Respiratory Care – Associate in Applied Science

Respiratory care is an allied health profession whose practitioners focus on diagnosis and treatment of cardiopulmonary disorders and diseases. A respiratory care practitioner can be instrumental in assisting a physician in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a wide spectrum of disorders affecting the heart and lungs, and specializes in the application of scientific knowledge and theory to practical, clinical problems of respiratory care. A respiratory care practitioner is qualified to assume primary clinical responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including responsibilities involved in supervision of respiratory technician functions.

This is a two-year program leading to an Associate in Applied Science degree. The curriculum consists of integrated didactic and clinical course work in approved clinical education affiliates. The program is designed to prepare the student for employment in the field of respiratory care. Positions are located within hospitals, long-term care facilities and other outpatient settings.
Upon successful completion, students are eligible to write the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) exams. Satisfactory completion of the NBRC board certifying exams allow the respiratory care practitioner to use the initials of RRT, Registered Respiratory Therapist.

There are special admission requirements to the respiratory care program, and it is the student’s responsibility to understand the requirements and adhere to them. Admission to the program is not guaranteed; entry into the program is competitive and based on a “point system.” The order of acceptance of qualified applicants will be based on points achieved.

Applications are processed according to the following:

  • Applications must be received by the Allied Health Office by August 31.
  • Students are notified by mail of application results.
  • Accepted students begin winter semester.
  • BIO 132 OR BIO 253 AND BIO 254 (3.0 minimum), MAT 130 (3.0 minimum), ENG 131, and MOA 120 must be successfully completed before admission to the program.

Program Requirements

Minimum credits 79
Minimum cumulative GPA 2.0
Minimum grade in all courses 2.0
Minimum grade in BIO 132 OR BIO 253 AND BIO 254 AND MAT 130 3.0
Minimum Jackson College credits 15

GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS (18 credits)

GEO 1: Write clearly, concisely and intelligibly (3 credits)

Take the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
ENG 131 Writing Experience I 3 ENG 085 and ENG 091

This is an intensive writing course. Narrative and descriptive modes are stressed. Basic research strategies are introduced. An end-of-the-semester portfolio is required.

GEO 2: Speak clearly, concisely and intelligibly (3 credits)

Program courses meet this requirement

GEO 3: Demonstrate computational skills and mathematical reasoning (4 credits)

Take the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
MAT 130 Quantitative Reasoning 4 MAT 030

Quantitative Reasoning develops student skills in analyzing, synthesizing and communicating quantitative information. Cultivates algebraic reasoning and modeling skills through a quantitative literacy lens. Emphasizes critical thinking and the use of multiple strategies in applied contexts. Topics include proportional and statistical reasoning, probability, and evaluation of bias and validity.

GEO 4: Demonstrate scientific reasoning (4-8 credits)

Choose one of the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
BIO 132 Human Biology 4 ENG 085* and MAT 020* or higher

Students focus on the structure and function of the human body, the unity and diversity of life, the nature of scientific inquiry, and the principles and processes of evolution as well as contemporary issues that relate to biology. Course includes a laboratory component which focuses on human anatomy.

BIO 253 and 254 Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II 8

Human Anatomy and Physiology I
This is the first course of a two-semester course sequence in which students study the anatomy and physiology of the human body. The course includes introductions to basic chemistry, biology and histology and extends to the survey of the integumentary, skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. This course includes a laboratory component in which students are responsible for performing dissections and making original observations on dissected material. The laboratory experience culminates with the use of a plastinated human specimen for observation. A strong background in biology and/or chemistry is highly recommended.

Human Anatomy and Physiology II
This is the second course of a two-semester course sequence in which students study the anatomy and physiology of the human body. The course includes the autonomic nervous system, sensory, motor, and integrative systems, special senses, endocrine system, cardiovascular systems, lymphatic system and immunity, respiratory systems, digestive system, metabolism and nutrition, urinary system and reproductive systems. This course includes a laboratory component in which students are responsible for performing dissections and making original observations on dissected material. The laboratory experience culminates with the use of a plastinated human specimen for observation. Because physiological processes are based on the principles of chemistry, prior chemistry coursework is strongly recommended for this course.

GEO 5: Understand human behavior and social systems, and the principles which govern them (4 credits)

Take the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
PSY 140 Introduction to Psychology 4 ENG 085* and ENG 090*

Overview of the field of psychology, including learning, development, emotion, motivation, personality, abnormal behavior and psychotherapy.

GEO 6: Understand aesthetic experience and artistic creativity (3 credits)

Choose one of the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
ART 111 Art History: Prehistoric to 1400 3 ENG 085, ENG 091

This course is a survey of art history and aesthetics covering art and architecture from prehistoric times to 1400.

ART 112 Art History: Renaissance to Present 3 ENG 085*

This course is a survey of art history and aesthetics covering art from the Renaissance through the 20th century.

ENG 210 Introduction to Film 3 ENG 085* and ENG 131

Students are introduced to film as a visual art and to basic film terms and techniques, such as composition, movement, editing and sound. Readings in film history, genre, theory and criticism. Includes JC Winter Film Series.

ENG 246 Short Story & Novel 3 ENG 085* and ENG 131

Students are introduced to traditional and contemporary fictional genres. This course emphasizes understanding, appreciation and the critical analysis of narrative art. Selections for study are chosen from English and American literature as well as world literature in translation.

ENG 247 Poetry & Drama 3 ENG 085* and ENG 131

Students are introduced to lyric and dramatic genres. This course emphasizes understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of poetry and theatre as language performances and literary forms. Selections for study are chosen from English and American literature as well as world literature in translation.

ENG 249 African-American Literature 3 ENG 085* and ENG 131

Survey of the literature of African-American writers. Emphasis is on the major writers in narrative, poetry, fiction, essay and drama.

ENG 252 Shakespeare 3 ENG 085* and ENG 131

Students read representative plays and are introduced to the Elizabethan world. Course emphasizes developing understanding, appreciation and critical analysis skills.

ENG 254 Children’s Literature 3 ENG 085* and ENG 131

Students survey the various genres of children’s literature from a critical point of view. Course emphasizes developing student competency in oral reading and presentation of children’s literature.

ENG 255 American Literature-19th Century 3 ENG 085* and ENG 131

Students examine the development of a distinctive American literature and culture during the 19th century. Students read selections from many writers, with emphasis on major figures such as Hawthorne, Melville, Thoreau, Emerson, Poe, Dickinson, Whitman, Douglass and Jacobs.

ENG 256 American Literature-20th Century 3 ENG 085* and ENG 131

Students examine the literature and culture of America from 1890 to the present, with emphasis on the development of organic and post-modern writing in narrative, poetic and critical modes.

HUM 131 Cultural Connections 3 ENG 085 and ENG 091

This interdisciplinary course examines contemporary issues, their human and technological components, and their historical precedents through art, music, literature and philosophy.

MUS 131 Understanding Music 3 ENG 085*

Lecture and directed listening on the elements, forms and historic chronology of Western music.

THR 116 Introduction to Theatre 3 ENG 085*

Survey of Western theatre and drama. Appreciation of theatre through understanding of historical development and societal function. Theatre architecture, production, costuming and acting styles, and the artists who create them.

GEO 7: Understand and respect the diversity and interdependence of the world’s peoples and cultures (# credits)

Program courses meet this requirement

RELATED REQUIREMENTS (7 credits)

Take the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
CEM 131 Fundamentals of Chemistry 4 ENG 085* and MAT 033* or higher

Fills requirement for some non-science majors. Provides background for CEM 141 for those with no recent high school chemistry. Fundamental principles of chemistry such as states of matter, simple atomic and molecular structure, and the periodic classification of elements. The study of water emphasizes the properties of solutions and acid-base relations. Course includes a laboratory component.

