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Scope of Practice & Position Statements on the Practice of Respiratory Care

Scope of Practice - The procedures, actions, and processes that a healthcare professional is permitted to undertake in keeping with the terms of their professional license. The scope of practice is limited to that which the law allows for specific education and experience, and specific demonstrated competency.

In Ohio, the scope of practice of “Respiratory Care” and "Respiratory Care Professional" are defined in the Ohio Revised Code (ORC 4761.01). These definitions have been clarified by the Board in the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC 4761-7-03).

Recognizing numerous overlaps in clinical practice with other licensed healthcare professionals, ORC 4761 is “non-restrictive” and exempts other licensed professionals and their employees, as long as they are within their scopes of practice and competence, in compliance with their laws and rules, and do not claim to be respiratory therapists. Additionally, some credentialed polysomnographic technologists and hyperbaric technologists are also exempted under specific circumstances. And there are exemptions for students, federal employees, and non-Ohio residents. Exemptions are listed and described in ORC 4761.10 and in ORC 4761.11.

If you have questions regarding what does or does not fit within the scope of practice for a licensed Respiratory Care Professional in Ohio, then please email the Ohio Respiratory Care Board and your inquiries can be addressed by the Board’s Scope of Practice Committee.  The Board’s Scope of Practice Committee has considered several questions regarding scope of practice submitted by licensees.  Click HERE to see some frequently asked questions regarding the scope of practice.


Position Statements on the Practice of Respiratory Care 
- Unlike a statute or rule, upon which the Board may rely as an independent basis for initiating disciplinary action, a position statement does not have the force and effect of law. Position statements are used to state the Ohio Respiratory Care Board's policy, promote certain minimum guidelines, and highlight safety concerns. Through a position statement, the Board can also put the public and the profession on notice of what it considers to be the appropriate standard of care.

The Board cannot initiate disciplinary action solely for a licensee's failure to comply with a stated Board position. However, the Board does have statutory authority under Chapters 4761.09 of the Ohio Revised Code, to pursue individual disciplinary actions and under rule 4761-10-01 (I)(1) of the Ohio Administrative Code, the Board can use position statement to determine adherence with acceptable and prevailing professional standards and guidelines for the practice of respiratory care.

 

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