Respiratory Care Week is an annual event that celebrates the profession of respiratory care. It is typically held in the month of October and is a time to raise awareness about lung health and the importance of respiratory care.

In this article, we will take a look at what respiratory care week is, why it is important, and how you can get involved.

When is Respiratory Care Week in 2022?

This annual event is typically held in the month of October, although the dates can vary slightly from year to year.

In 2022, Respiratory Care Week will be celebrated from October 23-29th, according to the AARC.

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What is Respiratory Care Week?

Respiratory Care Week is an annual event that sets aside a full week to appreciate and acknowledge hardworking respiratory therapists around the world.

The weeklong event serves as a way to bring awareness to both the profession and the importance of taking care of one’s lungs.

Most hospitals and respiratory therapy schools use this week to hold special events as a way to show appreciation for respiratory therapists.

It’s common for them to receive recognition from nurses, doctors, and other departments within the hospital. That is because respiratory therapists are essential members of the healthcare team!

History of Respiratory Care Week

Respiratory Care Week was started by President Ronald Reagan in November of 1982. He signed a proclamation declaring the third week in October as National Respiratory Care Week.

Since then, the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) has been the primary sponsor of the event.

The AARC is a professional organization that is dedicated to advancing the profession of respiratory care and improving the quality of patient care.

ronald reagan respiratory care week

Why is Respiratory Care Week Important?

Respiratory Care Week is a time to celebrate the profession and to bring awareness to the importance of taking care of one’s lungs.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and lower respiratory infections are the third and fourth leading causes of death worldwide.

Therefore, it is essential to raise awareness about these conditions and the importance of respiratory care.

Respiratory therapists play a vital role in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of these conditions. Respiratory Care Week serves as a way to bring attention to the profession and the importance of lung health.

What is Lung Health Day?

Lung Health Day is held annually on the Wednesday of Respiratory Care Week. It was first initiated in 2003 by the AARC as another way to bring awareness to the importance of lung health.

By doing so, the ultimate goal is to educate people on how to lower the risk of developing chronic lung diseases.

How to Celebrate Respiratory Care Week

This special week is not only about raising awareness, it’s also about celebrating the great profession of respiratory care. Here are some ways that you can do just that:

Enjoy the Free Food

If you’re lucky, your hospital, school, or workplace will be celebrating Respiratory Care Week by providing free food.

This is a great way for nurses and physicians to show appreciation for their respiratory therapist coworkers.

respiratory care week celebration

Attend a Respiratory Care Week Event

Many hospitals and respiratory therapy schools will be holding special events to celebrate Respiratory Care Week.

These events can range from educational lectures to fun social gatherings. If you have the opportunity, try to attend one of these events.

Have a Fundraiser

One great way to celebrate Respiratory Care Week is by hosting a fundraiser. This week naturally brings a lot of attention to the field of respiratory care.

What better time to raise money for a good cause than during this special week?

This is common in respiratory therapy schools throughout the United States. If your school has yet to do this, maybe you can be the one to start the tradition!

Schedule Activities

Respiratory Care Week is the perfect opportunity to schedule fun respiratory care-themed activities.

For example, you could have a “lung walk” to raise awareness for lung cancer or you could have a “sputum bowl” to test your respiratory knowledge.

Even if it’s outside of work, spending time with your coworkers is a great way to improve the bond within your department.

Be Grateful

Respiratory therapists will deservingly receive a ton of praise during Respiratory Care Week. While you most definitely deserve the admiration, don’t forget to be grateful.

Use this week as a time to reflect on how thankful you are to work in such an amazing career that allows you to improve the lives of others.

How to Raise Awareness

One of the best ways to raise awareness for Respiratory Care Week is to spread the word on social media.

For example, you can snap a quick selfie with your classmates or coworkers and publish it to your favorite social media pages. Be sure to use some of the most popular hashtags, including:

  • #RespiratoryCareWeek
  • #RCWeek
  • #RespiratoryCare
  • #RespiratoryTherapist
  • #RespiratoryTherapyZone

This is an effective way to reach a wide audience and to remind your friends and family about the importance of respiratory care.

respiratory therapist selfie

Respiratory Care Week Memes

Memes are a great way to appreciate Respiratory Care Week with a little bit of humor, of course. Here are some of our favorites:

Be sure to follow us on Instagram (@respiratorytherapyzone) for more of the best memes for Respiratory Care Week.

Respiratory Care Week Gifts

Respiratory Care Week is the perfect time to buy a new gift for yourself or for your favorite respiratory therapist. Here are some ideas:

For more, check out our full guide that shares the best gift ideas for respiratory therapists. It will help make your shopping a breeze!

Final Thoughts

Respiratory Care Week is an event held each year that celebrates the profession of respiratory therapy. The weeklong event is a time to raise awareness about lung health and to celebrate the great field of respiratory care.

It is usually held during the month of October, but the exact dates can vary from year to year. This is a great time for respiratory therapists to receive praise and recognition for the hard work that they do.

If you are a respiratory therapist, be sure to use this week as an opportunity to reflect on how lucky you are to have such an amazing career. And, of course, don’t forget to celebrate.

Happy Respiratory Care Week, and thanks for reading!


The following are the sources that were used while doing research for this article:

Medical Disclaimer: The information provided by Respiratory Therapy Zone is for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a physician with any questions that you may have regarding a medical condition.