The Respiratory Care Technology program prepares individuals to become respiratory therapists. Respiratory therapists, as members of a team of health-care professionals, work to evaluate, treat, and manage patients of all ages with respiratory, cardiac, and other systemic illnesses. Respiratory therapists are responsible for airway management and the setup and monitoring of life support systems. They provide treatment for heart and lung disorders by administering treatments, oxygen, drugs, and other therapeutic modalities.
The goal is to prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by the registered respiratory therapists (RRTs). The graduate will be well prepared to become a successful and productive part of the work force of the community.
In addition to performing respiratory care procedures, respiratory therapists are involved in clinical decision making (such as patient evaluation, treatment selection, and assessment of treatment efficacy) and patient education. The scope of practice for respiratory care includes, but is not limited to, the following:
– Acquiring and evaluating clinical data
– Assessing the cardiopulmonary status of patients
– Performing and assisting in the performance of prescribed diagnostic studies such as drawing blood samples, performing blood gas analysis, and pulmonary function testing
– Utilizing data to assess the appropriateness of prescribed respiratory care
– Establishing therapeutic goals for patients with cardiopulmonary disease
– Participating in the development and modification of respiratory care plans
– Case management of patients with cardiopulmonary and related diseases
– Initiating ordered respiratory care, evaluating and monitoring patients’ responses to such care, modifying the prescribed respiratory therapy and cardiopulmonary procedures, and life support endeavors to achieve desired therapeutic objectives
– Initiating and conducting prescribed pulmonary rehabilitation
– Providing patient, family, and community education
– Promoting cardiopulmonary wellness, disease prevention, and disease management
– Participating in life support activities as required
– Promoting evidence-based medicine, research, and clinical practice guidelines
– Promoting interprofessional skills
Respiratory therapists carry out these duties in a wide variety of clinical settings and are expected to act in a professional manner and conform to the standards and ethics of all health-care professionals. Professional standards integrated into this curriculum include the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) and standards for the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).
Graduates of the Respiratory Care Technology program are eligible to sit for the NBRC Board Exams
Programmatic Outcome Data