Response to the Erie County Legislature’s Resolution Supporting & Urging
SUNY Erie to Conduct Respiratory Therapy Training for Nurses
received a significant amount of feedback in response to the resolution
approved by the Erie County Legislature on May 7, 2020 as well as the comments
made by the legislator urging the College to conduct respiratory therapy
training for nurses. It is important that we clarify several points that have
The College is
supporting area hospitals in the fight against COVID-19 with loans of
ventilators, other equipment and supplies.
We have reached out to the chief medical officers in the area to offer
any in service training needed, but healthcare facilities and hospitals are
handling those needs in house at this time.
We stand ready to assist in any way possible.
College was contacted by Legislator Vinal regarding a potential training
program, SUNY Erie’s administration and faculty were not aware of the proposed
resolution. As was reported to Legislator Vinal and WKBW-TV, SUNY Erie
maintains regular communication with hospitals and healthcare facilities in the
region, and consistently works with industry partners to develop any training
required to meet their needs.
SUNY Erie’s goal
is to train Respiratory Therapists, not technicians. Technicians are less
credentialed and work under a therapist's license. Most clinical sites the
College works with as well as most other area facilities require graduates to
obtain the Registered Respiratory Therapist credential (RRT).
recognize a need for respiratory therapists in WNY and job projections for the
next several years are extremely positive, we are currently unaware of a
shortage of trained respiratory therapists in WNY. A similar need exists for
nurses both locally and nationally as well.
We also recognize
the complexity of the equipment used by respiratory therapists, and the
intensive training involved in preparing individuals for a successful career in
the field. The setup, application, management and the ability to troubleshoot
problems requires advanced skills and training. SUNY Erie’s Respiratory Care program
consists of a full semester theory course, a full semester laboratory and
considerable clinical time. Completion of these components helps to ensure the basic
competency of our students. In addition to this training, graduates receive
advanced equipment specific training upon hire.
extremely proud of our SUNY Erie alumni and healthcare workers on the front
lines of this pandemic. The strength, desire, professionalism and ability of
these individuals to adapt in these uncertain times is nothing short of