MOA 120 Medical Terminology 3 ENG 085*

A programmed learning word building system approach is used to teach basic medical terminology word roots, prefixes, suffixes, language origins, plural formation and grammar rules are studied. Emphasis is placed on word building, definitions, spelling, usage, pronunciation and acceptable medical abbreviations.

CORE REQUIREMENTS (54 credits)

Take the following:

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
RES 100 Respiratory Care Techniques I 7

This classroom and laboratory course is an introduction to the duties and responsibilities of respiratory care practitioners. Topics covered include a review of physical science, cardiopulmonary anatomy and physiology, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, basic nursing skills, medical gas and aerosol administration, employee health and safety, pulmonary medications, and an orientation to clinical sites.

RES 104 Cardiopulmonary Assessment 2

This course is an introduction to basic physical and laboratory assessment of cardiopulmonary patients. Topics include basic pulmonary function and medical lab values, blood gas analysis, and bedside patient assessment equipment and techniques.

RES 110 Respiratory Care Techniques II 5 RES 100 and RES 104

This classroom and laboratory course continues the introduction to basic duties of respiratory care practitioners. Emphasis will be placed on patient assessment, basic therapy modalities, airway management, cardiopulmonary diagnostic equipment and techniques and an introduction to continuous mechanical ventilation.

RES 114 Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology I 2 RES 100 and RES 104

The student in this course will be able to describe the etiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis and management of a variety of cardiopulmonary diseases and processes. Using a series of case studies, student will continue to develop assessment skills and apply clinical practice guidelines to develop care plans for patients with cardiopulmonary disease.

RES 115 Clinical Practice I 5 RES 100 and RES 104

This course provides a hospital experience in which previously acquired classroom theory and laboratory skills can be exercised. Skills practiced include those associated with patient respiratory assessment, oxygen therapy, a wide range of bronchopulmonary hygiene therapies, and equipment processing.

RES 120 Respiratory Care Techniques III 6 RES 110 and RES 114

Mechanical ventilation topics are continued in this classroom and laboratory course. Topics presented include volume pre-set and pressure pre-set ventilator equipment and basic ventilator application and management techniques for adult patients.

RES 124 Respiratory Pharmacology 2 RES 110, RES 114 and RES 115

This course provides an overview of general pharmacology with an emphasis on drugs used in the critical care management of cardiopulmonary conditions.

RES 125 Clinical Practice II 2 RES 110, RES 114 and RES 115

This clinical course provides three types of experience for the respiratory therapy student. First, there will be a continuation of basic respiratory care modalities from the previous semester. Second, the diagnostic areas of basic pulmonary function testing, arterial blood gas puncture and analysis, and 12-lead electrocardiography will be introduced. Third, the student will receive an orientation to volume control ventilation in the adult ICU environment. In addition, weekly clinic seminars will be held on campus to facilitate student learning.

RES 126 Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology II 2 RES 114

The student in this course will be able to describe the etiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis and management of a variety of advanced cardiopulmonary diseases and processes. Using a series of case studies, students will continue to develop assessment skills and apply clinical practice guidelines to develop care plans for patients with cardiopulmonary disease.

RES 204 Diagnostic Theory 4 RES 120, RES 125 and RES 126

This course covers pulmonary function testing and blood gas analysis equipment and procedures in the laboratory and clinical settings and includes an emphasis on the interpretation of test results from this equipment. Ventilator graphics, an extension of PFT graphics, and their interpretation will be presented. Additionally, equipment and procedures in common use in the areas of ABG laboratories, cardiopulmonary stress testing, pulmonary rehabilitation, and pulmonary home care will be presented.

RES 205 Clinical Practice III 5 RES 120, RES 124, RES 125 and RES 126

This clinical course allows students to assist in the pulmonary management of adults on mechanical ventilation. An integrated approach to patient care will be stressed through accurate patient assessment and application of various equipment and therapies. Students will also function as members of the health care team.

