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By Hassan Alorainy, BsRC, RRT, FAARC, Senior Member, ICRC Executive Committee, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
The establishment of the International Education Recognition System (IERS) was ultimately motivated by a recommendation from the ICRC Governors, who first documented the need for international standards by which respiratory care educational offerings could be measured for quality and consistency. Almost ten years ago, the Governors, representing 27 countries on the ICRC working in partnership with the AARC, began to lay the groundwork that resulted in the development of the voluntary system that today we know as the IERS.
Our international colleagues want to attain and be recognized for a level of quality in their RT education programs that will place them on par with similar programs offered in the U.S. This quality initiative is what continues to drive the increase in applications for Approval by the system. We continue to encourage our international colleagues to receive approbation by their peers for their RT education programs offered outside of North America.
A small sample of recent applications for IERS Approval are listed below.
- Mustafa Kemal University, Hatay, Turkey, Level I, “Mechanical Ventilation Education Program,” Approved April 27, 2017.
- Saudi Society for Respiratory Care, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Level II, “Tobacco Treatment Specialist Program,” Approved April 27, 2017.
- Korean Association for Respiratory Care, Seoul, Korea, Level I, Yonsei University College of Medicine, “Nursing Care for Sedated Patients,” Approved May 12, 2017.
- Hunan Provincial People’s Hospital, Changsha, Hunan, China, Level II, “Respiratory Therapy Critical Care Training Class,” July 15-Aug. 16, 2017, Approved May 19, 2017.
- Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China, Zhejiang University Medical College, Level II, “The New Techniques of Respiratory Care in Mainland China,” Approved May 19, 2017.
- China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan, Bachelor of Science RT Program Level III, first approved by the IERS in 2011, satisfied all requirements for Re-Certification on March 7, 2014, and again Approved for Re-Certification on May 30, 2017.
- Prince Sultan College of Military Science, Alkobar, Saudi Arabia, Bachelor of Science RT Program, Level III, Re-Certification by the IERS, application in process.
The educational standards have allowed us to determine whether an education experience warrants approval by the IERS. The result over the years since inception has been the approval by IERS of more than 200 high quality RT programs that have helped educate international practitioners to better care for patients with respiratory disease and injury.