Students in class

Respiratory Therapy

Associate of Applied Science

PURPOSE: The degree in Respiratory Therapy is designed to prepare students for roles as contributing members of the modern health care team concerned with treatment, management, and care of patients with breathing, cardiovascular, and sleep abnormalities.   

OCCUPATIONAL OBJECTIVES: Occupational objectives include employment opportunities as respiratory therapy practitioners in hospitals, clinics, research facilities, home care agencies, and alternate care sites. The respiratory therapy practitioner will be able to administer gas therapy, humidity therapy, aerosol therapy, and hyperinflation therapy; assist with mechanical ventilation, special therapeutic and diagnostic procedures, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and airway management techniques; and follow therapeutic protocols. The respiratory therapy practitioner works under the supervision of a physician.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS: General college curricular admission 

PROGRAM NOTES: The Respiratory Therapy program offers courses in both traditional and distance learning formats. All distance learning courses within the curriculum are classified as distance learning with in-person or proctor requirements. This means that most of the instruction for the course is delivered online and that students will be required to make a limited number of trips to a campus site for labs, presentations, and other class activities or to a community site for clinical or internships. Also, some courses may require proctored testing that can be done at Reynolds testing centers, testing sites at other VCCS colleges, or an approved site outside the state of Virginia. 

In order to complete the Respiratory Therapy program, students will be required to attend both day and evening classes.  

Student Outcomes for the Respiratory Therapy AAS Degree:  Upon completion of the Respiratory Therapy AAS degree, students will be expected to

  • Demonstrate competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRTs) through the NBRC Self-Assessment Exams and program clinical evaluations;
  • Apply critical thinking to the practice of respiratory care as measured by the NBRC Therapist Multiple-Choice Self-Assessment Exam with a score of 94 or higher;
  • Synthesize theory and clinical practice as measured by the NBRC Clinical Simulation Self-Assessment Exam with a combined score of 274 or higher on decision making and information gathering; and
  • Demonstrate awareness of credentialing, job placement, interviewing, licensure, and professionalism within the field of respiratory care by completing RTH 227-Integrated Respiratory Therapy Skills II. 

APPLYING TO THE PROGRAM: Applicants must complete the following:

  • Fulfill the following prerequisite courses included in the Health Science I Career Studies Certificate (CSC) by the end of the spring semester in the year the student is applying for acceptance into the associate degree.
    • ENG 111, PSY 230, SDV 101, RTH 102, BIO 141 (high school biology and chemistry completed within seven (7) years are prerequisites for BIO 141)
    • Complete the Virginia Math Placement testing through MTE 5
  • Submit a portfolio by February 1 to include a completed Respiratory Therapy program application and official transcript.
  • Meet with the program director, director of clinical education, or coordinator of distance education.

ACCEPTANCE INTO THE PROGRAM: Students are accepted into the Respiratory Therapy AAS degree based on completion of the prerequisite course requirements  with a minimum GPA of 2.5 or higher (not to include SDV 101 as part of the GPA calculation) and competitive ranking of their GPA's for the CSC RTH prerequisite courses. The program director will notify students by June 15 regarding acceptance.   

NON-ACCEPTANCE INTO THE PROGRAM: Students not accepted into the program must reapply by the February 1 deadline. Previously submitted portfolios will not be carried over to the next year’s applicant pool.   

ACCEPTANCE INTO CLINICAL COURSES: Students who have been accepted into the program must secure transportation to and from facilities used for clinical experiences. Students enrolled in programmatic clinical rotations shall not receive any form of remuneration in exchange for their work.  In addition, students shall not be substituted for paid staff and/or used simply as back-ups in the absence of appropriate paid staff during clinical rotations. 

