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Western Schools is approved as a respiratory care continuing education program provider by American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), provider #9346916. All courses are pre-approved by the AARC.



Additional Information



  • Western Schools 365 is valid only for the registered individual, and is non-transferable
  • No promotional discounts may be applied to the purchase of the Western Schools 365 Online Respiratory Therapy Membership

Western Schools 365 Respiratory Therapy Membership

Reg. Prices
Just $124.95
Item # VS900

With the Western Schools 365 Respiratory Therapy Online Membership you get: 

  • Unlimited access to all 1-5 hour high-quality, evidence-based online CE courses for respiratory therapy professionals for a full year
  • One price to fulfill all your CE needs
  • Manage all online CE in one convenient location
  • Instant access to certificates upon successful course completion
  • When we publish New or Updated courses, they will automatically be added to your membership
  • Note: Western Schools 365 is valid only for the registered individual, and is non-transferable. Courses may be completed for credit only once during the one-year membership.


How it works:

  • Once you've purchased your membership, you'll be directed to your My Membership page, where you can select courses you'd like to complete by clicking the Enroll button
  • Access the courses you've enrolled by logging in to your account and navigating to My Courses. Follow directions there to complete courses for credit
  • Enroll in additional courses from your Membership by navigating to the My Membership page anytime and clicking the Enroll button next to your selected course(s)
  • We'll remind you by email before your membership expires so you have time to complete anything you still need to do
  • After your membership expires you will still have access to any courses you enrolled in, but credit will no longer be awarded for incomplete courses


This product includes the following courses:
Click on the title to see more and read the course

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Updated 1st Edition

Price: $29.95 Hours:3 Contact Hours
Item # V7137  

Expiration Date: August 3, 2018

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a syndrome with identified predisposing factors, no known cause, a rapid onset, and severe lung malfunction that results in the inability of the lungs to take up oxygen. ARDS is one of the major causes of respiratory failure and hospital morbidity. Although some improvements have been made in ARDS treatment, healthcare professionals are still faced with many challenges in the care of patients with this syndrome. Despite numerous advances in supportive care, the mortality rate of ARDS remains high. Forty to sixty percent of patients with ARDS still do not survive despite supportive therapy.

Although researchers are investigating approaches to reduce the severity and progression of ARDS, prevention is the most important intervention, and the treatment of precipitating factors with ventilatory support remains the standard therapy for reducing the severity of ARDS. Healthcare professionals play an essential role in prevention, early recognition and diagnosis, and treatment of this catastrophic syndrome.

This course is designed for healthcare professionals who care for patients who might be at risk for or who have ARDS. The goal of the course is to provide an overview of ARDS. The course presents essential information about the pathophysiology, incidence, progression, and collaborative treatment of ARDS. The long-term care of a patient with ARDS is also discussed. A summary of care during the critical care period is also provided; however, the reader is encouraged to refer to critical care texts for a complete orientation to this complex care.

Anthrax: A Bioterrorist Weapon, 2nd Edition

Price: $29.95 Hours:3 Contact Hours
Item # V7234  

Expiration Date: October 15, 2018

So far as is known, all primitive and civilized societies have suffered diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms. Frequently, the results have been disastrous. One of several microbial candidates believed to have great potential as a biological weapon is the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, the cause of the infection anthrax. the threat of bioterrorism has brought anthrax beyond the point of scientific inquiry and has created new challenges for medical and public health professionals. This course presents the currently known properties of Bacillus anthracis and the understanding of the pathogenesis, approaches to diagnosis, prevention and control measures, and treatment of anthrax. Consideration also is given to selected aspects of bioweapons and features of bioterrorism.


Antibiotic Resistance and the Staphylococci, 2nd Edition

Price: $29.95 Hours:3 Contact Hours
Item # V7235  

This course is an updated version of Antibiotic Resistance and the Staphylococci (V7179).

Expiration Date: October 3, 2018

This course educates respiratory therapists and other health professionals on antibiotic-resistant staphylococci, particularly methicillin-resistant staph (upwards of 25% of nosocomial isolates of Staphylococcus aureus are methicillin resistant). Transmission strains, and the clinical features of diseases caused by these pathogens are covered as well as antibiotic properties, testing, therapy for infection, prevention, and control. 

Approaches to Nosocomial Infection: Prevention and Control, 2nd Edition

Price: $29.95 Hours:3 Contact Hours
Item # V7239  

Expiration Date: June 16, 2018

Nosocomial, or hospital-acquired, infections are considered to be among the most common complications affecting hospitalized patients. Infection prevention and control are critical components not only of patient safety, but also of healthcare personnel safety and well-being. Approaches to prevention and control include identification of causes (a form of sleuthing), familiarity with the means of transmission and spread, and clear knowledge of the most effective and, quite frequently, the most inexpensive ways to combat healthcare-associated infections. Above all, there must be a significant commitment on all levels of health care to ensure and to maintain effective infection control.

This course, appropriate for any healthcare provider who has direct patient contact, presents a number of topics related to infection prevention and control, including discussion of the means of pathogen transmission, epidemiological patterns of disease, the properties of well-known causes of nosocomial infections, risk factors and groups at risk for nosocomial infections, and recommended measures and practices (both general and specific) for the prevention and control of nosocomial infections both within and outside of healthcare facilities.

Because of the potential for bioterrorist attacks involving diseases such as anthrax, botulism (fatal food poisoning), plague, and smallpox, consideration is also given to the nature of these diseases and approaches to their control.

Assessment of the Pediatric Airway, 2nd Edition

Price: $9.95 Hours:1 Contact Hour
Item # V7248  

This course is an updated version of Assessment of the Pediatric Airway (V7199).

Expiration Date: October 21, 2018

This course aims to take the stress out of dealing with difficult airways by giving the provider tools to assess the patient prior to bag-valve-mask ventilation, airway manipulation, and laryngoscopy. It also provides clinical tools that can be used to improve the view of the airway and thereby increase the likelihood of successful intubation in challenging scenarios. The purpose of this course is not to review each step and procedure, but to provide fundamental knowledge of what needs to be considered in the assessment of a pediatric airway.Anatomic and physiologic aspects of the pediatric airway and the differences between adult and pediatric anatomy as they relate to the challenges associated with successful endotracheal intubation are covered, along with congenital abnormalities that can increase the risk of negative outcomes. 

Avian (H5N1) Influenza, 3rd Edition

Price: $9.95 Hours:1 Contact Hour
Item # V7220  

Expiration Date: January 11, 2019

Influenza is a highly contagious, acute febrile respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. Epidemic outbreaks of influenza occur every year in the United States and around the world. These outbreaks result in an average of 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths each year in the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2011; Thompson et al., 2010). Most fatal cases of influenza in the United States occur in the very young, the very old, and those whose immune systems are compromised (Thompson et al., 2010). However, influenza viruses can infect people of any age and can infect animals, including birds, pigs, horses, dogs, and marine mammals. Wild birds and domestic poultry are the natural reservoirs for all influenza A subtypes (H1 to H16), although humans are also often infected by subtypes H1 to H3 (CDC, 2013). Influenza subtypes that occur most often in birds are called avian influenza strains. 

Every year, circulating influenza A strains mutate or change. Most strain mutations are relatively minor and are called antigenic drift, meaning that characteristics of the new strain have changed or drifted slightly from the original. Occasionally, however, influenza strains will mutate significantly, resulting in an antigenic shift, meaning that the new strain is significantly different from the original strain. These shifts may mean that humans are now susceptible to avian influenza or that the route of transmission may change, making human-to-human spread easier.

Nurses compose the largest segment of healthcare providers, and are poised to be at the forefront in managing care for patients with avian influenza. In addition, physicians, counselors, respiratory therapists, and other healthcare professionals will be needed to help identify, treat, isolate, and manage patients with avian influenza. It is essential that all healthcare professionals become familiar with the epidemiology, threat, clinical description, infection prevention, and patient management of avian influenza. This information will aid healthcare professionals in rapidly recognizing and responding to outbreaks of avian influenza, which will decrease morbidity, mortality, and costs of the virus.

