Respiratory Care | MVCC | Mohawk Valley Community College
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Respiratory Care

Welcome to the Respiratory Care Program website. I congratulate you on investigating this exciting allied health care career. 

Respiratory Care is a dynamic health profession that involves helping those with heart and lung problems. The job market for Respiratory Therapists across the United States is good, with a 7% vacancy rate in positions across the nation.  Job opportunities are available locally and across the country; the MVCC Respiratory Program boasts near 100% job placement within 12 months for those pursuing work for the last five years. The Central New York job market has been tighter in the last three years, with many graduates having to leave the immediate area to secure employment.

An Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) Respiratory Care Program is available on the MVCC Utica campus. Prerequisites for the Respiratory Care Program include a grade of "C" or better in high school level chemistry (with lab) within 7 years, and passing the MVCC math placement test(based on a working knowledge of high school Math Course 1, Course A or Integrated Algebra).  If you have never taken these courses, you can complete equivalent courses right at MVCC. If you have already passed general studies courses (English 1 and 2, Introduction to Psychology, or Introduction to Sociology) at MVCC or another college with a C or better, these would be transferable into the Respiratory Care Program if not dated.

The AAS Respiratory Care Program requires two years of full-time study, or a longer time frame for part-time study. The Respiratory Care Program provides education in basic therapies and advanced practices in neonatal, pediatric, and adult critical care. AAS graduates are eligible to take a series of national examinations that lead to the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credentials. Respiratory Therapists enjoy excellent marketability and earning potential ($30,000 to $40,000 per year to start locally, depending on the credentials earned).

Respiratory Therapists work with patients of all ages in various health care settings, including: hospitals, extended care facilities, pulmonary function and sleep laboratories, physician offices, clinics, and home care. Respiratory Therapists perform therapeutic and diagnostic procedures, as well as monitor and manage therapy that will help a patient recover or live with their present lung function. In short, Respiratory Therapists evaluate, treat and educate patients with breathing problems or potential respiratory dysfunction. Individuals with chronic respiratory disorders (like asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, cancer, cystic fibrosis, and occupational lung disease) or acute illnesses (like heart attacks, trauma, infection, premature birth and airway obstruction) are treated by Respiratory Therapists.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U. S. Department of Labor, projects employment for Respiratory Therapists to "increase much faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2022." Since the MVCC Respiratory Care Program began in 1974, more than 500 graduates have enjoyed outstanding job placement in the Utica-Rome area and throughout the country. The MVCC Respiratory Care Program supplies 70% to 85% of therapists to the area hospitals and home care agencies. The respiratory department managers from Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare, Rome Memorial Hospital, Little Falls Hospital, Hamilton Hospital, and Oneida Healthcare are all graduates of the MVCC Respiratory Care Program.

The Respiratory Care Program has 7 hospital affiliates in which students perform clinical training. Three Utica-Rome hospitals, two Syracuse hospitals, Oneida Healthcare, and Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, provide a wide variety of experiences for Respiratory Care students. Graduate and employer surveys performed 6 months post-graduation indicate a high degree of satisfaction with the MVCC Respiratory Care Program. Performance by MVCC Respiratory Care graduates on the national credentialing examinations has been exemplary, with class averages that consistently exceed the national mean.

Please contact the Respiratory Care Program for more information or to set up a personal meeting with a faculty member. The Respiratory Care Program attracts an equal number of males and females, enrolling new high school graduates, and returning adults who may need job retraining. Motivated individuals are needed to successfully complete the Respiratory Care Program in order to meet the health care needs of the community.