Students will be placed in clinical courses (RTH 190 or higher) when they have submitted the following (at the student's expense):

  • Completed physical examination form provided by the program, which includes a yearly PPD and flu vaccination, as well as an immunization schedule.
  • Documentation of a current CPR Basic Life Support Certification (American Heart Association), with biennial recertification.
  • Certified background check and drug screening. (Applicants who do not pass the background check and/or drug screening will not be allowed to enroll in any Respiratory Therapy clinical course.) Without completing the clinical component of the program, students will not be eligible for employment as a student or RCP, or for curriculum completion.  

MENTORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: There is a mentorship in association with clinical courses for qualifying students on a space-available basis. 

FUNCTIONAL SKILLS REQUIREMENTS: Students entering the Respiratory Therapy program must possess the following functional skills:

  • Sufficient eyesight, including color vision, to observe patients, perform and visualize patient assessments, manipulate equipment, and visually read patient records, graphs, and test results;
  • Sufficient hearing to communicate with patients and members of the health care delivery team, monitor patients using electronic equipment, and hear necessary sounds during operation of equipment;
  • Satisfactory speaking, reading, and writing skills to communicate effectively in English in a timely manner;
  • Sufficient gross and fine motor coordination to exhibit excellent eye-hand coordination and dexterity to manipulate equipment, lift, stoop, and bend in the delivery of safe patient care;
  • Satisfactory physical strength and endurance to be on one’s feet for extended periods and move heavy equipment, patients, and supplies. Sitting, walking, bending, and reaching motions are also requirements for respiratory therapists;
  • Satisfactory intellectual, emotional, and psychological health and functioning to ensure patient safety and to exercise independent judgment and discretion in performing assigned tasks;
  • Time management of multiple priorities, multiple stimuli, and fast-paced environments; and
  • Analysis and critical-thinking skills.  

PROGRESSION THROUGH THE PROGRAM: The college offers this program in affiliation with the health care agencies and practitioners in the communities the college serves. The college relies on its community affiliates to provide clinical education opportunities for its students, expert clinical preceptors, and course instructors for many courses. The often rapid changes in health care law, standards of practice, technology, and content of credentialing examinations increasingly necessitate sudden changes in the program’s course content, policies, procedures, and course scheduling. As a result, the college cannot guarantee every student continuous and uninterrupted clinical and course instruction as outlined in the printed catalog curriculum for this program. Circumstances beyond the control of the college may necessitate the postponement of course offerings or changes in the sequencing and/or location of scheduled courses or clinical assignments. Additionally, the college may have to change the instructor for courses after instruction has started.

CONTINUATION IN THE PROGRAM: A student must obtain permission from the program head to continue in the Respiratory Therapy program under the following conditions:  (1) a grade below “C” is earned in any major course; (2) overall GPA falls below a 2.0 average in any one semester.

RE-ENTRY INTO THE PROGRAM: Should a student leave the program for any reason and subsequently wish to be readmitted, a new application must be submitted. The student’s new application will be reviewed under the competitive admissions process. If a student is readmitted into the program, an objective evaluation will be used to determine placement within the curriculum based on evaluated didactic and laboratory competencies. Students who leave the program for more than two semesters will be required to repeat the program in its entirety, including the background check, drug screen, immunization boosters, physical examination, and a two-step TB test or T-Spot blood test.

CLINICAL CONTRACTS: Individual contracts are in effect with each affiliate clinical agency, and these contracts differ in requirements for students. The general stipulations are as follows:

  • Clinical agencies reserve the right to dismiss a student from their agency at any time with due cause. This will be done with advanced notice except in an emergency.
  • Proper uniform must be worn.
  • Published hospital policies must be followed.
  • Immunizations must be current.
  • The student releases the facility, its agency, and employees from any liability for any injury or death to self or damage to personal property arising out of the clinical agreement or use of the facility.
  • The student is financially responsible for any medical care required while in the clinical setting.
  • The student must have a current American Heart Association Basic Life Support CPR certification for health care providers.
  • A background check and drug screening are required of all entering students.  

FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS:

Books and Supplies

$850 first semester; $100 per subsequent semester

Miscellaneous Fees:

 

ACLS
DataArc
Self-Assessment Exit Exams
Seminar

$180
$70
$300
$300

Identification Badge

$15

Uniform/Shoes/Stethoscope

$175

RT Document Manager

$35

Background Check and Drug Screening

$90

Admissions Assessment with Review Book

$90

Adaptive Quizzes

$65

Physical Examination

Varies

Immunizations and Titers

Varies

Travel to Clinical Agencies

Varies

Note: The above costs are approximate and subject to change.

PROGRAM EXIT EXAMS: Every student is required to pass comprehensive exit exams before being added to the National Board for Respiratory Care’s electronic eligibility database. The cost of the exams must be paid through the Downtown Campus Bookstore.

 *2017 CoARC Programmatic Outcomes Data

ATTRITION

JOB PLACEMENT

CRT SUCCESS

RRT SUCCESS

ON-TIME GRAD RATE

9.6%

70%

89%

74%

93.9%

*The most current CoARC Programmatic Outcomes Data

Attrition Threshold:  Less than 30% of the total number of students in the enrollment cohort (three-year average)

CRT Success Threshold:  Greater than 80% of total number of graduates obtaining NBRC CRT credential (three-year average)

RRT Success:  No threshold requirement

  2014 Cohort 2015 Cohort 2016 Cohort
Enrolled 42 52 31
Graduation 35 36 29

PROGRAM ACCREDITATION AND PRACTITIONER CERTIFICATION: The Respiratory Therapy program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, Texas 76021-4244, (817) 283-2835. Graduates of the AAS program are eligible to take the Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. Successful completion of the Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination will award graduates the CRT (Certified Respiratory Therapist) credential and the possibility of becoming eligible to take the Clinical Simulation Examination. Successful completion of the Clinical Simulation Examination will award graduates the RRT (Registered Respiratory Therapist) credential. 

After obtaining the minimum CRT credential, graduates must apply for a license in the state they are seeking employment. State licensure is a process overseen by the Board of Medicine. Graduates are therefore responsible for licensure requirements and fees for that state. It is also the responsibility of graduates to maintain their credentials (CRT or RRT) through the National Board for Respiratory Care, Continuing Competency Program. 

COURSE

TITLE

LEC.
HRS.

LAB.
HRS.

CRS.
CRE.

ENG 111

College Composition I

3

0

3

SDV 101

Orientation to Health Sciences

1

0

1

PSY 230

Developmental Psychology

3

0

3

BIO 1411

Human Anatomy and Physiology I

3

3

4

RTH 102

Integrated Sciences for Respiratory Care

3

0

3

TOTAL

 

13

3

14

RTH 110

Fundamental Theory and Procedures for Respiratory Care

2

6

4

RTH 121

Cardiopulmonary Science I

3

0

3

RTH 1352

Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures I

1

3

2

RTH 145

Pharmacology for Respiratory Care I

1

0

1

BIO 142

Anatomy and Physiology II

3

3

4

TOTAL

10

12

14

RTH 112

Pathology of the Cardiopulmonary System

3

0

3

RTH 131

Respiratory Care Theory and Procedures I

3

3

4

RTH 190

Coordinated Practice in Respiratory Therapy-NCC I

0

10

2

RTH 190

Coordinated Practice in Respiratory Therapy-NCC II

0

10

2

_______3

Acceptable Humanities Elective

3

0

3

TOTAL

9

23

14

RTH 132

Respiratory Care Theory and Procedures II

3

3

4

RTH 222

Cardiopulmonary Science II

3

0

3

RTH 190

Coordinated Practice in Respiratory Therapy-NCC III

0

10

2

TOTAL

6

13

9

RTH 215

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

1

0

1

RTH 290

Coordinated Practice in Respiratory Therapy-ACC/NPCC I

0

10

2

RTH 290

Coordinated Practice in Respiratory Therapy-ACC/NPCC II

0

10

2

EMS 165

Advanced Cardiac Life Support

1

0

1

RTH 223

Cardiopulmonary Science III

2

0

2

RTH 226

Theory of Neonatal and Pediatric Respiratory Care

2

0

2

TOTAL

6

20

10

RTH 236

Critical Care Monitoring

2

3

3

RTH 290

Coordinated Practice in Respiratory Therapy-ACC/NPCC III

0

10

2

RTH 290

Coordinated Practice in Respiratory Therapy-ACC/NPCC IV

0

10

2

RTH 227

Integrated Respiratory Therapy Skills II

2

0

2

TOTAL

4

23

9

Total Minimum Credits Required for AAS Degree in Respiratory Therapy

70

06.28.19         

1 BIO 141 prerequisite is high school biology and chemistry.

2 RTH 135 fulfills the general education personal wellness requirement.

3 A list of acceptable Humanities Electives: ASL 125, PHI 220, PHI 101, and REL 231.

RESPIRATORY THERAPY

RTH 102 Integrated Sciences for Respiratory Care II (3 cr.)

Integrates the concepts of mathematics, chemistry, physics, microbiology, and computer technology as these sciences apply to the practices of respiratory care. Lecture 3 hours per week.

RTH 110 Fundamental Theory and Procedures for Respiratory Care (4 cr.)

Focuses on the development of basic respiratory care skills necessary to enter the hospital environment. Prerequisite: Completion of the Pre-Respiratory Therapy Career Studies Certificate and acceptance into pre-clinical courses. Lecture 2 hours. Laboratory 6 hours. Total 8 hours per week.

RTH 112 Pathology of the Cardiopulmonary System (3 cr.)

Presents pathophysiology of medical and surgical diseases with emphasis upon diseases of the cardiopulmonary system. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all curriculum courses offered during the first semester of the AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy. Lecture 3 hours per week.

RTH 121 Cardiopulmonary Science I (3 cr.)

Focuses on pathophysiology, assessment, treatment, and evaluation of patients with cardiopulmonary disease. Explores cardiopulmonary and neuromuscular physiology and pathophysiology. Lecture 3 hours per week.

RTH 131 Respiratory Care Theory and Procedures I (4 cr.)

Presents theory of equipment and procedures and related concepts used for patients requiring general acute and critical cardiopulmonary care. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all curriculum courses offered during the first semester of the AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy. Lecture 3 hours. Laboratory 3 hours. Total 6 hours per week.

RTH 132 Respiratory Care Theory and Procedures II (4 cr.)

Presents theory of equipment and procedures and related concepts used for patients requiring general acute and critical cardiopulmonary care. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all curriculum courses offered during the first two semesters of the AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy. Lecture 3 hours. Laboratory 3 hours. Total 6 hours per week.

RTH 135 Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures I (2 cr.)

Focuses on the purpose, implementation, and evaluation of equipment, and procedures used in the diagnosis and therapeutic management of patients with cardiopulmonary disease. Explores baseline personal health as it relates to the development and recognition of respiratory diseases or disorders. Prerequisite: Completion of the Pre-Respiratory Therapy Career Studies Certificate and acceptance into pre-clinical courses. Lecture 1 hour per week. Laboratory 3 hours per week. Total 4 hours per week.

RTH 145 Pharmacology for Respiratory Care I (1 cr.)

Presents selection criteria for the use of, and detailed information on, pharmacologic agents used in pulmonary care. Prerequisite: Acceptance into pre-clinical courses. Lecture 1 hour per week.

RTH 190 Coordinated Practice in Respiratory Therapy NCC III (2 cr.)

Provides supervised on-the-job training to enable students to work directly with patients to practice and refine skills learned in the previous semester's classroom and laboratory classes. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all curriculum courses offered during the first two semesters of the AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy. Laboratory 10 hours per week.

RTH 190 Coordinated Practice in Respiratory Therapy: NCC I (2 cr.)

