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Respiratory Therapy


Bachelor of Science

Program Length: 36 months

Degree Overview

respiratory therapy degrees

Bachelor's in Respiratory Therapy

There is an ever growing need for qualified respiratory therapists in today's economy. A qualified respiratory therapist is one who can effectively evaluate, treat and care for patients with breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders. These professionals are also expected to work well with the middle-aged and elderly as incidents of cardiopulmonary disease increase.

The Bachelor's Degree in Respiratory Therapy can teach students the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in today's market. Courses may focus on care management and current issues facing respiratory therapy. Students can leave confident and able to work in the field.

Respiratory Therapy Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of respiratory therapy is expected to experience faster than average employment growth, with the number of positions available growing by 28 percent between 2010 and 2020.

(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Respiratory Therapists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos321.htm)

The vast majority of job openings may continue to be in hospitals, but a growing number of openings are expected to become available in home healthcare services, offices of physicians or other health practitioners, consumer-goods rental firms, or in the employment services industry as a temporary worker in various settings.

Respiratory Therapist Salaries
Average Starting Salaries

A salary survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers reported that in 2009, bachelor's degree candidates in respiratory therapy received starting offers averaging $42,200 a year.

(Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers, NACE Salary Survey, Fall 2010)

Average Salaries for CRTs

The Human Resources Study from the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) reported that in 2009, the average salary for Respiratory Therapists with a CRT credential was $62,223.

(Source: American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), Human Resource Study, 2009)

Call 1-800-622-3188 to speak with an Admissions Consultant, or send us a contact request here.

Course Descriptions

CourseCourse NameCredits

APP 101 Computer Fundamentals 3.5
BIO 130 Cardiopulmonary and Renal Anatomy and Physiology 4.0
BIO 135 Pulmonary Anatomy and Physiology 4.0
BIO 143 Microbiology and Decontamination 3.0
CSS 101 Psychology of Motivation 4.0
ENG 101 English Composition 4.0
ENG 223 Communication Arts 4.0
ENG 310 Advanced Interpersonal Communication 4.0
HCA 300 The Healthcare System 4.0
HCA 375 Healthcare Financial Administration 4.0
HCA 432 Healthcare Economics and Policy 4.0
HCA 440 Legal and Ethical Aspects of Healthcare Administration 4.0
HCA 450 Organizational Behavior 4.0
HCA 460 Health Facility Operations 4.0
HCA 462 Long-Term Care Administration 4.0
HIS 220 American Civilization 4.0
HIS 300 U.S. History Since the Civil War 4.0
MAN 350 Management Planning Principles 4.0
MAN 443 Organizational Design and Change 4.0
MAT 220 College Algebra 4.0
MED 100 Medical Terminology, Law, and Ethics 4.0
MED 106 Vital Signs and Emergencies 3.0
MED 201 Anatomy and Physiology 4.0
MED 350 Clinical Information Systems 4.0
MED 385 Issues in Public Health 4.0
PHI 310 Critical Thinking 4.0
PSY 220 Psychology 4.0
PSY 299 Professional Development 4.0
PSY 400 Biological Psychology 4.0
RES 116 Airway Management II 3.0
RES 120 Cardiopulmonary Pharmacology 3.0
RES 125 Medical Gas Therapy/Humidity and Aerosol Therapy/Bronchial Hygiene Therapy 3.0
RES 128 Arterial Blood Gases/Advanced Cardiopulmonary Physiology 3.0
RES 136 Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology 3.0
RES 145 Pulmonary Function Testing 3.0
RES 196 Clinical Experience I 11.0
RES 205 Lung Hyperinflation Therapy/Bronchial Hygiene Therapy 3.0
RES 216 Mechanical Ventilation Theory 4.0
RES 236 Mechanical Ventilation Management and Advanced Monitoring 4.0
RES 246 Introduction to RT as a Profession/Pulmonary Rehabilitation 2.0
RES 256 Perinatal and Pediatric Care 4.0
RES 276 ACLS/Introductory Polysomnography 3.0
RES 291 Clinical Experience II 11.0
RES 296 Clinical Experience III 2.0
RES 498 Respiratory Care Capstone 8.0
SCI 101 Math, Chemistry, and Physical Sciences for Respiratory Therapy 4.0
SOC 220 Sociology 4.0
SOC 400 Sociology of Aging 4.0

Course Description

Click a course to see the course description.

