AARC Guide to Professionalism

Among the many values that respiratory therapists must accept upon their entry into the field of respiratory care is the value of professionalism. Professionalism, more than any other trait, will ensure the success of an individual in his or her career.

Professionalism, however, is a complex and elusive quality, which, although not easily taught, is easily recognized as critical once an individual understands his or her role as a professional respiratory therapist.

Whether you are an educator of respiratory care, a manager of respiratory therapists, or a respiratory therapist seeking to learn more about the roles and expectations of your performance on the job and beyond, you will find that students and staff alike may benefit from reviewing this program on Professionalism, developed by the AARC’s Membership and PR Committee. You may use it for:

  • classroom teaching
  • an inservice program
  • self-study
  • a continuing education meeting module

The program is available in PowerPoint and HTML format. A read-along script is incorporated into the program within the “Notes” view of the PowerPoint presentation. Feel free to adapt and use it as a basis for your own presentation. (Please see your PowerPoint manual for specific questions on the operation of that application.)

You may download these supplemental materials discussed in the program:

Following the PowerPoint presentation to groups of students or staff, brief discussion of issues raised in the program is suggested. Examples of questions that could be used to initiate such discussion are:

  • What behaviors have you observed among health care providers that you consider unprofessional?
  • Are there behaviors that you consider essential to professionalism that were not addressed in the program?
  • What is the most important attribute of the professional you most admire?

Following such discussion, you may find it helpful to summarize the major points raised by participants.

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