(a) "Board" means the West Virginia board for respiratory care;
(b) "Formal training" means a supervised, structured educational activity that includes preclinical didactic and laboratory activities and clinical activities. The training must be approved by an accrediting agency recognized by the board. It shall include an evaluation of competence through standardized testing mechanisms that the board determines to be both valid and reliable;
(c) "Graduate respiratory care therapist" means an individual who has graduated from a respiratory therapist educational program and is scheduled to take the next available examination administered by the state or a national organization approved by the board;
(d) "Practice of respiratory care" means the practice of respiratory care, and any part of respiratory care, by persons licensed under the provisions of this article and is limited to that which has been learned through formal or special training including performance evaluation to evaluate competence. The practice of respiratory care may be performed in any clinic, hospital, skilled nursing facility, private dwelling or other place considered appropriate or necessary by the board in accordance with the prescription or verbal orders of a licensed physician or other legally authorized person with prescriptive authority, or under the direction of a qualified medical director. Practice of respiratory care includes, but is not limited to:
(1) The administration of pharmacological, diagnostic and therapeutic agents related to respiratory care procedures necessary to implement a treatment, disease prevention, pulmonary rehabilitative or diagnostic regimen prescribed by a physician;
(2) Transcription and implementation of written or verbal orders of a physician or other legally authorized person with prescriptive authority, pertaining to the practice of respiratory care;
(3) Observing and monitoring signs and symptoms, general behavior, general physical response to respiratory care treatment and diagnostic testing, including determination of whether such signs, symptoms, reactions, behavior or general response exhibit abnormal characteristics;
(4) Based on observed abnormalities, appropriate reporting, referral or implementation of respiratory care protocols or changes in treatment pursuant to the written or verbal orders of a person with prescriptive authority under the laws of the state of West Virginia; or
(5) The initiation of emergency procedures under the rules of the board or as otherwise permitted in this article;
(e) "Qualified medical director" means the medical director of any inpatient or outpatient respiratory care service, department or home care agency. The medical director shall be a licensed physician who is knowledgeable in the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory problems. This physician shall be responsible for the quality, safety and appropriateness of the respiratory services provided and require that respiratory care be ordered by a physician, or other legally authorized person with prescriptive authority, who has medical responsibility for the patient. The medical director shall be readily accessible to the respiratory care practitioners and assure their competency;
(f) "Respiratory care" means the allied health profession responsible for the direct and indirect services in the treatment, management, diagnostic testing and care of patients with deficiencies and abnormalities associated with the cardiopulmonary system, under a qualified medical director. Respiratory care includes inhalation therapy and respiratory therapy;
(g) "Respiratory care education program" means a course of study leading to eligibility for licensure, registry or certification in respiratory care and the program is approved by the board;
(h) "Respiratory therapist" means an individual who has successfully completed an accredited training program, and who has successfully completed a certification or registry examination for respiratory therapists administered by the state or a national organization approved by the board and who is licensed by the board as a licensed respiratory therapist;
(i) "Student respiratory care therapist" means an individual enrolled in a respiratory educational program and whose sponsoring educational institution assumes responsibility for the supervision of, and the services rendered by, the student respiratory care practitioner while he or she is functioning in a clinical training capacity.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
The West Virginia Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.