In California, it is required that one have a license to lawfully practice respiratory therapy. In order to obtain this license, there are certain steps to take for respiratory therapy certification and training.

Education Requirements for California Respiratory Therapists

It all begins with education. In California, all applicants for a respiratory therapy license must be a graduate of an education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. The applicant must have an associate's degree, at minimum, from a school accredited by a regional accreditation agency or association approved by the United States Department of Education.

In school, students will learn about subjects like ventilatory diseases, neonatal respiratory care, pharmacology, microbiology, and psychology.

Credentials and Licensing in California

After you have obtained your degree, it is necessary to procure a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential. A Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) advanced credential will also fit this qualification though that is harder to obtain. Both credentials are issued by the National Board for Respiratory Care. To obtain the CRT, one must take an exam. The CRT exam tests a person's skills and abilities as an entry-level respiratory therapist. The exam consists of 160 multiple-choice questions that range from clinical data to equipment to therapeutic procedures.

Finally, before receiving your license, you must complete a law and ethics course. The licensing committee recognizes two law and ethics courses: one developed by the California Society for Respiratory Care (CSRC) and the other by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC). These courses help the applicant better understand pitfalls that might jeopardize their licensure and a respiratory therapist's obligations to the patient.

When all three things are done, a person will have all the education, training, and certifications needed to become a licensed respiratory therapist in the state of California.