Provides supervised on-the-job training to enable students to work directly with patients to practice and refine skills learned in the previous semester's classroom and laboratory classes. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all curriculum courses offered during the first semester of the AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy. Laboratory 10 hours per week.

RTH 190 Coordinated Practice in Respiratory Therapy: NCC II (2 cr.)

Provides supervised on-the-job training to enable students to work directly with patients to practice and refine skills learned in the previous semester's classroom and laboratory classes. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all curriculum courses offered during the first semester of the AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy. Laboratory 10 hours per week.

RTH 190 Coordinated Practice in Respiratory Therapy: NCC Internship (2 cr.)

Provides first-year students an opportunity to practice all non-critical care skills in an acute care setting. The student is paired with an experienced "RRT" and completes 102 hours of non-critical care internship. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all curriculum courses offered during the first two semesters of the AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy. Laboratory 10 hours per week.

RTH 215 Pulmonary Rehabilitation (1 cr.)

Focuses on purpose and implementation of comprehensive cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all curriculum courses offered during the first two semesters of the AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy. Lecture 1 hour per week.

RTH 222 Cardiopulmonary Science II (3 cr.)

Focuses on assessment, treatment, and evaluation of patients with cardiopulmonary disease. Explores cardiopulmonary, renal, and neuromuscular physiology and pathophysiology. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all curriculum courses offered during the first two semesters of the AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy. Lecture 3 hours per week.

RTH 223 Cardiopulmonary Science III (2 cr.)

Continues the exploration of topics discussed in RTH 121 and RTH 222. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all curriculum courses offered during the first three semesters of the AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy. Lecture 2 hours per week.

RTH 226 Theory of Neonatal and Pediatric Respiratory Care (2 cr.)

Focuses on cardiopulmonary physiology and pathology of the newborn and pediatric patient. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all curriculum courses offered during the first three semesters of the AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy. Lecture 2 hours per week.

RTH 227 Integrated Respiratory Therapy Skills II (2 cr.)

Presents intensive correlation of all major respiratory therapy subject areas reflecting the entry-level and advanced practitioner matrices. Emphasizes assessment, implementation, and modification of therapy to patient response. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all curriculum courses offered during the first five semesters of the AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy. Lecture 2 hours per week.

RTH 236 Critical Care Monitoring (3 cr.)

Focuses on techniques and theory necessary for the evaluation and treatment of the critical care patient, especially arterial blood gases and hemodynamic measurements. Explores physiologic effects of advanced mechanical ventilation. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all curriculum courses offered during the first four semesters of the AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy. Lecture 2 hours. Laboratory 3 hours. Total 5 hours per week.

RTH 290 Coordinated Practice in Respiratory Therapy: ACC/NPCC I (2 cr.)

Provides supervised on-the-job training. Introduces the student to respiratory critical care, home care, and diagnostic pulmonary functions. Students rotate through several critical care units (adult, pediatric, and neonatal) and practice and are evaluated on entry-level critical care skills. Introduces students to adult and pediatric home care and helps them learn to perform diagnostic pulmonary functions. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all curriculum courses offered during the first three semesters of the AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy. Laboratory 10 hours per week.

RTH 290 Coordinated Practice in Respiratory Therapy: ACC/NPCC II (2 cr.)

Provides supervised on-the-job training. Introduces the student to respiratory critical care, home care, and diagnostic pulmonary functions. Students rotate through several critical care units (adult, pediatric, and neonatal) and practice and are evaluated on entry-level critical care skills. Introduces students to adult and pediatric home care and helps them learn to perform diagnostic pulmonary functions. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all curriculum courses offered during the first three semesters of the AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy. Laboratory 10 hours per week.

RTH 290 Coordinated Practice in Respiratory Therapy: ACC/NPCC III (2 cr.)

Provides supervised on-the-job training. Further develops critical respiratory care clinical skills and critical-thinking skills. Students rotate through several critical care units (adult, pediatric, and neonatal) and practice and are evaluated on advanced-level critical care skills. Students also develop skills in hemodynamic monitoring and polysomnography. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all curriculum courses offered during the first four semesters of the AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy. Laboratory 10 hours per week.

