Respiratory Care Technology is a two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree program. The Respiratory Therapist student applies scientific knowledge and theory to practical clinical problems related to the patient with cardiopulmonary problems. The knowledge and skills for these functions are achieved through formal didactic, laboratory, and clinical preparation. Under medical supervision, the Respiratory Therapist is required to exercise considerable independent clinical judgment in the respiratory care of patients. This program prepares the graduate for the two levels of national credentialing. The Respiratory Therapist is required to have a state license to practice.
Respiratory Therapist Graduates evaluate, treat, and provide care for patients in all age groups with cardiopulmonary disorders, which may be chronic or acute. The Respiratory Therapist initiates and monitors life support systems, and may perform diagnostic procedures and therapeutic modalities using medical gases and various medications. The therapist is required to treat patients with infectious diseases, perform invasive procedures such as drawing/analyzing blood, assist with airway management, respond to cardiopulmonary arrests, and insert arterial lines.
A graduate student will have the skills necessary to perform duties learned in school once he/she has demonstrated competency in the work place and holds a temporary state license.
The therapist may work variable hours and shifts, depending on the place of employment, 24-hrs/day, seven days/wk, as well as opting to work in a variety of settings, to include acute care, rehabilitation, homecare, patient transport, or a sleep-disorder lab.