Tip: Reading course descriptions is a great way to help you decide if a degree is right for you.

Computer Fundamentals

This course introduces the elements of several popular computer software programs in word processing, spreadsheet management, and presentation design, Emphasis will be placed on the basic fundamentals of document creation, saving, and printing along with the more advanced concepts of presentation design.

Credits: 3.5

Cardiopulmonary and Renal Anatomy and Physiology

Detailed study of the structure and function of the human cardiac, pulmonary and renal systems, and associated medical terminology.

Credits: 4.0

Pulmonary Anatomy and Physiology

Detailed study of the structure and function of the human pulmonary systems and related medical terminology.

Credits: 4.0

Microbiology and Decontamination

Overview of microbial morphology, physiology and identification. Methods of equipment sterilization, isolation methods and universal precautions.

Credits: 3.0

Psychology of Motivation

Students review skills necessary to be successful in college, including: note-taking, study skills, writing, finding and using information on the Internet, and reading/understanding college-level text. Students are exposed to basic motivation theories, values clarification, and philosophic principles.

Credits: 4.0

English Composition

This course focuses on the principles of effective English composition with a comprehensive review and reinforcement of language arts skills. Emphasis is placed on the four essentials of writing: unity, support, coherence, and sentence skills. Practice in proofreading, editing, revision, and clear thinking is incorporated throughout the course.

Credits: 4.0

Communication Arts

This course focuses on developing critical thinking and communication skills in both verbal and nonverbal areas. Emphasis is placed on debate, panel discussions, committee work, conflict resolution, interviews, and editorial writing.

Credits: 4.0

Advanced Interpersonal Communication

This course is designed to provide students with the skills they need to be effective communicators. Students will apply interpersonal communication skills theory to various situations in order to understand the clear connections between theory, skills, and life situations they will encounter.

Credits: 4.0

The Healthcare System

A study of the U.S. healthcare system to help students understand the critical issues facing healthcare in its ever-changing environment, and to gain a sense of the complex multidimensional nature of healthcare delivery in the United States.

Credits: 4.0

Healthcare Financial Administration

This course is designed to build upon the concepts introduced in basic accounting courses and develops proficiency in applying administrative financial techniques in healthcare decision-making. (Prerequisite: ACC213, or with consent of the dean)

Credits: 4.0

Healthcare Economics and Policy

Discussion and analysis of the economic models controlling healthcare markets with subsequent investigation of the complex federal, state, and local policies and policy-making processes which result from those models in the U.S. healthcare systems.

Credits: 4.0

Legal and Ethical Aspects of Healthcare Administration

Review of legal responsibilities of physicians, other healthcare workers, and healthcare institutions and means by which health-related laws and regulations are developed and implemented. Issues involved in healthcare professional ethics are discussed and evaluated.

Credits: 4.0

Organizational Behavior

This course examines organizational change including what effective managers can do to understand and anticipate such change and to respond accordingly. Topics include concepts in organizational behavior; learning, motivation and performance; groups and organizational design; and organizational processes.

Credits: 4.0

Health Facility Operations

A review of long-term care facility operations utilizing simulations. Students make operational decisions utilizing financial statements, census reports, staffing schedules, and other relevant factors. Prepares students for specific types of situations and questions encountered on the long-term care administrator licensing examination. (Prerequisite: HCA300 or permission of the dean)

Credits: 4.0

Long-Term Care Administration

Application of health administration core curriculum to specific practice issues in the longterm care setting. Setting specific organization structures, relationships with healthcare providers, services offered, financial management issues, and regulatory issues are investigated. (Prerequisites: HCA300 and HCA440 or permission of the dean)

Credits: 4.0

American Civilization

This course covers the history of the United States from the American Revolution to the present. Emphasis is on the economic, political, and social development of our country.

