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AARC is Your Best Professional Resource to Achieve Your Respiratory Career Goals

Respiratory care is a diverse field with boundless career opportunities! As a respiratory therapist, it’s important for you to set some professional goals and to equip yourself with the knowledge, skills, and tools to achieve your dreams. That’s where the American Association for Respiratory Care steps in, with the ready-made resources you’ll need to make your career journey a success.

Here’s a quick look, broken down by key areas of the profession, and the tools and resources provided to AARC members .

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First Things First – Resources for Students & Exams

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Your RT program prepared you to work as a respiratory therapist, but you won’t be able to do that without first achieving state licensure, and you might not be able to go very far without earning the RRT as well. These credentialing exams are expensive and you want to ensure you pass them the first time around. Our Exam Prep Course can help you meet that goal so you can get started on what is sure to be an amazing career in respiratory care.

Critical Care


The fast paced environment of the ICU may be what drew you to RT in the first place. Working in this setting takes special skills and our Adult Critical Care Specialist Course can help you acquire them AND give you the momentum you need to pass the NBRC’s exam for the ACCS credential — putting you on a level playing field with the critical care nurses. And that’s just the beginning of the educational courses geared toward critical care you’ll find in AARC U!



Do you have a special place in your heart for our youngest patients? Then specializing in neo-peds might be the way to go. But kids are not just little adults and caring for their respiratory needs demands a specialized skills set. Our Neonatal-Pediatric Specialist Course delivers it, and it will also put you on the path to achieving the highly respected Neonatal-Pediatric Specialist credential that’s now required to work in many children’s hospitals across the country.



Whether you’re a new RT whose sights are set on a management position in the future, have been promoted into a supervisory role from a staff therapist position, or are a seasoned department director, AARC has educational courses and tools available online and in the AARC store that will help you get up to speed and stay up to speed. The Management Track in our Leadership Institute covers the ins and outs of RT management for newcomers to the area and our Benchmarking System, Uniform Reporting Manual, and Clinical Practice Guidelines are invaluable to department heads who want to ensure their departments are on the cutting edge.



If you picture yourself in front of a classroom teaching the next generation of RTs, the Education Track in our Leadership Institute has everything you need to get started on a great career. Seasoned and new clinical educators can also improve their comfort levels for precepting students or new hires with the Accidental Preceptor webcast that provides the latest best practices, strategies and techniques. If you’re already an educator and seeking ways to position your program for the future — you’ll want to tap into some of AARC’s powerful tools that can guide your plans and curriculum such as our white paper on Transitioning from an Associate Degree Program to a Baccalaureate Degree Program and our Respiratory Care JournalCasts and more.



The first step in any care plan for a patient with respiratory issues is to accurately diagnose the condition. Pulmonary function technologists perform the tests necessary to determine that diagnosis and then monitor it over time, and precision is paramount. Our PFT courses on spirometry, advanced concepts, and pediatrics can give you a solid foundation upon which to build a practice in the diagnostics area.

Ambulatory & Post-Acute Care


The U.S. health care system may be entering another state of flux, but one thing is certain: more and more care is going to be provided in the significantly less costly post-acute care setting. Home care, long-term care, and outpatient programs like pulmonary rehabilitation and sleep testing all need RTs, and therapists are increasingly finding positions in physicians’ offices as well. We have a range of educational programs and tools to help you get your foot in these doors and keep it there.

Disease Management


Cost containment has forced hospitals and other facilities to invest more resources into the management of chronic diseases over time and there is no better clinician to manage people with chronic respiratory diseases than the respiratory therapist. The additional training you need to become a disease manager is available through AARC. We also have some great tools you can use to support your disease management programs once you’re in a position to help patients live well with lung disease.



The profession of respiratory care relies on RT researchers to conduct and publish studies relevant to the field. The Research Track in our Leadership Institute can provide you with the basic skills you’ll need to take part in your first investigations. The Open Forum that takes place every year at the AARC Congress provides a venue for you to present your work, and Respiratory Care is the place to publish your full papers.

And Then There’s the Meetings…


Couple these incredible resources with the information and networking you’ll find at the annual AARC Summer Forum meeting and the AARC Congress International Respiratory Convention & Exhibition and it’s easy to see how membership pays off for anyone interested in setting and meeting their career goals. Planning for each of these meetings is now underway – stay tuned for 2019 registration!

Still Looking?


We’ve listed some great areas to target for your future. But your profession offers a wealth of other opportunities for specialization as well, from the adrenaline rush of respiratory care transport to the high touch care of geriatric patients. AARC University has courses related to all of them, and AARConnect features additional Specialty Sections and Roundtables where you can network about them with like-minded peers.

  • AARC University — Find resources that fit your niche
  • Specialty Sections — Explore and join your colleagues in our specialty sections
  • AARConnect — AARC Members can log in, create a profile page, and start exploring all that our professional networking site offers including Specialty Sections and other community discussions

So start taking advantage of all AARC has to offer. Join or renew today and get AARC empowered! Your career will be the beneficiary!

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