Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory Therapist

Associate of Applied Science

Credits Required for Graduation: 70.00

Program Overview

Respiratory therapists, as members of a team of health care professionals, work to evaluate, treat and manage patients of all ages with respiratory illnesses and other cardiopulmonary disorders in a wide variety of clinical settings. In addition to performing respiratory care procedures, respiratory therapists are involved in clinical decision making (such as patient evaluation, treatment selection and assessment of treatment efficacy) and patient education. The scope of practice for respiratory therapy includes, but is not limited to:

-assessing the cardiopulmonary status of patients,

-drawing blood samples, performing blood gas analysis and pulmonary function testing,

-initiating ordered respiratory care, evaluating and monitoring patients' responses to such care, modifying the prescribed respiratory therapy and cardiopulmonary procedures and life support endeavors to achieve desired therapeutic objectives,

-providing patient, family and community education, and

-participating in life support activities as required.

At graduation, the student is qualified for admission to the entry-level and advanced practitioner examinations to become a registered respiratory therapist. The Respiratory Therapist program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care ( Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, Texas 76021-4244, phone 817.283.2835.

All states, except Alaska and Hawaii, require that respiratory therapists hold a license to practice. Although the requirements for licensure vary among states, all require the CRT (certified respiratory therapist) credential. The CRT exam, also known as the entry level exam, is administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). Over the past 10 years, 100% of the graduates of Western's program have passed the CRT exam on their first attempt. Nationally, only 78% pass the exam on the first attempt. After passing the CRT exam, graduates of Western Technical College are eligible to take the RRT (Registered Respiratory Therapist) exam. Success rates for both exams, as well as data on job placement are reported annually by The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

Here is the data for the last 3 years:

# graduates 2010-201239
CRT Success (Entry Level Exam)97.4%
RRT Success (Advance Practice Exam)74.4%
Job Placement89.7%

October 2013

To compare Western Technical College to other colleges in the country, follow this link to the CoARC website: