Respiratory therapy programs teach students to diagnose and treat cardiopulmonary problems and to help patients maintain their cardiopulmonary health. Respiratory therapy curricula typically cover coursework related to the health, function and treatment of the heart and lungs. Completion of clinical practice hours is often part of the degree requirements.
General admission requires high school transcripts, test scores from either the ACT or SAT, official transcripts from any previous college coursework and an admissions application. Students might have to apply directly to a school's respiratory therapy program.
Respiratory Therapy Bachelor's Degree
Coursework in a 4-year Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy program typically covers many of the same topics as other health care programs, but with a focus on the cardiopulmonary system. Classes might include the following:
- Mechanical ventilation
- Pharmacology for respiratory therapy
- Anatomy, physiology and medical terminology
- Neonatal, pediatric and geriatric respiratory care
- Cardiopulmonary pathology
- Respiratory care education
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, projected a 12% rise in career opportunities for respiratory therapists between 2014 and 2024. This prediction was based on an expected increase in respiratory disease among a growing middle-aged and elderly population. In May 2015, the average annual salary for respiratory therapists was $59,640, according to BLS figures. Respiratory therapists can work in a variety of environments, including hospitals, nursing care facilities and even in-home treatment programs.
Continuing Education Information
Most B.S. in Respiratory Therapy programs prepare students for the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) or Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) exams. State licensing may also be required to work as a respiratory therapist. Graduates of baccalaureate programs in respiratory therapy might increase their marketability for jobs by pursuing a master's degree in respiratory therapy. Master's degree programs also can prepare respiratory therapists for advanced clinical positions and teaching careers.
A respiratory therapy bachelor's degree program educates students in healthcare treatments associated with the cardiopulmonary system through coursework and clinical experience. After completion, graduates can pursue employment opportunities in a field expected to experience faster-than-average job growth between 2014-2024.