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Respiratory Care

Respiratory System Illustration

Respiratory Care ... A Life and Breath Career for You!

At 9:32 p.m., Michael Brown brought a newborn baby struggling to breathe back to life. Mike is a Respiratory Therapist and graduate of MVCC's AAS Respiratory Care Program. What have you accomplished today? Be a "breathsaver" ... become a Respiratory Therapist!

Quick Facts about Respiratory Care:

  • Respiratory Therapists are health professionals who provide direct care to patients with heart and lung problems.
  • Respiratory Therapists work with doctors, nurses, and other health care providers to help patients breathe easier.
  • There is a shortage of Respiratory Therapists nationwide which makes job opportunities abundant.
  • Respiratory Care is exciting, rewarding and meaningful work!

Respiratory Care is the allied health profession that cares for patients with deficiencies and abnormalities of the cardiopulmonary system. The respiratory therapist sees a diverse group of patients ranging from newborn and pediatrics to adults and the elderly. Disease states or conditions often requiring respiratory therapy include asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, infant respiratory distress syndrome, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and conditions brought on by shock, trauma, or postoperative surgical complications.

Respiratory therapists provide routine care and are involved in many specialty areas in acute care hospitals such as newborn labor and delivery, neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, pulmonary function laboratory, sleep laboratory, adult intensive care units and pulmonary rehabilitation. Respiratory therapists in some medical facilities operate cutting-edge technologies including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, high-frequency oscillation ventilation, partial liquid ventilation, and ECG Stress Testing. In addition to hospitals, respiratory therapists deliver care in the home, rehabilitation agencies, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, and physicians' offices.

The demand for respiratory therapists is expected to continue to increase. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects "employment of respiratory therapists to increase much faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2020." Respiratory Care is listed as one of the fasting growing professions and the need for Respiratory Therapists is expected to increase 21%. This increase in demand is expected because of substantial growth of the elderly population and increases in the numbers of patients with asthma and chronic lung disease.

MVCC's Respiratory Care Program Unique Features

  • Small lecture groups (maximum of 40 students)
  • Small clinical group ratios (1 instructor to 4-6 students)
  • Each respiratory student has access to 3 respiratory faculty members as advisors
  • Seven hospital affiliates provide sites for clinical experiences
  • State-of-the-art Respiratory Care Laboratory and Nursing and Allied Health Computer Lab
  • Professional Respiratory Care Tutor-free of charge
  • Advisory Board involves of health care community members
  • Active Respiratory Care Club
  • Program is fully accredited by the CoARC (Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care)
  • Near 100% job placement within 12 months of graduation for last 10 years for those pursuing work
  • Enrollment limited to 35 students

Respiratory Care Program Goals/Outcomes

  • To prepare students for employment as competent and safe advanced-level Respiratory Therapists.
  • Upon completion of the program, students will demonstrate the ability to comprehend, apply, and evaluate clinical information relevant to their roles as advanced-level Respiratory Therapists (Cognitive Domain).
  • Upon completion of the program, students will demonstrate the technical proficiency in all skills necessary to fulfill their roles as advanced-level Respiratory Therapists (Psychomotor Domain).
  • Upon completion of the program, students will demonstrate behavioral skills essential to functioning as effective advanced-level Respiratory Therapists (Affective Domain).