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Programs of Study

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 clinicals 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.

APPLYING TO THE PROGRAM: Applicants must complete the following:

  1. Fulfill all prerequisites included in the Pre-Respiratory Therapy CSC by the end of the spring semester in the year the student is applying for acceptance into the associate degree.
  2. Submit a portfolio by February 1 to include a completed Respiratory Therapy application and official transcript.
  3. Meet with the program director or director of clinical education.

ACCEPTANCE INTO THE PROGRAM: Students are accepted into the Respiratory Therapy AAS degree based on completion of the Pre-Respiratory Therapy CSC with a minimum GPA of 2.5 or higher (not to include SDV 100, ITE 115, or Math as part of the GPA calculation) and competitive ranking of their Pre-Respiratory Therapy Career Studies Certificate GPAs. The program director will notify students by the middle of June 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 will be placed in clinical courses (RTH 190 or higher) when they have submitted the following:

  1. Completed physical examination form provided by the program, which includes a yearly PPD and flu vaccination, as well as an immunization schedule.
  2. Documentation of a current CPR Healthcare Provider Certification (American Heart Association), with biennial recertification.
  3. 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.)

NOTE: The above requirements are at the student’s expense.

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 effectively communicate 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.
  • Analysis and critical-thinking skills.

PROGRESSION THROUGH THE PROGRAM: The college offers this program in affiliation with the healthcare 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 healthcare 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.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT STUDENTS:  Certified Respiratory Therapists (CRTs) or Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRTs) who are interested in obtaining an Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Therapy must:

1. Apply at www.reynolds.edu;

2. Be a current CRT or RRT;

3. Hold a Virginia RCP License; and

4. Currently work as a CRT or RRT in a Critical Care Unit

Students must also complete a minimum of 18 curriculum credits through the college to meet the residency requirement

Required Respiratory Therapy Courses:

Only Offered during the fall semester

RTH 223 (2 credits)

RTH 226 (2 credits)

Only Offered during the spring semester

RTH 236 (3 credits)

*RTH 290 ACC/NPCC III (2 credits)

*RTH 290 ACC/NPCC IV (1 credit)

Only offered during the summer semester

RTH 227 (2 credits)

*RTH 290 ACC/NPCC Internship (2 credits)

Total = 14 credits

The remaining four (4) credits can include a course(s) in the program (see the Curriculum table).  

General Education courses completed at another college/university can be reviewed for transferability by requesting an official transcript to be sent to Central Admissions and Records.

*Clinical must be completed through the program’s arranged clinical rotation schedule. Clinical cannot be completed during work hours or during any other time while under the auspices of a CRT or RRT.

All students must contact the program director by May 1 for course availability.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Proper uniform must be worn.
  3. Published hospital policies must be followed.
  4. Immunizations must be current.
  5. 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.
  6. The student is financially responsible for any medical care required while in the clinical setting.
  7. The student must have a current American Heart Association or American Red Cross CPR certification at the BLS level for Health Care provider.
  8. A criminal 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

$170
$70
$230
$300

Identification Badge

$15

Uniform/Shoes/Stethoscope

$175

Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening $90

Physical Examination

Varies

Immunizations and Titers

Varies

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

 

PROGRAM EXIT EXAM: 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 is added as a course fee.

PROGRAM ACCREDITATION AND PRACTITIONER CERTIFICATION: The Respiratory Therapy program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, TX 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 with 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 with 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.

CURRICULUM:

COURSE

TITLE

LEC.
HRS.

LAB.
HRS.

CRS.
CRE.

RTH 102

Integrated Sciences for Respiratory Care

3

0

3

RTH 110

Fundamental Theory and Procedures for Respiratory Care

2

6

4

RTH 121

Cardiopulmonary Science I

3

0

3

RTH 1351

Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures I

1

3

2

RTH 145

Pharmacology for Respiratory Care I

1

0

1

ENG 1112

College Composition I

3

0

3

SDV 1002

College Success Skills

1

0

1

TOTAL

14

9

17

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

BIO 1412

Human Anatomy and Physiology I

3

3

4

TOTAL

9

26

15

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 Internship

0

10

2

BIO 1422

Human Anatomy and Physiology II

3

3

4

RTH 215

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

1

0

1

TOTAL

10

16

14

RTH 265

Current Issues in Respiratory Care

2

0

2

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

RTH 223

Cardiopulmonary Science III

2

0

2

RTH 226

Theory of Neonatal and Pediatric Respiratory Care

2

0

2

______2,3

Social/Behavioral Science Elective

3

0

3

______2,3

Humanities/Fine Arts Electives

3

0

3

TOTAL

12

20

16

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

5

1

TOTAL

2

18

6

RTH 227

Integrated Respiratory Therapy Skills II

2

0

2

RTH 290

Coordinated Practice in Respiratory Therapy-ACC/NPCC Internship

0

10

2

TOTAL

2

10

4

Total Minimum Credits Required for AAS Degree in Respiratory Therapy 72

03.11.15

1 RTH 135 fulfills the general education personal wellness requirement.

2 This course is included in the Pre-Respiratory Therapy Career Studies Certificate.

3 A list of approved general education electives (humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral sciences, mathematics, science, and personal wellness) is provided in the General Education section of the catalog under Curriculum Planning and Design.