The Department of Respiratory Care at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio was recognized last month for being among the top 10 percent of respiratory care programs in the United States.
Department Chair Donna "De De" Gardner, M.S.H.P., RRT, FAARC, accepted the 2013 Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapy Credentialing Success Award from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) at its reception preceding the 2014 American Association of Respiratory Care Summer Forum at Marco Island, Fla.
This recognition places the School of Health Professions among the top 49 bachelor's, master's and associates respiratory care degree programs in the nation, Gardner said.
"This honor demonstrates the dedication and commitment of our Department of Respiratory Care faculty, staff and students in achieving excellence. I am very proud of their work to exceed the respiratory care accreditation standards and outcome measures required by their accrediting agency," she said.
"The Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) is the advanced-practitioner credential for respiratory therapists," Gardner explained. "CoARC views the RRT credential as a measure of a program's success in inspiring its graduates to achieve their highest educational and professional aspirations," she said.
The Department of Respiratory Care went through the reaccreditation process in 2013 and received notification in February that it had exceeded the credentialing benchmarks.
The selection for the Distinguished RRT Credentialing Success Award was based on objective criteria involving key accreditation metrics that include:
- Producing specific data about student performance and outcomes for three or more years;
- Achieving accreditation without a progress report;
- Documenting that 90 percent or more of students achieved the RRT credential;
- Exceeding established thresholds for the Certified Respiratory Therapist designation;
- Having a low student attrition rate; and
- Showing positive job placement
In 2014, 100 percent of students passed the entry level CRT exam and 100 percent who have attempted the RRT exam have earned that credential as well. Eighty percent of the recent students were employed immediately after graduation.