(a) A person may not practice respiratory care or represent himself or herself to be a respiratory care practitioner unless he or she is licensed under this article except as otherwise provided by this article.
(b) This article does not prohibit:
(1) The practice of respiratory care, which is an integral part of the program of study, by students enrolled in respiratory care education programs accredited by organizations approved by the board. Students enrolled in respiratory care education programs shall be identified as "Student RCP" and may only provide respiratory care under clinical supervision;
The West Virginia Board of Respiratory recognizes the importance of providing students enrolled in respiratory care educational programs accredited by organizations approved by the board opportunities to learn and apply knowledge and skill in the clinical setting. Hence, the exception in 30-34-15 (1) for providing respiratory care by students under clinical supervision.
The West Virginia Board of Respiratory Care acknowledges there may be variation in interpreting “clinical supervision”. Therefore, the following position statement is issued to provide clarity.
It is the position of the West Virginia Board of Respiratory Care that clinical supervision for students is defined by:
The licensed respiratory therapist assuming responsibility of the patient being treated by the student is to be within immediate proximity to the student when the student is providing direct patient care. Immediate proximity allows for the respiratory therapist to monitor, direct, and assess the student’s knowledge, application of theory, and interaction with patients. It provides the student opportunity to ask and receive questions and receive immediate feedback on performance. It also helps to fulfill the mission of the West Virginia Board of Respiratory Care to protect the life, health and safety of the public.