Reaching Your Student Members

 Published: May 29, 2019

By: Heather Willden


image of young adults reaching hands into center of circle

One way you’re building the profession is finding ways to engage student members. Respiratory Therapist students play a vital role in ensuring the success of the profession.

According to Kari Woodruff, RRT, RRT-NPS, the Colorado Society has several programs in which they have engaged students.

Student chapter and student chairs

The Colorado Society includes a student chapter with chairs from each of the RT schools.

“They are involved with our board and organize various events each year,” Woodruff said.

Events include—

  • A fundraising drawing at their state conference
  • Hosting booths with PFTs at the state capitol and other health awareness events
  • Taking part PF & CF walks
  • Holding meet & greets with students and managers

“We have a patient chapter that they work very closely with and they love it!” Woodruff said.

She continued to explain that the students have a CSRC student Facebook page where they share helpful tips on NBRC testing, interviewing for that first job, and preparing for clinicals.

“This group has become very active and many students are involved,” Woodruff said.

Student pre-conference workshop

CSRC holds a student-focused pre-conference workshop at their state conference.

“We let the student chapter tell us what they want during this session,” Woodruff said. “Usually it ends up with presentations from our leadership on resume building, interviewing, tips for clinicals and taking the NBRC exams. We often have a manager panel where they can ask questions and interact directly with managers in our community. They love this interaction, and the ones more involved reap the benefits.”

Poster presentation at the conference

The CSRC conference also includes a poster presentation with a scheduled time slot for students to discuss their posters briefly in front of the group and answer questions.

Colorado is working to recruit more schools to take part in this special student opportunity.

Student delegate program

The CSRC manages a student delegate program in which they select students to attend the HOD meetings with their CSRC Delegates—one student in the summer, two in the Fall.

To be selected, students write an essay with certain criteria and they are evaluated by the CSRC executive board members. Winners are recognized at their state conference during the awards presentations.

How are you reaching your student members?

Share your tips with your fellow AARC members through AARConnect. Also, make sure your student members check out the Students section of the AARC website and the StudentConnection.

Email with questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you.

Heather Willden

Heather Willden is the Director of Governance and Strategic Initiatives for the AARC where she works with state affiliates as the HOD liaison. She also manages DEI efforts and strategic initiatives. Connect with her about these topics by email, AARConnect or LinkedIn. When she's not working, you can find her podcasting with her husband, exploring new hiking trails, photographing, and spending time with her family.

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