The purpose of this course is to provide nurses and other healthcare providers with information on the emerging threat, epidemiology, and clinical description of avian influenza. The overall objective of this course is to increase the learner’s knowledge of avian influenza and the response steps they can take to decrease the spread of disease during an avian influenza pandemic.

Bioterrorism: The Biology of Threats and Health Impacts

Price: $44.95 Hours:5 Contact Hours
Item # V7240  

Expiration Date: November 26, 2018

This course focuses on the properties of the most likely biological agents and the associated diseases that could be involved in terrorist acts. A foundational understanding of bacterial, viral, and biological toxins, as well as principles of disease epidemiology, is necessary to understand the biological agents that are considered our most significant threats. In addition to a review of the characteristics of bacteria and viruses, an in-depth analysis of Category A biological weapons (agents of highest threat/risk) is provided, including their history and significance, biological characteristics, means of transmission, clinical features and presentation, criteria for diagnosis, medical management, and options for prophylaxis. This course is organized in such a way as to serve as a foundation to meet the informational needs of the healthcare team, as well as public health and law enforcement personnel, to be prepared to recognize and respond to biological terrorism-associated incidents.

Birth Defects Affecting the Respiratory System, Updated 1st Edition

Price: $29.95 Hours:3 Contact Hours
Item # V7222  

Expiration Date: January 1, 2019

Birth defects are also called congenital defects or congenital anomalies. Congenital defects are anatomical, structural, functional, or metabolic conditions present at birth that are not within the normal expectations. Congenital anomalies may be further defined in terms of severity, pathogenesis, or pattern, and may be noted immediately at or following birth (McLean, 2005). Anomalies can exist as a single finding or a constellation of findings (syndrome). 

One in 33 babies born in the United States has a birth defect (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2014a). Birth defects affect 3% of all pregnancies (CDC, 2014a). Although each of the 4,000 known congenital problems affects only a few individuals, an estimated 150,000 babies are born in the United States each year with a birth defect (KidsHealth, n.d.a). In fact, birth defects are the leading cause of infant mortality (20%) in the United States (CDC, 2014b).  

While much about specific causes of certain birth defects is unknown, it is known that they can be genetic, environmental, related to the mother’s health and habits, or multifactorial, meaning that the defects result from a combination of these factors. The causes of many birth defects are unknown (CDC, 2014c) and many babies with birth defects are born to apparently healthy parents. The majority of pregnancies and births are normal, and the number of deaths due to birth defects has decreased significantly in recent years. Many abnormal congenital conditions (anomalies) are being successfully treated in utero and in the immediate postpartum period (NIH, 2014).

This course gives an overview of some of the conditions related to congenital defects that affect the respiratory system. The intent of this course is to provide health professionals with knowledge of these major conditions that will help them to recognize congenital defects, intervene, and teach about possible prevention. The overall goal of this course is to provide a knowledge base for health professionals who care for mothers in prenatal clinics, labor and delivery, or newborn nursery areas. The course will also provide a basic orientation to birth defects affecting the respiratory system for those planning to work with high-risk newborns. 

Bronchial Hygiene Therapy: Equipment and Techniques for Airway Suctioning

Price: $9.95 Hours:1 Contact Hour
Item # V7288  

Release Date: December 27, 2017

Expiration Date: December 27, 2020

This intermediate level course presents the equipment and techniques used by respiratory therapists for airway suctioning. The indications, contraindications, hazards and complications of suctioning are discussed, along with patient assessments before and after the procedure. Detailed information is provided on types of suction catheters, suctioning procedure, open suctioning and closed suctioning. A clinical case study is included to reinforce learning concepts, and pre- and post-test questions are used to assess learning outcomes. A list of references is provided as a guide for additional reading.

Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Critical Incidents: Implications for Practitioners

Price: $9.95 Hours:1 Contact Hour
Item # V7267  

Release Date: December 22, 2016

Expiration Date: December 7, 2018

As we move further into the 21st century, chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear critical incidents are on the rise. Between social media and 24/7 news, we learn about these incidents in real time. Healthcare practitioners are challenged now more than ever to mobilize in an instant to meet the needs of victims and communities during the response and recovery efforts.                                                    

This course is designed to give clinicians an overview of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear incidents. The topics include how such incidents occur; the toxicity and clinical implications of agents that can be released; how a critical incident scene is managed; mass casualty triage and decontamination procedures; and how healthcare facilities plan for and facilitate the recovery effort as things get back to normal after a critical incident. 


Chest Trauma, 2nd Edition

Price: $19.95 Hours:2 Contact Hours
Item # V7243  

Expiration Date: July 13, 2018
Chest trauma is classified as either blunt (steering wheel injury) or penetrating (bullets or impalement).  This course addresses blunt force trauma, penetrating trauma, and management of the chest trauma patient. Assessment is discussed, including immediate protection of the airway and maintaining chest wall stability. The major thoracic trauma injuries are described, including how to diagnose and treat, such as tension pneumothorax, sternum fractures, flail chest, diaphragmatic rupture, aortic rupture, cardiac tamponade, empyema, and more. 

Chest X-Ray Interpretation, 2nd Edition

Price: $19.95 Hours:2 Contact Hours
Item # V7233  

This course is an updated version of Chest Roentgenography (V7167).

Expiration Date: October 1, 2018

It is important not only to be able to recognize the basic areas of normality and abnormality, but to establish a personal style of analyzing chest x-rays in a systematic fashion. Many pulmonary problems – including pneumothorax, displaced tubes, and the presence of foreign bodies – are detected on an x-ray before being discerned by other clinical examinations. This course is designed to instruct the practicing Respiratory Therapist how to interpret a chest x-ray, focusing on a clinical, practical application approach. Fundamentally, this course addresses two main forms of interpretation: ABCs and A-Z.

Choices in Ventilator Humidity: When and How, 2nd Edition

Price: $9.95 Hours:1 Contact Hour
Item # V7249  

This course is an updated version of Alternative Ventilator Humidity: When and How (V7190).
Expiration Date: October 28, 2018

This course is designed for respiratory care practitioners working with mechanical ventilators and focuses on the indications, rationale, and application of alternative humidification methodology in ventilator management. The differences between traditional hot water-bath (active) and the alternative (passive) heat-moisture exchangers (HMEs) and the application of each of these humidification methods during mechanical ventilation are discussed.

Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, 2nd Edition

Price: $29.95 Hours:3 Contact Hours
Item # V7147  

Expiration Date: November 5, 2018

An estimated 15 million people in the United States have chronic obstructive lung disease, also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This is a preventable and treatable disease that is characterized by partially reversible airway obstruction. The major symptoms of the disease are cough, sputum production, and dyspnea, with activity intolerance being a central feature. Monitoring and managing these and other symptoms is a daily activity for patients with COPD. Cigarette smoking is the main risk factor for the disease; therefore, smoking cessation must be an integral part of any treatment program. It is essential that healthcare professionals tailor patient care to meet the individual needs of patients with COPD. Such care can contribute to an increased quality of life for patients with COPD and help in preventing and reducing hospitalizations.

This course is intended for healthcare professionals who care for patients with COPD and practice in a wide range of settings. Patients with COPD are treated in intensive care units and acute and long-term care facilities, as well as in outpatient clinics, provider offices, and their own homes. The purpose of this course is to explore ways in which healthcare professionals can contribute to an improved quality of life for patients with COPD while also helping to prevent or reduce exacerbations. The prevalence of COPD makes it essential that healthcare professionals maintain up-to-date knowledge regarding this disease.

Clinical Applications of CO2 Monitoring, 2nd Edition

Price: $19.95 Hours:2 Contact Hours
Item # V7246  

This course is an updated version of CO2 Monitoring (V7151).

Expiration Date: September 28, 2018

C02 concentration is an important measure of disease severity and response to treatment. This course discusses types of analyzers, factors affecting PETCO2, PaCO2-PETCO2 gradient, normal and abnormal capnograms, and uses of capnography (graphic representation of carbon dioxide). This is critical information to have to effectively evaluate and maintain ventilation of patients. Both mainstream and sidestream ventilation are also addressed with visual examples of each. 