RTH 290 Coordinated Practice in Respiratory Therapy: ACC/NPCC IV (1 cr.)

Supervises on-the-job training. Further develops critical respiratory care clinical skills and critical-thinking skills. Students rotate through several critical care units (adult, pediatric, and neonatal) and practice and are evaluated on advanced-level critical care skills. Students also develop skills in hemodynamic monitoring and polysomnography. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all curriculum courses offered during the first four semesters of the AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy. Laboratory 5 hours per week.

RTH 290 Coordinated Practice in Respiratory Therapy: ACC/NPCC IV INTERNSHIP (2 cr.)

Provides supervised on-the-job training. Further develops critical respiratory care clinical skills and critical-thinking skills. Students rotate through several critical care units (adult, pediatric, and neonatal) and practice and are evaluated on advanced-level critical care skills. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all curriculum courses offered during the first five semesters of the AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy. Laboratory 10 hours per week.

RTH 290 Coordinated Practice in Respiratory Therapy: ACC/NPCC IV (2 cr.)

Supervises on-the-job training. Further develops critical respiratory care clinical skills and critical-thinking skills. Students rotate through several critical care units (adult, pediatric, and neonatal) and practice and are evaluated on advanced-level critical care skills. Students also develop skills in hemodynamic monitoring and polysomnography. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all curriculum courses offered during the first four semesters of the AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy. Laboratory 10 hours per week.

RTH 295 Topics in Respiratory Therapy: Advanced Cardiac Life Support (1 cr.)

Designed for health care professionals who are responsible for direct patient care. Lecture and hands-on training provide the delivery of life-saving techniques when faced with an emergency. Presents the recognition and management of life-threatening occurrences through airway stabilization, rhythm recognition, and pharmacologic therapy. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all curriculum courses offered during the first three semesters of the AAS degree in Respiratory Therapy. Lecture 1 hour per week.


Name Program Email Phone
Nakia Austin Respiratory Therapy AAS NAustin@reynolds.edu 804/523-5009
Benny Cherian Respiratory Therapy AAS BCHerian@reynolds.edu 804/523-5013
Alicia Jones Respiratory Therapy AAS AJones@reynolds.edu 804/523-5011

 

Common Job Titles1: Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Respiratory Therapist; Cardiopulmonary Technician and EEG Tech (Cardiopulmonary Technician and Electroencephalogram Technician); Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT); Clinical Coordinator of Respiratory Therapy; Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT); Respiratory Care Practitioner (RCP); Respiratory Therapist (RT); Respiratory Therapy Director; Staff Respiratory Therapist; Staff Therapist


Labor Market Statistics (Richmond, MSA)

Projected Employment (2028): 564

Current Wage Range (Entry - Experienced): $46,200 - $65,900


Common Job Titles1: Certified Respiratory Therapy Technician (CRTT); Pulmonary Function Technician (PF Technician); Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist (RPFT); Registered Respiratory Therapist (Staff); Respiratory Care Assistant (RCA); Respiratory Director; Respiratory Supervisor; Respiratory Technician; Respiratory Therapy Assistant; Respiratory Therapy Technician (RTT)


Labor Market Statistics (Richmond, MSA)

Projected Employment (2028): 22

Current Wage Range (Entry - Experienced): $28,200 - $52,200


Bright Outlook Bright Outlook occupations are expected to have rapid growth over the next 10-years (employment increase of 10% or more in the Richmond, MSA over the period of 2018-2028) or are expected to have a high demand (projected to have 750 or more job openings in the Richmond, MSA over the period of 2018-2028).

1 This program may prepare you for one or more of the listed jobs; however, graduates may not be qualified for all of the jobs listed in this section.

Reynolds Community College makes every attempt to provide students with the best, most accuarate information possible. The data was sourced from external agencies (O*NET and JobsEQ) on August 15, 2018.