Sep 17, 2021  
2015-16 Academic Catalog 
2015-16 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Respiratory Care - RSPC.AS

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Respiratory Care is a health specialty involved in the treatment, management, diagnosis and care of patients with cardiopulmonary dysfunction. The respiratory care practitioner is an expert in the use of therapeutic gases, ventilatory support, bronchopulmonary drainage, breathing exercises, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, aerosol administration, hyperinflation therapy, medications, humidification, and maintenance of natural, artificial, and mechanical airways. Respiratory care practitioners are also involved in diagnostic testing, monitoring, treatment, education, sales, and research. These include the measurement of lung volumes, pressures, flows, blood gas analysis, electrocardiograms, stress testing, sleep studies, smoking cessation, pulmonary rehabilitation, and asthma management.

Respiratory care offers the chance to work closely with patients and other health care practitioners in a career which is both personally and financially rewarding.

The graduate practitioner will find a health care system that is changing and expanding. In many areas of the health care system, a multi-skilled practitioner will be needed. The graduate respiratory care practitioner will be this person. While the greater number of graduates work in hospitals or hold teaching positions, the future undoubtedly will see openings in industry, rehabilitation centers, home care companies, nursing homes, health maintenance organizations, and individual businesses.

This program is sponsored by the College in cooperation with area hospitals, pulmonary rehabilitation programs, long-term care facilities, and home care agencies. The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (COARC).

The curriculum includes a summer session. Students are charged for this session at the regular School of Continuing Education rate.

Academic Requirements: No grade lower than a “C” (73%) will be accepted toward graduation in respiratory care. Students not meeting this grade requirement in any course will be withdrawn from the program. Failure in an affiliation course will result in dismissal from the program. Grades of less than “C” will not be accepted in transfer.

The following clinical lab courses may have a 7:00 a.m. starting time, or a 3:00 p.m. starting time that lasts until 11:00 p.m.

Upon successful completion of requirements for this program, the degree of Associate in Science in Respiratory Care will be awarded.

Applying to this Program

All applications for consideration for acceptance into the program should be received by the Admissions Office no later than March 31 of the application year.

Admission Requirements:

High school graduate or equivalent.


College placement tests, reading tests (mandatory).

Applicants to this program must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Completion of a college-level biology course with a lab with a grade of C or better
  • Completion of Algebra 2 (MAT 097 ).
  • Completion of a college-level Medical Terminology course (MED 100 ).
  • A short essay stating why you want to be a respiratory therapist.

The admissions process is competitive, with a maximum of eighteen students being accepted each fall. Grades will be considered in the decision process.

Those applicants, who have completed the following, will be given first priority:

  1. Previous health-care experience.
  2. The following classes completed and passed upon application:
  • Anatomy & Physiology 1, within five years of application date
  • Anatomy & Physiology 2, within five years of application date
  • College-level microbiology
  • College-level biochemistry
  • English Composition 1 & 2
  • College-level psychology

Students must submit a required health form prior to July 15 in the year of their initial enrollment.

Any disabilities must be within safe limits for both students and patients. It should be noted that the affiliating hospitals require by contract proof of satisfactory health, and reserve the right to refuse affiliation for students. Therefore, health status is subject to contract terms.

Programmatic Technical Standard (PDF)

Students’ physical and mental ability must withstand the vigorous demands of respiratory care (i.e., be able to move patients and work under stress.)

All accepted students must undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information or other check. Depending on the findings, the student may not be allowed to continue in the program of study. For further information, please contact the Office of the Dean, School of Health and Patient Simulation.

Applying for Re-Admission to this Program

Students who leave this health program before completing it may apply for re-admission.  Click here  for information about the re-admission policy and process.

Respiratory Care Program Goals

  1. Upon completion of the program, the graduate will be a competent advanced-level Respiratory Care Practitioner.
  2. Will demonstrate professional behavior consistent with employer expectations as advanced-level Respiratory Care Practitioners.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to comprehend, apply, and evaluate clinical information relevant to their roles as advanced-level Respiratory Care Practitioners.
  4. Master the technical proficiency in the skills necessary to fulfill their roles as advanced-level Respiratory Care Practitioners.
  5. Have been taught to be critical thinkers because of their educative experience with Human Patient Simulators.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to promote a team approach to patient care and interact with all health-care workers.
  7. Will be encouraged to further their professional development by continuing education, conducting research, and being a member of the American Association of Respiratory Care.
  8. Communicate effectively both orally and in writing.


(RSPC.AS) Curriculum

Total: 17 credits

Total: 17 credits

Total: 10 credits

Total: 16 credits

Total: 14 credits

Total (RSPC.AS) Curriculum Program Credits: 74

Department Personnel

Name Title Office Phone Email
Esther Perrelli Brookes Faculty/Department Chair 20/302D 413-755-5707
Scott Frink Faculty/Academic Coordinator of Clinical Ed. 20/302B 413-755-4878

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