional learning. I think this niche of RT may think they are not truly transport RTs when in essence, they are. My belief is that we all have our areas of expertise and crossing into other sections and tapping in this allows for broadening our owm knowledge base.

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