Illness, injury, premature birth, and chronic respiratory conditions can rob people of their ability to breathe. A respiratory therapist is the person on the healthcare team who is involved with evaluating, diagnosing, and treating breathing disorders.
You’ll work closely with a physician to develop treatment plans to improve respiratory function, and will be responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of the treatment. Treatment could include delivery of inhaled medications, use of therapeutic or life support equipment, or a combination of therapies. Your role will also include patient and family education.
Instruction takes place in a traditional classroom format, alternating with a total of five clinical rotations in a hospital setting. General education courses are taught in traditional, online, and blended formats.
After graduation, students are required to pass an exam issued by the National Board for Respiratory Care in order to earn the designation of Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT). After earning the CRT credential, graduates are eligible to apply for a license to practice respiratory care anywhere in the United States. They are also eligible to take the Clinical Simulation Examination to be designated a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).