Curriculum Information

Programs A-Z

Respiratory Therapy

Associate of Applied Science

Purpose: The degree program 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.

Applicants must:

  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 program.
  2. Submit a portfolio by February 1st 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 program based on: completion of the Pre-Respiratory Therapy CSC with a minimum GPA of 2.5 or higher and competitive ranking of the Pre-Respiratory Therapy Career Studies Certificate GPA.

The program director will notify students by the middle of June regarding acceptance.

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 shot vaccination, as well as an immunization schedule.
2. Documentation of a current CPR Healthcare Provider Certification (American Heart or American Red Cross), with bi-annual recertification.
3. Certified criminal background check and drug screening. (A negative criminal background check will result in the student not being able to attend clinical.)


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(s) 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.

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

$1,000
Miscellaneous Fees:
ACLS
DataArc
Exit Exams
Seminar

$170
$70
$200
$300

Identification Badge

$15

Uniform (approximately)

$60

Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening $85

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 are 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. Upon completion of the associate degree in Respiratory Therapy, graduates will be eligible to take the new Therapist Multiple Choice Examination. Based on their scores, graduates may obtain the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential or the CRT credential and be eligible to take the Clinical Simulation Examination. With successful completion of the Clinical Simulation Examination graduates will earn the credential of Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).

After obtaining the CRT credential graduates must apply for a license in the state they are seeking employment. Graduates are responsible for licensure requirements and fees. 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 111*

College Composition I

3

0

3

SDV 100*

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 141*

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 142*

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* Social/Behavioral Science Elective 3 0 3
___ ___2* 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

*This course is included in the Pre-Nursing and Allied Health Career Studies Certificate.

1RTH 135 fulfills the general education personal wellness requirement.

2A 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.

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