You clicked on this article, so that likely means that you are wondering — What is Respiratory Care Week? If so then you’re definitely in the right place because that is what this article is all about.

This guide has everything you need to know about Respiratory Care Week. So if you’re ready, let’s dive in. 

What is Respiratory Care Week?

Respiratory Care Week is a full week that is set aside each year in order to appreciate and acknowledge hard-working Respiratory Therapists around the world.

Typically, Respiratory Care Week is celebrated in all parts of the world, but it is most notably recognized in the United States and Canada.

Respiratory Therapists around the world use Respiratory Care Week as a way to celebrate their profession and dedication to high-quality patient care. This includes RT students as well, because hey, students can always use a little appreciation too, right?

Most respiratory care departments and school programs use this week as an opportunity to hold special events in their hospitals and schools to help raise awareness of the vital role a Respiratory Therapist plays as a part of the healthcare team.

It’s also not uncommon for Respiratory Therapists to be recognized by nurses, doctors, and other departments of the hospital as well.

That’s right, you guessed it — free food! 🙂

When is Respiratory Care Week?

Respiratory Care Week usually falls on the last full week of October, although the dates can vary on a year-to-year basis.

Respiratory Care Week is scheduled for October 24–30, 2021.

The dates have been officially set by the AARC for the 2021 calendar year. We will provide you with all the updated dates and details for Respiratory Care Week.

History of Respiratory Care Week

It was started by President Ronald Reagan in November 1982 when he signed a proclamation declaring the third week of each October as National Respiratory Care Week.
Since the proclamation, Respiratory Care Week is now a yearly event that is designed to promote and bring awareness to the field of Respiratory Care.

What is Lung Health Day?

Another thing to keep in mind is that in 2003, the AARC initiated Lung Health Day as another way to promote Respiratory Care and lung health awareness.

This special day takes place on the Wednesday of National Respiratory Care Week each and every year.

How to Celebrate Respiratory Care Week?

Respiratory Care Week is not only about raising awareness — it’s about celebrating as well. Here are a few ideas that you can consider for celebrating this special week:
  • Enjoy the free food – If you’re lucky, other departments in your hospital or school will provide the Respiratory Therapy department with free food. So definitely take advantage of this — just don’t overdo it on the sweets. 😉
  • Have a fundraiser – There will be a lot of hype around Respiratory Care during this week. That is why it’s a perfect time to do a fundraiser for your department. 
  • Schedule activities – This is the perfect opportunity to schedule activities or play games with your coworkers. This will also help to grow the bond within your department. 
  • Be grateful – As I said before, being a Respiratory Therapist, you’ll most likely receive a lot of praise during Respiratory Care Week. Of course you deserve all praise and admiration, just don’t forget to be thankful.

Respiratory Care Week Gift Ideas

Respiratory Care Week is the perfect time to get a new gift for your favorite Respiratory Therapist. Here are a few ideas that they’ll be sure to love:

Also, this is the perfect time of year for hoodies and sweatshirts. has an amazing selection for Respiratory Therapists, including one of my favorites:

I mean, does it get any better than this Respiratory Therapist hoodie? Of course not — that is why you need to grab one before the stock runs out again.

Why is Respiratory Care Week Important?

This week is important not only to acknowledge hard-working Respiratory Therapists around the world — it also serves as an opportunity to spread the word about this great profession.

Unfortunately, Respiratory Therapists often don’t get the credit that they deserve. But this special week is a time to focus on and highlight just how important the Respiratory Therapist is in caring for patients with cardiopulmonary disorders. 

How to Raise Awareness for Respiratory Care and Lung Health?

In order to help raise awareness and grow the field of Respiratory Care, we have to be advocates of this great profession. There are a few popular ways to raise awareness:

Use Social Media

As I’m sure you are aware, the world we live in today has been taken over by social media. That is why it can be such an effective (and easy) way to spread the word about the field of Respiratory Care.

So definitely be sure to snap a selfie with your coworkers or classmates and share it to your favorite social media pages. Don’t forget to use the most popular hashtags as well.

For example, #RespiratoryCareWeek.

Hold an Event

There’s no better way to get the word out than to hold an event in your hospital or school. Humans are drawn to events which is why this is a great way to raise awareness about Respiratory Care.

Donate to the ARCF

The ARCF, or American Respiratory Care Foundation, is an organization that supports education and research for Respiratory Care professionals.

Giving back is a great way to support this great profession. If you’re interested, just go to

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! Now you know pretty much everything there is to know about Respiratory Care Week. As a Respiratory Therapist, this is one of the most special times of the year because this week is dedicated to celebrating YOU!⠀

More times than not, Respiratory Therapists just simply do not get the recognition that they deserve. It’s the unfortunate truth.⠀

But with that said, I want to personally thank you for all the hard work that you do each and every day (or night). The long hours, code blues, vent checks, breathing treatments, ABGs — you name it.

YOU are a crucial member of the healthcare team and don’t you ever forget it!⠀

Thank you for being apart of the Respiratory Therapy Zone community, and most importantly, thank you for being a Respiratory Therapist! Breathe easy, my friend.


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