The Associate Degree Respiratory Therapist Program fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (www.CoARC.com), 1248 Harwood Rd, Bedford, Texas 76021-4244, Telephone 800.874.5615.
AWARD TYPES: Associate of Applied Science
AREA OF STUDY: Health Sciences
Degrees and Certificates
Respiratory Therapy - Respiratory Therapist - AAS
Associate of applied science
A Career in Respiratory Therapist
For thousands of Americans who suffer from breathing problems, each breath is a major accomplishment. These people include patients with chronic lung problems, such as emphysema, asthma, and bronchitis, but they also include heart attack and accident victims; premature infants; and people with cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, or AIDS. In each case, the person will most likely receive treatment from a Respiratory therapist under the direction of a physician. Respiratory therapists work to evaluate, treat and care for patients with breathing disorders.
Diagnostic procedures performed by respiratory therapists include: obtaining and analyzing sputum specimens; obtaining and analyzing blood specimens to determine acid base balance and levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide; measuring the capacity of a patient’s lungs to determine the level of impairment and studying disruptive sleep disorders.Therapeutic procedures performed by respiratory therapists include: administration of supplemental oxygen, initiating and maintaining mechanical ventilation; monitoring and managing therapy that will help a patient recover lung function; administering medications in aerosol form and monitoring patient’s response to therapy; maintaining a patient’s artificial airway; and conducting smoking cessation programs.
The need for respiratory therapists is expected to grow in the coming years due to the large increase in the elderly population; the impact of environmental problems that have already contributed to the yearly rise in number of reported asthma cases; and technological advances in the treatment of heart attack, cancer, and accident victims, as well as premature babies.
While U.S. employment in general is forecast to increase by 15 percent, the need for Respiratory Therapists will grow by up to 26 percent!
With demand for Respiratory Therapists on the rise, salaries are following suit. According to the 2005 Human Resources study from the AARC, the projected average annual earnings of Respiratory Therapists working in the U.S. is $56,222. In this study, therapists just beginning their careers reported average annual earnings of $41,538.
Are you ready to start the application process for Respiratory Therapy? Click here to download the admission steps.
Where do Respiratory Therapists Work?
- In hospitals giving breathing treatments to people with asthma and other respiratory conditions.
- In intensive care units managing ventilators that keep the critically ill alive.
- In emergency rooms delivering life-saving treatments.
- In newborn and pediatric units helping kids with conditions ranging from premature birth to cystic fibrosis.
- In operating rooms working with anesthesiologists to monitor patients’ breathing during surgery.
- In patient’s homes providing regular check-ups and making sure people have what they need to stay out of the hospital.
- In sleep laboratories helping to diagnose disorders like sleep apnea.
- In skilled nursing facilities and pulmonary rehabilitation programs helping older people breathe easier and get more out of life.
CoARC Programmatic Outcomes Data
The mission of the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) is to serve the public by ensuring high quality respiratory care education through accreditation services.
Click here to view the lates programmatic outcomes data.
There are 2,597 Respiratory Therapists employed in the Greater Houston Area. This number is expected to increase by 13.4% over the next four years.
- The estimated annual job openings is 139 jobs a year.
- Median Wages - $27.44 hourly, $57,000 annually