Did my blog last week u201c Michigan u2013 Not on Par?u201d catch your attention? Well, hereu2019s the second halfu2026
Michiganu2019s Office of Regulatory Reinventionu2019s rationale for deregulating Respiratory Therapy, as stated in Recommendation #D9, u201cThe credentialing by the national organization provides sufficient qualifications to employers who hire respiratory therapist in lieu of licensing. This was the practice prior to licensing and is still used by employers today.u201d This rationale overlooks the basic difference between a credential and a license. By definition, a u201ccredentialu201d recognizes that one is qualified; that one is fit by training, skill or ability for a special purpose. However, to be licensed means to be given permission to act. So in Michiganu2019s reinvented regulation, any person that can pass the NBRC test is automatically permitted to perform respiratory therapy. But what follows when the credentialed therapist proves less than skilled, or reprobate or even criminal?! What then?
If the individual is only credentialed the worst possibility would be dismissal from the institution, only to find employment at another. However, if the practitioner is licensed then his or her permission to perform respiratory therapy can be revoked statewide, permanently. Far from protecting the public, Michiganu2019s reinvention potentially places physicians, hospitals, administrators, supervisors and the profession of respiratory care in the midst of a legal and financial morass. And it places the public in grave danger from unprincipled persons.
What do you think? Weigh in below with your comments.