I think we can all agree that we’ve had to work pretty hard to become RRTs. First, there were three years of schooling (only two for oldsters like me – but still), the CBRC exam, and then years and years of ongoing professional development. But did you know that each year approximately 35 RRTs have their certificates of registration suspended, simply for failing to renew their CRTO Membership? Once they are suspended, these individuals no longer have the right to call themselves an RT. Effective immediately. Just like that.
This is concerning because those who have had their certificate of registration suspended cannot continue to work as an RRT. If they do, it’s considered professional misconduct – which is a very serious matter, as I’m sure you know. Any procedure performed while suspended places both the individual and their employer at risk- and by employer, I mean often, soon-to-be, former employer. It’s important to remember that registration statuses, including suspensions, are placed on the Public Register for all to see. No employer wants to jeopardize their organization by having an employee performing controlled acts when they are no longer legally authorized to do so.
So there they are – no professional designation and maybe even no job – plus extra money spent reinstating the membership ($250 extra, to be exact). But the right to use the title “Registered Respiratory Therapist” is about more than just the ability to earn a living. The title of RRT is a symbol of professional identity, skill and integrity that is recognized by other health care professionals, employers, and the public. It has taken 50 years and a lot of RTs struggling to achieve the advancements that make our profession what it is today.
I think that the right to call ourselves RRTs is still worth fighting for. It’s certainly worth renewing a Membership for.