Education Law

Article 164, Respiratory therapists and respiratory therapy technicians

§8500 Introduction. | §8501 Definition of the practice of respiratory therapy. | §8502 Practice of respiratory therapy and use of the title "respiratory therapist". | §8503 State board for respiratory therapy. | §8504 Requirements for licensure as a respiratory therapist. | §8504-a Mandatory continuing education for respiratory therapists. | §8505 Exempt persons. | §8506 Limited permits. | §8507 Special provisions. | §8508 Definition of the practice of respiratory therapy technician. | §8509 Duties of respiratory therapy technicians and use of the title "respiratory therapy technician". | §8510 Requirements for licensure as a respiratory therapy technician. | §8510-a Mandatory continuing education for respiratory therapy technicians. | §8511 Limited permits. | §8512 Exempt persons. | §8513 Special provisions.

§8500 Introduction.

This article applies to the practice of respiratory therapy and provides for the licensing of respiratory therapists and respiratory therapy technicians. The general provisions for all professions contained in article one hundred thirty of this title shall apply to this article.


§8501 Definition of the practice of respiratory therapy.

The practice of the profession of respiratory therapy, which shall be undertaken pursuant to the direction of a duly licensed physician, is defined as the performance of cardiopulmonary evaluation, respiratory therapy treatment techniques, and education of the patient, family and public.

  1. Evaluation shall include the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data obtained from physiological specimens, performing diagnostic tests, studies and research of the cardiopulmonary system and neurophysiological studies related to respiratory care.
  2. Therapy shall include the application and monitoring of medical gases (excluding anesthetic gases) and environmental control systems, mechanical ventilatory support, artificial airway care, bronchopulmonary hygiene, pharmacologic agents related to respiratory care procedures, and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation related and limited to respiratory care.
  3. Respiratory therapy services may be performed pursuant to a prescription of a licensed physician or certified nurse practitioner.

§8502 Practice of respiratory therapy and use of the title "respiratory therapist".

  1. Only a person licensed or exempt under this article shall practice respiratory therapy or use the title "respiratory therapist".
  2. A licensed respiratory therapist may supervise respiratory therapy technicians in the practice of their profession in such capacities as are prescribed by law and as from time to time may be set by the commissioner.

§8503 State board for respiratory therapy.

A state board for respiratory therapy shall be appointed by the board of regents on the recommendation of the commissioner for the purpose of assisting the board of regents and the department on matters of professional licensing and conduct in accordance with section sixty-five hundred eight of this title. The board shall be composed of not less than five licensed respiratory therapists, two licensed respiratory therapy technicians, and four additional members who shall include at least one licensed physician and at least one public member. Members of the first board who are respiratory therapy practitioners need not be licensed prior to appointment on the board, provided, however, that the first appointed respiratory therapists shall be registered by a national certifying or accrediting board, acceptable to the department and the first appointed respiratory therapy technicians shall be certified by a national certifying or accrediting board, acceptable to the department. An executive secretary to the board shall be appointed by the board of regents on recommendation of the commissioner.


§8504 Requirements for licensure as a respiratory therapist.

To qualify for a license as a respiratory therapist, an applicant shall fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Application: file an application with the department;
  2. Education: have received an education, including completion of an approved associate degree program in respiratory therapy or in a program determined by the department to be the equivalent;
  3. Experience: have experience satisfactory to the board and in accordance with the commissioner's regulations;
  4. Examination: pass an examination satisfactory to the board and in accordance with the commissioner's regulations;
  5. Age: be at least eighteen years of age;
  6. Character: be of good moral character as determined by the department; and
  7. Fees: pay a fee of one hundred seventy-five dollars to the department for admission to a department conducted examination and for an initial license; a fee of eighty-five dollars for each re-examination; a fee of one hundred fifteen dollars for an initial license for persons not requiring admission to a department conducted examination and a fee of one hundred fifty-five dollars for each triennial registration period commencing on and after June first, nineteen hundred ninety-three.

§8504-a Mandatory continuing education for respiratory therapists.

