Program Description: Take a deep breath and think about a career in respiratory care. As a vital part of the health care team, respiratory therapists treat patients with breathing problems due to pulmonary and cardiac disease. Respiratory therapists apply scientific principles to prevent, identify and treat acute or chronic dysfunction of the cardiopulmonary system. Knowledge of the scientific principles as well as biomedical engineering and technology enable respiratory therapists to effectively assess, educate and treat patients. Respiratory therapists also work with premature infants, pediatric and adult patients, trauma victims and patients who require life support. Respiratory therapists administer inhaled medication, oxygen via various devices, monitor ventilators, draw and analyze blood and assist physicians with other related duties.Students learn pharmacology, basic treatments, critical care treatment and mechanical ventilation. Successful completion of credentialing exam allows practitioners to become licensed, thus providing the student with the ability to work throughout the United States.
Career opportunities: The need for respiratory therapists is continuing to grow and job opportunities are expected to increase due to the large increase in the elderly population, the impact of environmental problems and technological advances in the treatment of lung disease, heart attack, cancer, accident victims and premature babies. Respiratory therapists work in physician offices, homecare setting, skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation centers, sleep study departments and hospitals.
Typical starting salary range: The US Bureau of labor Statistics Report: “Occupational Employment and Wages for 29-1126 Respiratory Therapists”, May 2009 reports a mean hourly wage of $26.06 per hour and a mean annual wage of $54,200.
Total number of credit hours in the program: 76 hours
For students who have earned the credential Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) from the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC): You may be granted an advanced standing as a "transition student" but are still required to take prerequisites and apply. You are encouraged to meet with the program manager, Rich Palma, and an advisor to have your transcripts evaluated as soon as possible.
See http://www.hccfl.edu/departments/health-science/hwst-admissions.aspx for more information about admissions. If you do not possess this credential (CRT) you are a “generic” or regular student and information about transition students (CRTs) does NOT apply to you.
The Respiratory Care program, Associate in Applied Science at the Dale Mabry campus is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation forRespiratory Care (http://www.coarc.com/).
The Commission on Accreditation
for Respiratory Care
1248 Harwood Road
Bedford, TX 76021-4244