Contemporary Practice in Secretion Clearance and Hyperinflation

Price: $9.95 Hours:1 Contact Hour
Item # V7290  

Release Date: October 20, 2017

Expiration Date: October 20, 2019

This intermediate course for respiratory therapists provides a review and update on the current practice of secretion clearance and hyperinflation therapy. Under the main heading of airway secretion clearance, the following topics are covered: direct cough, huff maneuver, autogenic drainage, postural drainage therapy, positioning, percussion, vibration, electrical precursors, high frequency chest wall compression, chest wall oscillation, and PAP adjuncts.  Under hyperinflation therapy, topics include deep breathing exercise, incentive spirometry and mechanical assist devices. The effectiveness of these techniques and devices are discussed. The learners should be able to select the appropriate method or equipment for patients to achieve optimal secretion clearance and improved ventilation.


Continuous Quality Improvement: Methods and Tools, 2nd Edition

Price: $19.95 Hours:2 Contact Hours
Item # V7255  

Release Date: April 18, 2016

Expiration Date: April 19, 2019

Continuous quality improvement (CQI) is a philosophy that is implemented as an ongoing effort to continuously evaluate and improve a service, process, or product. The process creates an environment in which all members of a team work together to constantly improve quality that may result in incremental changes or abrupt, substantial changes. As patient advocates, recognizing CQI as an important tool to improve function has the potential to reduce wasted resources and improve the work environment for management and staff. CQI is a management philosophy that can be integrated into day-to-day functions at the bedside through a nonbureaucratic educate and support model, rather than a bureaucratic command and control model. This course offers an introduction to CQI components, benefits, and strategies for healthcare providers, from administrators to beside practitioners.


Current Controversies in Asthma Care - VIDEO COURSE

Price: $10.95 Hours:1 Contact Hour
Item # V7263  

Release Date: September 30, 2016

Expiration Date: September 30, 2018

New VIDEO course format.

Led by Dr. Kathryn Blake at the Association of Asthma Educators Conference in August of 2016, this presentation keeps respiratory therapists and other health care professionals working with asthmatic patients on the cutting-edge of research by explaining the current controversies in asthma care. Stepping down therapy in well-controlled patients on ICS + LABA; using the new anti-IL-5 biologics (mepolizumab and reslizumab); the role of proton pump inhibitors; treating acute, non-chronic cough associated with upper respiratory infections are covered.




This course is the result of a creative partnership between the Association of Asthma Educators and Western Schools. This presentation took place on August 6, 2016, at the Association of Asthma Educators 2016 Annual Conference in Jacksonville, Florida.
Video Production: Ed Roy Media (Jacksonville, Florida)


Cystic Fibrosis: Diagnosis and Treatment, 2nd Edition

Price: $9.95 Hours:1 Contact Hour
Item # V7236  

Expiration Date: August 7, 2018

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease affecting approximately 30,000 people in the United States and 70,000 worldwide. Respiratory therapists play a significant role in the assessment and treatment of this complicated disease. This course is designed to help the respiratory therapist recognize the symptoms of cystic fibrosis as well as standard testing procedures and treatment. Dietary problems associated with cystic fibrosis are discussed as well as the importance of enzymatic supplements. Infections and complications are discussed, along with changes in life expectancy for people with cystic fibrosis.

Development and Implementation of the Respiratory Care Patient Education Program, 2nd Edition

Price: $19.95 Hours:2 Contact Hours
Item # V7247  

This course is an updated version of Development and Implementation of the Respiratory Care Patient Education Program (V7168).

Expiration Date: October 7, 2018

This course guides respiratory therapists in the education of cardiopulmonary patients, a task so important that the AARC published a position statement to identify, illustrate, and support the involvement of respiratory care practitioners in the promotion of health and the prevention of disease. Described are the key conditions needed for effective health education and the focus of education appropriate for different patient and caregiver populations. The various teaching techniques and resources available for patient education are addressed. This discussion is inclusive of all age groups (from neonate through geriatric), and therefore contains age-specific guidelines for educating patients and caregivers.

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