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Ethics in Respiratory Therapy Care

presented by Joel M. Brown II, MSM-HCA, RRT, FAARC

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Target Audience:

Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Joel Brown is the CEO and founder of Arrived Leadership, LLC. He receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Nonfinancial: Joel Brown is the executive director and founder of the Brojora Scholarship Fund, Inc. He is also president of the executive board for Delaware Guidance Services, Inc., and vice-chair of the board for Leadership Delaware, Inc. Joel is also chair of the Leadership and Management Section of the American Association for Respiratory Care. He has no other competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

Accreditation Check:
Video Runtime: 54 Minutes, Learning Assessments: 13 Minutes

In some instances, respiratory therapists find themselves in toxic clinical or work environment situations that could make them want to "tap out" or "throw in the towel." Abandonment, tapping out, and throwing in the towel are not the same. Can a respiratory therapist throw in the towel or tap out on a patient? This lecture will unpack this question from an ethics point of view. It will define abandonment laws in several states and discuss how to step away from a toxic situation or environment. It will also review real-life scenarios familiar to all healthcare providers and provide the tools and information needed to handle a toxic situation while at the same time ensuring that the patient remains safe.

Meet Your Instructor


Joel M. Brown II is the CEO and founder of Arrived Leadership (AL), LLC. His career has a proven track record of developing high-potential leaders and creating high-performing teams and functions. He is recognized internationally for his clinical and leadership lectures, research, and publications. After 30 years of healthcare and military experience, he was inspired…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Introduction and State Law Review

This chapter will introduce key ethics concepts in healthcare related to the respiratory therapist. It will also review respiratory therapy, state licensure laws on abandonment, and how abandonment differs from throwing in the towel or tapping out.

2. Toxic Situations

Most organizations have policies and procedures to help their caregivers disengage from toxic situations safely and ethically. In this chapter, two toxic scenarios (patient/family interaction and horizontal violence) are reenacted to enhance the learning experience.

3. Safe and Ethical Removal From Toxic Situations

Recognizing when you need to step away and maintaining the patient’s safety throughout the continuum of care are extremely important. This chapter provides insight into these two concepts and into ensuring withdrawal is done ethically.

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