Credits: 4.0

U.S. History Since the Civil War

This course offers students an overview of how America transformed itself, in a relatively short time, from a land inhabited by hunter-gatherer and agricultural Native American societies into the most powerful industrial nation on earth. The student will learn how dominant and subordinate groups have affected the shifting balance of power in America since 1863. Major topics include: Reconstruction, the frontier, the 1890s, America's transition to an industrial society, Progressivism, World War I, the 1920s, the Great Depression and the New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, Vietnam, economic and social change in the late 20th century, and power and politics since 1974.

Credits: 4.0

Management Planning Principles

This course addresses the principles of various planning topics including strategic planning (mission, vision, objectives, and strategies), long- and short-term operational planning, and development of business plans. (Prerequisite: MAN103, or with consent of the dean)

Credits: 4.0

Organizational Design and Change

Focuses on developing strategies and structures that align organizations with their industry environments. Adapting to changes in technology, power structures, and competition is studied as well as planning and implementing changes in internal systems and processes.

Credits: 4.0

College Algebra

Designed to improve skills in numbers and algebraic expressions, solving equations, graphing, sets, exponents, radicals, inequalities, formulas, and applications.

Credits: 4.0

Medical Terminology, Law, and Ethics

Introduces terminology that is specific to the medical profession. Course enables students to translate prefixes, suffixes, and root words from their Greek and Latin word parts. Elements will be able to be combined into medical terms. Course also covers medical laws, ethics, and bioethics.

Credits: 4.0

Vital Signs and Emergencies

Presents the proper way of taking patients' vital signs (including blood pressure, pulse rate, respiratory rate, temperature, height, and weight). Growth charting for children is also covered. CPR for the Professional Rescuer and Community First Aid and Safety are taught and certified through the American Heart Association.

Credits: 3.0

Anatomy and Physiology

Covers the anatomy and physiology of the major systems of the body including but not limited to the integumentary system, the muscle and skeletal systems, the nervous system, the reproductive system, the digestive system, and the endocrine system. Course includes basic organization and general plan of the body including cells, membranes, and tissues.

Credits: 4.0

Clinical Information Systems

This course provides an overview of the role of information systems in healthcare organizations. Coursework emphasizes the integration of evidence-based research into clinical decisionmaking and the influence of information systems on health outcomes. Explores technical, organizational, and cost-benefit issues related to healthcare information systems, including clinical decision-support, telemedicine applications, and integrated networking and distributed computing technologies.

Credits: 4.0

Issues in Public Health

This course provides the student with an in-depth study of selected contemporary health problems. It examines the contributing social, psychological, physical, legal, and cultural factors in health.

Credits: 4.0

Critical Thinking

This course is designed to provide an interdisciplinary approach to critical thinking and challenges the student to question his or her own assumptions through analysis of the most common problems associated with everyday reasoning. The course explains the fundamental concepts, describes the most common barriers to critical thinking and offers strategies for overcoming those barriers.

Credits: 4.0

Psychology

Explores the aims and methods of psychology. Concepts covered in the course include human behavior, learning theories, memory, and human development.

Credits: 4.0

Professional Development

This course addresses employment search and acquisition skills. Topics include matching qualifications with job requirements, resume preparation, and job applications. Also includes cover letters, follow-up letters, resignation letters, and recommendation letters. Classroom activities include discussion of basic interviewer questions and interviewing techniques.

Credits: 4.0

Biological Psychology

This course introduces the student to the intricate relationship between biology and psychology. The student is exposed to the emerging field of biopsychology in which fascinating new discoveries are constantly being made. Major topics include: anatomy of the nervous system, plasticity of the brain, sensory systems and attention, wakefulness and sleeping, emotional behaviors, the biology of learning and memory, and psychological disorders.

Credits: 4.0

Airway Management II

The theory, application, and monitoring of airway management.

Credits: 3.0

Cardiopulmonary Pharmacology

The indications, contraindication, effects and common usage of cardiopulmonary and other medications commonly used with pulmonary diseased patients, including those used in advanced cardiac life support.

