2000-S 2533
Enacted 7/13/2000

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Introduced By:  Senators Blais, Parella and Gibbs Date Introduced:  February 9, 2000

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

SECTION 1. Sections 23-39-2, 23-39-7, 23-39-9 and 23-39-10 of the General Laws in Chapter 23-39 entitled "Respiratory Care Act" are hereby amended to read as follows:

23-39-2. Definitions -- As used in this chapter:

(1) "Board" means the administrative board of respiratory care;

(2) "Department" means the Rhode Island department of health;

(3) "Director" means the director of the Rhode Island health department;

(4) "Division" means the division of professional regulation;

(5) "Respiratory care" (including respiratory therapy and inhalation therapy) means a health professional, under qualified medical direction, employed in the therapy, management, rehabilitation, diagnostic evaluation, and care of patients with deficiencies and abnormalities which affect the cardiopulmonary system and associated aspects of other system function;

(6) "Respiratory care practitioner" means a person who is licensed to practice respiratory care in Rhode Island. The respiratory care practitioner may transcribe and implement a physician's written and verbal orders pertaining to the practice of respiratory care as defined in this chapter; and

(7) "Respiratory care training program" means a program accredited or recognized by the American medical association's committee on allied health education and accreditation in collaboration with the joint review committee for respiratory therapy education. commission on accreditation of allied health education programs in collaboration with the committee on accreditation for respiratory care or other such accrediting agency as may be approved by the board.

23-39-7. Licensing by training and examination - (a) Any person desiring to become licensed as a respiratory care practitioner shall make application to the board on a written form in such manner as the board prescribes, pay all required application fees, and certify and furnish evidence to the board that the applicant:

(1) Has successfully completed a training program as defined in this chapter;

(2) Has passed the examination approved by the board, as specified by rules and regulations of the department, for respiratory care practitioners administered by a nationally recognized organization for respiratory care; and

(3) Is of good moral character.

(b) Respiratory care providers who are licensed or otherwise regulated to practice under laws of another state or territory or the District of Columbia may, upon receiving an authorization from the division, perform as a respiratory care practitioner under the supervision of a qualified and licensed respiratory care practitioner. If such an applicant fails to receive licensure when the board reviews the application, all aforementioned privileges shall automatically cease.

23-39-9. Other licensing provisions -- (a) (1) Graduate practice. Every graduate of a board approved respiratory care school who has filed a respiratory care practitioner application may, upon receiving a receipt from the division of professional regulation, perform as a respiratory care practitioner under the supervision of a respiratory care practitioner licensed in this state.

(2) During this period the applicant shall identify himself or herself only as a "graduate respiratory care practitioner."

(3) If the applicant shall fail to take the next succeeding examination within ninety (90) days from effective date of graduate status, without due cause or fail to pass the examination and receive a license, all privileges described in subsection (a)(1) shall automatically cease.

(b) Unless licensed as a respiratory care practitioner under the respiratory care act, no person shall use any title or abbreviation to indicate that the person is a licensed respiratory care practitioner.

(c) Verification of a valid license issued pursuant to this chapter shall be available at the respiratory care practitioner's place of employment.

(d) Licenses, including initial licenses, shall be issued for a period of two (2) years.

(e) License renewal dates will be set by the division.

(f) Applicants and biennial licensure shall meet the continuing education requirements as prescribed by the director of health.

23-39-10. Inactive status - (a) Upon request, the division shall grant inactive status to a licensee who does not intend to practice his or her profession within this state during the period covered by the inactive status. The person may be reinstated without payment of a penalty fee upon application and presentation of evidence of completion of these requirements. The person must pay the current license renewal fee.

(b) Upon reinstatement to active status, a licensee must show proof of having completed continuing education during the two (2) years immediately preceding reinstatement in such amount as may be prescribed by rules and regulations.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

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