The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1996 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

It Takes an RCP to Direct an RC Department

John M. Graybeal, CRTT Wednesday, November 6, 1996

Traditionally, health care employees have received promotion, ultimately into management and/or administrative positions, by simply being a good worker. There has been very little focus given to the employee's training in management. Even today it is common to see advertisements for managerial level positions for which the only requirements are to have an RRT with several years of clinical experience.

What skills are needed to be an effective manager/administrator? Good leadership skills are important, as are an understanding of finance principles, health care reimbursement issues, time and employee utilization, organizational structure and how to work within that structure. Even the most highly trained and knowledgeable respiratory therapist does not necessarily possess any of this skills. And it is not necessary for a good administrator to possess the skills and knowledge of a highly trained respiratory care professional.

What does it take to direct a respiratory care department; a good leader, knowledgeable in finance, administration and reimbursement issues, not necessarily someone technically expert and knowledgeable in respiratory care.

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