Respiratory therapists work with patients of all ages to evaluate, monitor, and treat breathing disorders and cardiovascular problems, such as asthma and emphysema. This may include administering oxygen, measuring lung function, performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation in emergencies, or managing mechanical ventilators.
As a respiratory therapist, you'll work under the direction of a physician in this growing field. You'll find employment in a variety of settings, including:
- Acute/critical care hospitals
- Extended care facilities
- Outpatient clinics
- Private physicians' offices
- Home care companies
- Sleep studies
- Pulmonary function testing
- Equipment sales
The 2-year Respiratory Therapy program leads to an Associate in Applied Sciences degree, Respiratory Therapy. Program graduates are eligible to take the Therapist Multiple Choice (TMC) examination administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care to earn certification as a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT). Students may then become eligible to take the Clinical Simulation to earn their Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential.
Is Respiratory Therapy a good fit for you? This career requires specific physical, mental and social capabilities. There are also specific requirements for background checks and immunizations. Find out more about what it takes to succeed as a respiratory therapist.
Students must complete prerequisites before applying to this program. Please note that this seven-quarter program requires students to attend summer classes during their first year.
Explore Respiratory Therapy
In order to better assist students in understanding Respiratory Therapy, and to understand the important steps in applying to the Respiratory Therapy program, we expect prospective students to review the information below.
Other Healthcare Programs at TCC
There are a variety of ways to work in the health care industry. TCC is fortunate
to offer a number of educational programs in Health Sciences that might be of interest.
In order to assist prospective students in fully understanding their training options,
we encourage your review of the electronic version of our Health Careers Program Overview
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Tacoma Community College's Respiratory Therapy program (#200306) Associate of Applied Science degree is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care www.coarc.com. Tacoma Community College's Respiratory program will prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by the registered respiratory therapists (RRTs).
CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an ‘outcomes based’ process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented.
In accordance with U.S. Department of Education Regulation 34 CFR 668.43 (a) (5) (v), educational institutions must provide information related to whether their programs will fulfill educational requirements for specific professional licensure or certification and to inform prospective students whether their degree upon graduation will qualify them to work in the state where they are located. Please see the Respiratory Care practice laws detailed by state.
- American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC)
- Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (COARC)
- National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC)
- National Health Career Association (NHA)
- US Department of Labor: Respiratory Therapists
- Respiratory Research
- Medical Encyclopedia: Respiratory Section
- Revised Code of Washington (RCW) for WA Respiratory Care Practitioners
- RCW for WA State Health Care Professionals
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