In the COVID-19 crisis, the world now recognizes Respiratory Therapists for the lifesaving care they deliver to patients, now is the time to designate the students currently in training to become Respiratory Therapists as “essential students.”
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease. Respiratory Therapists (licensed as Respiratory Care Practitioners under Chapter 18.89 RCW) are the specially trained, dedicated health care providers that manage the ventilators and other life support required to maintain many patient’s lives through this unforgiving virus. Currently in our state, Respiratory Therapists put their own health on the line every day to save lives – and not just for patients with COVID-19.
We are fortunate, however, that Washington state has five accredited Respiratory Therapy programs training bachelor-level students to do this essential work. But the current Safe-at-Home orders deny these students the ability to complete the required hands-on training in the lab setting.
The education of this essential workforce must continue, or our state will suffer a shortage of healthcare workers required to maintain life support during this crisis and beyond.
Follow this link to send your thoughts and requests to Governor Inslee: https://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/send-gov-inslee-e-message