It takes a special kind of person to become a respiratory care practitioner. You need to have an aptitude for technology and complex procedures. You need to be able to remain calm during emergencies so that you’re capable of making independent clinical judgments without taking the time to second guess yourself. Perhaps more than anything, though, you need to be the kind of person who can be caring and empathetic at the bedside in order to reassure patients and help them cope with a difficult and potentially frightening experience.
Respiratory care practitioners, often referred to as respiratory therapists, use their knowledge and expertise to bring relief to patients who either can’t breathe on their own or are having a hard time breathing due to impaired or non-functioning lungs. Earning your Associate degree in Respiratory Care at Carrington College® or Carrington College® California can prepare you to practice under the direction of a physician to help perform diagnostic procedures and provide therapeutic respiratory treatments. You may help patients suffering from conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer, heart attack, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and sleep apnea.
The Respiratory Care programs were developed to give you the training you’ll need to pursue a position as a respiratory therapist in a variety of healthcare settings. This program is designed to help you:
- Acquire practical skills and experience through formal lectures, labs and hands-on instruction
- Meet standards set by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)*
- Prepare for the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) credentialing exams, such as the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) exam or the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) exam*
Breathe new life into your career plans
There are a number of possible paths that you could follow as a qualified respiratory therapist. You can seek employment in healthcare settings, such as doctors’ offices, hospitals, labs, assisted living facilities, and even a patient’s home. You can also perform specialized functions such as polysomnography, becoming an Asthma Educator, working in a hyperbaric oxygen unit or on a medical transport team. Additionally, you can pursue opportunities in education, sales, rehabilitation and diagnostic testing.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of respiratory therapists is expected to grow by 28% from 2010 to 2020.** The increasing demand will come from substantial growth in the middle-aged and elderly population—a development that will heighten the incidence of cardiopulmonary disease.** Median annual wages of wage-and-salary respiratory therapists were $55,250 in May 2011. The middle 50% earned between $47,070 and $65,080. The lowest 10% earned less than $40,660 and the highest 10% earned more than $74,400.**
See how far your commitment can take you
Pursuing your Associate degree in Respiratory Care is a two-year journey, but you might be surprised how quickly the time seems to pass. Our program integrates classroom lectures, laboratory instruction and clinical experience, so you’ll be introduced to new skills and material on a regular basis. This dynamic approach is excellent preparation for the wide range of challenges you’ll encounter in the real world. Your coursework will begin with general education classes and basic medical classes. Once you build a solid foundation of knowledge, you will cover more advanced material to gain an understanding of processes of the human body as well as principals of pharmacology. To develop your skills, you will receive hands-on instruction and extensive practice in a computerized simulation lab. Next, you’ll take what you’ve learned and apply it to real-world situations through clinical experience in actual healthcare environments, performing tasks ranging from patient assessment to assisting with mechanical ventilation of neonatal patients.
The Associate degree program in Respiratory Care at Carrington College® or Carrington College® California is designed to equip you with the expertise, specialized skills and confidence necessary to:
- Conduct examinations and provide accurate assessments
- Consult with other medical professionals to develop patient care plans
- Make recommendations for therapeutic intervention and treatment of various cardiopulmonary diseases
- Administer medical gases and oxygen therapy
- Exhibit proper techniques for emergency medicine, resuscitation, intubation, airway clearance and tracheotomy care
- Demonstrate your proficiency in critical thinking and information management
- Sit for the appropriate NBRC credentialing exam and apply for licensure
To learn more about educational and career opportunities in Respiratory Care, contact one of our Enrollment Services Representatives.
Click here for outcomes data from the respiratory care program over a three-year time period, as reported in the 2013 CoARC Annual Report of Current Status.