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Professional Standards and Behaviors Policy

Ethical, respectful, and professional behavior are important aspects in the respiratory care profession. We acknowledge that all participants in the USI Respiratory Therapy Program (faculty, staff and students) have a role in maintaining and modeling behavior that is consistent with ethical, respectful, and professional practice. Ethical, respectful, and professional behavior is expected in the classroom, lab, online, and in clinical settings, and in any additional circumstances in which students, faculty, or staff are representing the university.

Maintaining professionalism is a shared responsibility of students, staff, and faculty. Each individual must accept responsibility for his/her own behavior but must also acknowledge responsibility for supporting and encouraging others to behave professionally. Respiratory Therapy professionals assume responsibility for working with others to promote desired outcomes. Students are expected to conduct themselves in an ethical, respectful, and professional manner with their peers/classmates, preceptors, patients, and professors while participating in classroom, lab, online, and clinical training, and in any additional circumstances in which the student is representing the university.

The USI Respiratory Therapy Program promotes the highest standards of conduct and professionalism in its students, staff, and faculty. It is our responsibility as members of the profession to conduct ourselves in a manner that is consistent with those attributes deemed essential. The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) Statement of Ethics and Professional Conduct serves as the guide in defining the expectations of conduct for members of the respiratory therapy profession and guides the behavior of all faculty and students while in the classroom, at clinical sites, and when representing the USI Respiratory Therapy Program during other educational activities.

The AARC Statement of Ethics and Professional Conduct and is as follows:

In the conduct of professional activities the Respiratory Therapist shall be bound by the
following ethical and professional principles. Respiratory Therapists shall:

  1. Demonstrate behavior that reflects integrity, supports objectivity, and fosters trust in the profession and its professionals.
  2. Promote and practice evidence-based medicine.
  3. Seek continuing education opportunities to improve and maintain their professional competence and document their participation accurately.
  4. Perform only those procedures or functions in which they are individually competent and which are within their scope of accepted and responsible practice.
  5. Respect and protect the legal and personal rights of patients, including the right to privacy, informed consent, and refusal of treatment.
  6. Divulge no protected information regarding any patient or family unless disclosure is required for the responsible performance of duty as authorized by the patient and/or family, or required by law.
  7. Provide care without discrimination on any basis, with respect for the rights and dignity of all individuals.
  8. Promote disease prevention and wellness.
  9. Refuse to participate in illegal or unethical acts.
  10. Refuse to conceal, and will report, the illegal, unethical, fraudulent, or incompetent acts of others.
  11. Follow sound scientific procedures and ethical principles in research.
  12. Comply with state or federal laws which govern and relate to their practice.
  13. Avoid any form of conduct that is fraudulent or creates a conflict of interest, and shall follow the principles of ethical business behavior.
  14. Promote health care delivery through improvement of the access, efficacy, and cost of patient care.
  15. Encourage and promote appropriate stewardship of resources.
  16. Work to achieve and maintain respectful, functional, beneficial relationships and communication with all health professionals. It is the position of the American Association of Respiratory Care that there is no place in a professional practice environment for lateral violence and bullying among respiratory therapists or between healthcare professionals.
    (American Association for Respiratory Care, 2015)

Violation of the Professional Standards and Behavior Policy is subject to the Performance Improvement Plan policy and could also result in a deduction of points in the course.