The Board of Respiratory Care Examiners was established in 1990. Current authority is found at A.R.S. §§32-3501 through 32-3558.
The Board of Respiratory Care Examiners licenses and regulates respiratory care practitioners. The practice of respiratory care includes respiratory rehabilitation therapy, inhalation therapy and oxygen therapy. The practice also includes administrating pharmacological, diagnostic and therapeutic agents necessary to implement a treatment, disease prevention, pulmonary rehabilitative or diagnostic regimen prescribed by a physician.
The Board of Respiratory Care Examiners was created in 1990 to regulate and control the practice of respiratory care and protect the public from unauthorized and unqualified practice of respiratory care and from unprofessional conduct by licensees. The Board oversees regulation and licensure of applicants, approves training programs for therapists and technicians, and is authorized to deny, revoke or suspend a license, investigate misconduct, conduct hearings and take disciplinary action as needed.
The Board consists of seven members appointed by the Governor to three-year terms. It is funded by fees collected for applications and licenses. As a 90/10 board, ten percent of all monies collected is deposited in the state General Fund and the remainder is deposited in the Board of Respiratory Care Examiners Fund.
Laws 1990, Chapter 256 created the Board, specified its membership, outlined its powers and duties, created the Board of Respiratory Care Examiners Fund and established fees. The measure prescribed qualifications to obtain a license, outlined continuing education requirements, authorized the Board to deny, revoke or suspend a license, and take disciplinary actions. A violation was classified as a class 1 misdemeanor. The measure appropriated $50,000 in fiscal year 1991-1992 to cover startup costs and included a repayment requirement.
The Legislature included an intent clause recognizing respiratory care as a dynamic and changing field, creating a need for continuing education and minimum standards of competence. The Legislature also indicated an intention to provide clear, legal authority for procedures which have common usage and to recognize and continue to allow overlapping functions between physicians, registered nurses, physical and occupational therapists, respiratory care practitioners and other licensed health care personnel. See Laws 1990, Chapter 256, Section 1 - Legislative findings; intent
Laws 1998, Chapter 103 required applicants for licensure to submit a full set of fingerprints to the Board for the purpose of conducting a state and federal criminal history records check. The measure also allowed the Board to hire an executive director, modified procedures relating to disciplinary action and provided that certain records are confidential.
Laws 2007, Chapter 65 allowed the Board to issue a nondisciplinary order requiring a licensee to complete continuing education courses. This applies in cases when the results of an investigation into an allegation does not warrant disciplinary action.
Laws 2015, Chapter 156 eliminated the ability for the Board to issue a temporary license.
Laws 2016, Chapter 49 made numerous changes to Board statutes, which included authorizing the Board to establish a confidential monitoring program for chemically dependent licensees who enter rehabilitation programs, deleting the licensing process for respiratory therapy technicians, modifying procedures relating to disciplinary actions, and modifying certain fees and penalties.
Laws 2017, Chapter 327 requires a prospective member of the Board, prior to appointment, to submit a full set of fingerprints to the Governor in order to conduct a state and federal criminal records check.
Laws 2019, Chapter 195 allowed the Board to authorize its executive director to issue licenses, certifications, registrations, preceptorships, reinstatements and waivers to eligible applicants who meet the requirements identified in the statute. In addition, the Board may issue temporary licenses of thirty days to qualified applicants who meet the statutory requirements and may adopt rules to carry out the new provisions.
A second enactment in 2019 requires the Board to regulate the unauthorized practice of the profession by investigating complaints and referring verified complaints to the county attorney or attorney general for prosecution. See Laws 2019, Chapter 227.
- Arizona Revised Statutes §§32-3501 – 32-3558
- Arizona Administrative Code §§R4-45-101 et seq.
- Session Laws
- Laws 1990, Chapter 256
- Laws 1998, Chapter 103
- Laws 2007, Chapter 65
- Laws 2015, Chapter 156
- Laws 2016, Chapter 49
- Laws 2017, Chapter 327
- Laws 2019, Chapter 195 and Chapter 227
Arizona State Board of Respiratory Care website
Related Collections at Arizona State Archives
- Record Group 241 – Arizona Board of Respiratory Care Examiners