  1.  
    1. Each licensed respiratory therapist required under this article to register triennially with the department to practice in the state shall comply with provisions of the mandatory continuing education requirements prescribed in subdivision two of this section except as set forth in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this subdivision. Respiratory therapists who do not satisfy the mandatory continuing education requirement shall not practice until they have met such requirements, and have been issued a registration certificate, except that a respiratory therapist may practice without having met such requirements if he or she is issued a conditional registration certificate pursuant to subdivision three of this section.
    2. Respiratory therapists shall be exempt from the mandatory continuing education requirement for the triennial registration period during which they are first licensed. In accord with the intent of this section, adjustment to the mandatory continuing education requirement may be granted by the department for reasons of health, certified by an appropriate health care professional, for extended active duty with the armed forces of the united states, or for other good cause acceptable to the department which may prevent compliance.
    3. A licensed respiratory therapist not engaged in practice as determined by the department, shall be exempt from the mandatory continuing education requirement upon the filing of a statement with the department declaring such status. Any licensee who returns to their respective practice as a respiratory therapist during the triennial registration period shall notify the department prior to reentering the profession and shall meet such mandatory education requirements as shall be prescribed by regulations of the commissioner.
  2. During each triennial registration period an applicant for registration as a respiratory therapist shall complete a minimum of thirty hours of acceptable formal continuing education, as specified in subdivision four of this section, provided that no more than fifteen hours of such continuing education shall consist of self-study courses. Any respiratory therapist whose first registration date following the effective date of this section occurs less than three years from such effective date, but on or after January first, two thousand one, shall complete continuing education hours on a prorated basis at the rate of five-sixths of one hour per month for the period beginning January first, two thousand up to the first registration date thereafter. A licensee who has not satisfied the mandatory continuing education requirements shall not be issued a triennial registration certificate by the department and shall not practice unless and until a conditional registration certificate is issued as provided for in subdivision three of this section. With the exception of continuing education hours completed during the registration period immediately preceding the effective date of this section, continuing education hours completed during one triennium may not be transferred to a subsequent triennium.
  3. The department, in its discretion, may issue a conditional registration to a licensee who fails to meet the continuing education requirements established in subdivision two of this section but who agrees to make up any deficiencies and complete any additional education which the department may require. The fee for such a conditional registration shall be the same as, and in addition to, the fee for the triennial registration. The duration of such conditional registration shall be determined by the department but shall not exceed one year. Any licensee who is notified of the denial of registration for failure to submit evidence, satisfactory to the department, of required continuing education and who practices as a respiratory therapist without such registration, may be subject to disciplinary proceedings pursuant to section sixty-five hundred ten of this title.
  4. As used in subdivision two of this section, "acceptable formal continuing education" for respiratory therapy shall mean formal courses of learning which contribute to professional practice in respiratory therapy and which meet the standards prescribed by regulations of the commissioner. The department may, in its discretion and as needed to contribute to the health and welfare of the public, require the completion of continuing education courses in specific subjects.
  5. Respiratory therapists shall maintain adequate documentation of completion of acceptable formal continuing education and shall provide such documentation at the request of the department.
  6. The mandatory continuing education fee for respiratory therapists shall be thirty dollars, shall be payable on or before the first day of each triennial registration period, and shall be paid in addition to the triennial registration fee required by section eighty-five hundred four of this article.

§8505 Exempt persons.

This article shall not prohibit:

  1. The practice of respiratory therapy as an integral part of a program of study by students enrolled in approved respiratory therapy education programs;
  2. The performance of any of the modalities included in the definition of respiratory therapy by any other duly licensed, certified or registered health care provider, provided that such modalities are within the scope of his or her practice;
  3. Unlicensed assistants from being employed in a hospital, as defined in article twenty-eight of the public health law, for purposes other than the practice of respiratory therapy;
  4. The practice of respiratory therapy by any legally qualified respiratory therapy practitioner of any other state or territory who is serving in the armed forces or the public health service of the United States or who is employed by the veterans administration, while engaged in the performance of his or her duties.
  5. The provision of polysomnographic technology services, as defined by the commissioner, by an individual, under the direction and supervision of a licensed physician, who has obtained authorization issued by the department. Such authorization shall be issued to individuals who have met standards, including those relating to education, experience, examination and character, as promulgated in regulations of the commissioner. Such authorization shall be subject to the full disciplinary and regulatory authority of the board of regents and the department, pursuant to this title, as if such authorization were a professional license issued under this article. The application fee for such authorization shall be three hundred dollars. Each authorization holder shall register with the department every three years and shall pay a registration fee of three hundred dollars. (Effective August 3, 2012)

§8506 Limited permits.

