Care + Career

      Resources, news and fun for NHA certification candidates and alumni.

      Insider tips from respiratory care expert Amy Rausch

      The healthcare industry changes everyday, making continuing education vital to your success as an allied health professional. That’s why NHA requires continuing education (CE) credits to maintain certification. And when it comes to creating new educational content, we turn to some of the industry’s top experts — active leaders of the allied health community who are helping shape the future of healthcare.

      "Never stop learning. There is always new information. The more you learn, the better care your patients will receive." - Amy Rausch

      We can all learn from people like Amy Rausch, the expert responsible for the new CE article in our “Tricks and Trends of the Trade” series: Tricks and Trends of the Trade-Pulmonary Function Testing.

      She believes that pulmonary function testing is a valuable tool when diagnosing patients with lung disease or testing out a new medication. Besides knowing what all of the values mean, it is imperative to perform the tests correctly and encourage patients to put forth their best effort to get reliable results. There are also certain patients who cannot perform the test, so knowing the contraindications is critical.

      But thanks to Amy's article, you can help prevent some critical mistakes from being made. In her CE piece, she provides an overview of Pulmonary Function Testing (PFTs), including:

      • Indications of performing PFTs
      • Equipment needed to perform the testing
      • Differences between disease processes
      • Contraindications for performing PFTs
      • Common errors while performing the testing

      Are you Certified Through NHA? log in to access the article >>


      There's a reason we sought out Amy's expertise for performing PFTs. She's been a Registered Respiratory Therapist for 20 years. In 1997, she graduated from Northeast Iowa Community College and began her career as a Respiratory Therapist in Phoenix, AZ. In 2003, she completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Health Systems Management and in 2017 she completed her MBA degree.

      Currently, Amy is the Program Director for the Respiratory Care program at Northeast Iowa Community College, where she’s been for 15 years. Amy loves instructing in the Respiratory Care field and enjoys working with students and the various clinical facilities.

      We asked Amy a few questions to help you get to know more about her outlook on the industry and some of the tips that led to her career success. Keep reading to get her valuable career insights.

      What personality traits have been the most useful in your career in healthcare and why?

      The most useful personality trait in my healthcare career is empathy. Through empathy, I can understand the patient beyond their history and symptoms — considering their values, ideas and feelings. Showing empathy only takes a minute … but it can go a long way in giving you and your patient a positive experience.

      I also believe having good communication skills is essential in a career in healthcare. There are many individuals caring for an individual patient, and clear communication needs to occur between all that are involved (including the patient themselves).

      What are some best practices to ensure that you are keeping up with the industry?

      The healthcare industry changes extremely quickly!

      I am a member of the American Association for Respiratory Care, and I study their articles and emails regarding new practices in the healthcare field. I also attend statewide and national seminars and conferences to keep up with the latest treatment options and equipment. Webinars are also a great way to learn new trends in healthcare.

      What is the value of being certified in your areas of expertise?

      Being certified in your area of expertise helps advance the profession. Credentialing protects the public, identifies individuals with certain knowledge and skills, assures patients that professionals have met standards of practice and demonstrates an individual’s commitment to a profession and to lifelong learning.

      What advice would you give others in their healthcare career journey?

      Learn from your mistakes. Mistakes will be made. Own your mistakes, don’t brush them under the rug or blame others, learn from them, and move on.

      Access the article from your NHA account.

      If you currently hold an NHA certification you can log in to your NHA account to access Amy’s article and earn 2 CE credits for no extra charge. Completing the "Tricks and Trends of the Trade" series can help you stay certified. Continuing education is so important that NHA requires certificate holders to complete 10 continuing education credits every two years to renew your certification.

      Articles within this series are well suited for those practitioners with field experience related to the content, as you will call upon that knowledge plus these tips to deepen your understanding and complete “Tricks and Trends of the Trade” CE units. 

      Before completing NHA CE, you should check the rules or regulations of the licensing or regulatory agency of your state, in case there are different requirements.



      We’re grateful to have experts like Amy contributing valuable content in our newest CE series: “Tricks and Trends of the Trade.” We believe there’s no better source of learning than the men and women who are actively working — and leading — the industry today.

      Want to get to know the other authors behind the newest CE series? We’ll be introducing two more experts throughout the month — Wanda Chaney-Tardy, RN BSN, CRNI, CPT2 and Christopher Touzeau, MS, FNP-C, NRP. Be sure to subscribe to email updates (using the form on this page) so you don’t miss them!

      Topics: allied health careers, continuing education, professional tips