Credits: 3.0

Medical Gas Therapy/Humidity and Aerosol Therapy/Bronchial Hygiene Therapy

The therapeutic application and monitoring of oxygen and specialized gas mixtures. Introduction to hyperbaric medical procedures.

Credits: 3.0

Arterial Blood Gases/Advanced Cardiopulmonary Physiology

The theory, application, and interpretation of blood gas analysis and associated clinical cardiopulmonary physiology determinations.

Credits: 3.0

Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology

Study of adult cardiopulmonary disease states and treatment modalities appropriate to each pathophysiological state.

Credits: 3.0

Pulmonary Function Testing

Theory, application, and current American Thoracic Society standards for spirometry, diffusion studies, and other advanced diagnostic studies.

Credits: 3.0

Clinical Experience I

Documented hands-on patient-care experience with the advanced skills required of a respiratory therapist in a variety of settings. Includes documentation of appropriate physician interaction. Successful completion requires submission of all assigned laboratory and clinical competency documentation sheets.

Credits: 11.0

Lung Hyperinflation Therapy/Bronchial Hygiene Therapy

Theory and application of lung hyperinflation along with non-invasive ventilation techniques.

Credits: 3.0

Mechanical Ventilation Theory

Theory of invasive and non-invasive mechanical ventilation devices.

Credits: 4.0

Mechanical Ventilation Management and Advanced Monitoring

Application and monitoring of invasive and noninvasive mechanical ventilation devices.

Credits: 4.0

Introduction to RT as a Profession/Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Overview of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation programs. Application of respiratory therapy modalities in alternate care settings.

Credits: 2.0

Perinatal and Pediatric Care

Theory and application of the care of pediatric and perinatal patients.

Credits: 4.0

ACLS/Introductory Polysomnography

Theory and application of advanced resuscitation modalities and special procedures. Review of theory and case scenarios in cardiopulmonary patient care.

Credits: 3.0

Clinical Experience II

Documented hands-on patient-care experience with the advanced skills required of a respiratory therapist in a variety of settings. Includes documentation of appropriate physician interaction. Successful completion requires submission of all assigned laboratory and clinical competency documentation sheets.

Credits: 11.0

Clinical Experience III

Documented hands-on patient-care experience with the advanced skills required of a respiratory therapist in a variety of settings. Includes documentation of appropriate physician interaction. Successful completion requires submission of all assigned laboratory and clinical competency documentation sheets.

Credits: 2.0

Respiratory Care Capstone

This course gives the student the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the theory and practice of respiratory therapy by applying the knowledge and skills learned in respiratory therapy coursework. The capstone experience enables a student to select a project of interest to them in the field of respiratory therapy. The capstone course requires a project report (10 pages, minimum) that illustrates the cumulative integrated knowledge gained from classroom and project experiences. (Prerequisites: Completion of all technical courses, or with consent of the dean)

Credits: 8.0

Math, Chemistry, and Physical Sciences for Respiratory Therapy

An overview of mathematical and algebraic calculations, basic chemistry and physics as they relate to respiratory-care sciences.

Credits: 4.0

Sociology

This course addresses the relationships among different social institutions. It examines the dynamics in social groups. Topics covered include the concepts of control, inequity, and change within social groups.

Credits: 4.0

Sociology of Aging

This course contains an interdisciplinary approach that provides the concepts, information, and examples students need to achieve a basic understanding of aging as a social process. This course addresses a broad range of societal issues and covers concepts associated with an aging population. It examines the concept of aging on both an individual and societal level. Major topics include: the history of aging in America; physical aging; psychological aspects of aging; personal adaptation to aging; death and dying; community social services; how aging affects personal needs and resources; and government responses to the needs of aging.

Credits: 4.0

Total Courses: 48Total Credits: 195.5

Available at the following locations:

California Locations: San Diego

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Gainful Employment Program Information

Call 1-800-622-3188 to speak with an Admissions Consultant, or send us a contact request here.