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.

After graduation, the student is qualified to take the Respiratory Therapist Multiple Choice Examination issued by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). Successful completion of this exam earns the graduate the entry level designation of Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) which is required for licensure in all states except Alaska and Hawaii. After earning the CRT credential students can go on to take the Clinical Simulation Examination which will earn them the title of Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).

The Respiratory Therapist program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (, 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, Texas 76021-4244, phone 817.283.2835.

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:

CRT Success95%
RRT Success 62.5%
Job Placement90%
Number of Students Enrolled 45
Number of Program Graduates40

Data updated November 2014

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