Permits limited as to eligibility, practice and duration shall be issued by the department to eligible applicants as follows:

  1. Eligibility. A person who fulfills all requirements for registration as a respiratory therapist except that relating to the examination shall be eligible for a limited permit.
  2. Limit of practice. All practice under a limited permit shall be under the direct supervision of a licensed respiratory therapist physician specializing in pulmonary medicine, an anesthesiologist or an otherwise legally authorized physician.
  3. Duration. A limited permit shall expire one year from the date of issuance or upon notice to the permittee by the department that the application for licensure has been denied, or ten days after notification to the permittee of failure on the professional licensing examination, whichever first occurs; provided, however, that if the permittee is awaiting the results of a licensing examination at the time such limited permit expires, such permit shall continue to be valid until ten days after notification to the permittee of the result of such examination.
  4. Fees. The fee for each limited permit shall be seventy dollars.

§8507 Special provisions.

A person shall be licensed without examination provided that, within one year of the effective date of this article, the individuals:

  1. files an application and pays the appropriate fees to the department; and
  2.  
    1. is registered by a national certifying or accrediting board for respiratory therapy acceptable to the department, or
    2. has practiced respiratory therapy in a hospital, as defined in article twenty-eight of the public health law, in the state for not less than three years within the last five years prior to the effective date of this article, or
    3. has met the educational standards of a hospital, as defined in article twenty-eight of the public health law, or, in the case of a hospital operated by a public benefit corporation, has met the educational standards of such corporation, and has practiced as a respiratory therapist for at least one year in such hospital.

§8508 Definition of the practice of respiratory therapy technician.

A respiratory therapy technician means a person licensed in accordance with this article who works under the supervision of a licensed respiratory therapist or a licensed or otherwise legally authorized physician performing tasks and responsibilities within the framework of the practice of respiratory therapy.


§8509 Duties of respiratory therapy technicians and use of the title "respiratory therapy technician".

Only a person licensed or otherwise authorized under this article shall participate in the practice of respiratory therapy as a respiratory therapy technician and only a person licensed under this article shall use the title "respiratory therapy technician".


§8510 Requirements for licensure as a respiratory therapy technician.

To qualify for a license as a respiratory therapy technician an applicant shall fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Application: file an application with the department;
  2. Education: have received an education including completion of high school or its equivalent and have completed an approved one-year certificate respiratory therapy education program, or a program determined equivalent, in accordance with the commissioner's regulations;
  3. Experience: have experience satisfactory to the board and in accordance with the commissioner's regulations;
  4. Examination: pass an examination satisfactory to the board and in accordance with the commissioner's regulations;
  5. Age: be at least eighteen years of age;
  6. Character: be of good moral character as determined by the department; and
  7. Fees: pay a fee of ninety dollars to the department for admission to a department conducted examination and for an initial license; a fee of sixty dollars for each re-examination; a fee of fifty dollars for an initial license for persons not requiring admission to a department conducted examination and a fee of ninety dollars for each triennial registration period commencing on and after June first, nineteen hundred ninety-three.

§8510-a Mandatory continuing education for respiratory therapy technicians.

  1.  
    1. Each licensed respiratory therapy technician required under this article to register triennially with the department to practice in the state shall comply with provisions of the mandatory continuing education requirements prescribed in subdivision two of this section except as set forth in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this subdivision. Respiratory therapy technicians who do not satisfy the mandatory continuing education requirement shall not practice until they have met such requirements, and have been issued a registration certificate, except that a respiratory therapy technician may practice without having met such requirements if he or she is issued a conditional registration certificate pursuant to subdivision three of this section.
    2. Respiratory therapy technicians shall be exempt from the mandatory continuing education requirement for the triennial registration period during which they are first licensed. In accord with the intent of this section, adjustment to the mandatory continuing education requirement may be granted by the department for reasons of health, certified by an appropriate health care professional, for extended active duty with the armed forces of the united states, or for other good cause acceptable to the department which may prevent compliance.
    3. A licensed respiratory therapy technician not engaged in practice as determined by the department, shall be exempt from the mandatory continuing education requirement upon the filing of a statement with the department declaring such status. Any licensee who returns to their respective practice as a respiratory therapy technician during the triennial registration period shall notify the department prior to reentering the profession and shall meet such mandatory education requirements as shall be prescribed by regulations of the commissioner.
  2. During each triennial registration period an applicant for registration as a respiratory therapy technician shall complete a minimum of twenty-four hours of acceptable formal continuing education, as specified in subdivision four of this section, provided that no more than twelve hours of such continuing education shall consist of self-study courses. Any respiratory therapy technician whose first registration date following the effective date of this section occurs less than three years from such effective date, but on or after January first, two thousand one, shall complete continuing education hours on a prorated basis at the rate of two-thirds of one hour per month for the period beginning January first, two thousand up to the first registration date thereafter. A licensee who has not satisfied the mandatory continuing education requirements shall not be issued a triennial registration certificate by the department and shall not practice unless and until a conditional registration certificate is issued as provided for in subdivision three of this section. With the exception of continuing education hours taken during the registration period immediately preceding the effective date of this section, continuing education hours completed during one triennium may not be transferred to a subsequent triennium.
  3. The department, in its discretion, may issue a conditional registration to a licensee who fails to meet the continuing education requirements established in subdivision two of this section but who agrees to make up any deficiencies and complete any additional education which the department may require. The fee for such a conditional registration shall be the same as, and in addition to, the fee for the triennial registration. The duration of such conditional registration shall be determined by the department but shall not exceed one year. Any licensee who is notified of the denial of registration for failure to submit evidence, satisfactory to the department, of required continuing education and who practices as a respiratory therapy technician without such registration, may be subject to the disciplinary proceedings pursuant to section sixty-five hundred ten of this title.
  4. As used in subdivision two of this section, "acceptable formal continuing education" for respiratory therapy technicians shall mean formal courses of learning which contribute to professional practice as a respiratory therapy technician and which meet the standards prescribed by regulations of the commissioner. The department may, in its discretion and as needed to contribute to the health and welfare of the public, require the completion of continuing education courses in specific subjects.
  5. Respiratory therapy technicians shall maintain adequate documentation of completion of acceptable formal continuing education and shall provide such documentation at the request of the department.
  6. The mandatory continuing education fee for respiratory therapy technicians shall be twenty-five dollars, shall be payable on or before the first day of each triennial registration period, and shall be paid in addition to the triennial registration fee required by section eighty-five hundred ten of this article.

§8511 Limited permits.

  1. Eligibility. The department may issue a limited permit to an applicant who meets all requirements for admission to the licensing examination.
  2. Limit of practice. All practice under a limited permit shall be under the direct supervision of a licensed respiratory therapist or a licensed or otherwise legally authorized physician.
  3. Duration. A limited permit shall expire one year from the date of issuance or upon notice to the permittee by the department that the application for registration has been denied, or ten days after notification to the permittee of failure on the professional licensing examination, whichever first occurs; provided, however, that if the permittee is awaiting the results of a licensing examination at the time such limited permit expires, such permit shall continue to be valid until ten days after notification to the permittee of the result of such examination.
  4. Fees. The fee for each limited permit shall be fifty dollars.

§8512 Exempt persons.

This article shall not prohibit:

  1. a respiratory therapy student or a respiratory therapy technician student from engaging in clinical assistance under the supervision of a licensed respiratory therapist or a licensed or otherwise legally authorized physician as an integral part of a program of study by students enrolled in an approved respiratory therapy technician program or in a clinical facility or health care agency affiliated with the program for respiratory therapy technicians; or
  2. the performance of any of the tasks or responsibilities included in the definition of respiratory therapy technician by any other duly licensed, certified or registered health care provider, provided that such tasks or responsibilities are within the scope of his or her practice; or
  3. unlicensed assistants from being employed in a hospital, as defined in article twenty-eight of the public health law, for purposes other than the practice of respiratory therapy technician; or
  4. the practice of respiratory therapy by any legally qualified respiratory therapy practitioner of any other state or territory who is serving in the armed forces or the public health service of the United States or who is employed by the veterans administration, while engaged in the performance of his or her duties.

§8513 Special provisions.

A person shall be licensed without examination provided that, within one year of the effective date of this article, the individual:

  1. files an application and pays the appropriate fees to the department; and
  2.  
    1. is certified by a national certifying or accrediting board for respiratory therapy technicians acceptable to the department, or
    2. has practiced as a respiratory therapy technician in a hospital, as defined in article twenty-eight of the public health law, in the state for not less than two years within the last five years, or
    3. has met the educational standards of a hospital, as defined in article twenty-eight of the public health law, or, in the case of a hospital operated by a public benefit corporation, has met the educational standards of such corporation, and has practiced as a respiratory therapy technician for at least one year in such hospital.
Last Updated: June 4, 2012