RES 207 Advanced Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Physiology 3 RES 120, RES 125 and RES 126

This course advances the student’s knowledge of cardiopulmonary physiology. The cardiac sections cover gross and histologic cardiovascular anatomy, neural/endocrinological control of cardiac function, hemodynamics, microcirculatory disorders, and a review of common cardiac arrhythmias. The pulmonary section covers bronchopulmonary anatomy, gas diffusion, blood flow, ventilation/perfusion relationships, gas transport, mechanics and control of ventilation, and lung responses to changing environments and conditions.

RES 210 Perinatal & Pediatric Respiratory Care 3 RES 120 and RES 205

This classroom and laboratory course covers topics including fetal growth and development, patient assessment, commonly encountered equipment and the clinical management of common neonatal/pediatric diseases and conditions.

RES 220 Respiratory Seminar 2 RES 210

This course presents a wide variety of topics for discussion. Included are respiratory care history, management and supervision, trends in allied health, research, job acquisition skills and credentialing exam preparation.

RES 225 Clinical Practice IV 5 RES 210

This clinical course provides a varied experience for students who are about to graduate. A major emphasis will be in assisting with the pulmonary management of neonatal patients on mechanical ventilation. Other rotations will be in a variety to advanced diagnostic laboratories and alternate site venues where respiratory therapists are employed. In addition, weekly clinic seminars will be held on campus to facilitate student learning.

Sample Course Map

The following is a sample course map for informational purposes and will not suit every student’s situation. A detailed, individualized course map will be created when a student meets with their Student Success Navigator.

SEMESTER 1

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
ENG 131 Writing Experience I 3 ENG 085 and ENG 091

This is an intensive writing course. Narrative and descriptive modes are stressed. Basic research strategies are introduced. An end-of-the-semester portfolio is required.

MAT 130 Quantitative Reasoning 4 MAT 030

Quantitative Reasoning develops student skills in analyzing, synthesizing and communicating quantitative information. Cultivates algebraic reasoning and modeling skills through a quantitative literacy lens. Emphasizes critical thinking and the use of multiple strategies in applied contexts. Topics include proportional and statistical reasoning, probability, and evaluation of bias and validity.

RES 101 Introduction to Respiratory Care 2

The student in this course will be able to describe what a respiratory care practitioner does, where they work, the role of the respiratory care practitioner in patient care as well as to recognize the role of professional organizations in the career. Using a series of case studies the student will identify HIPAA violations. The student will be introduced to medical abbreviations, calculations commonly used in respiratory care, normal values for vital signs and the normal chest x-ray, basic heart /lung anatomy and physiology, lung volumes and capacities, and blood gas interpretation.

SEM 140 Seminar in Life Pathways 3

Seminar in Life Pathways is a gateway course to Jackson College. This course is designed to help all students develop the skills, inner qualities and external behaviors needed to take charge of their academic and career success. Students will be guided through an extensive process in making career choices and selecting an academic program of study at Jackson College and beyond. With the exception of second-admit programs, SEM 140 is required of all students.

SEMESTER 2

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
BIO 132 Human Biology 4 ENG 085* and MAT 020* or higher

Students focus on the structure and function of the human body, the unity and diversity of life, the nature of scientific inquiry, and the principles and processes of evolution as well as contemporary issues that relate to biology. Course includes a laboratory component which focuses on human anatomy.

MOA 120 Medical Terminology 3 ENG 085*

A programmed learning word building system approach is used to teach basic medical terminology word roots, prefixes, suffixes, language origins, plural formation and grammar rules are studied. Emphasis is placed on word building, definitions, spelling, usage, pronunciation and acceptable medical abbreviations.

SEMESTER 3

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
CEM 131 Fundamentals of Chemistry 4 ENG 085* and MAT 033* or higher

Fills requirement for some non-science majors. Provides background for CEM 141 for those with no recent high school chemistry. Fundamental principles of chemistry such as states of matter, simple atomic and molecular structure, and the periodic classification of elements. The study of water emphasizes the properties of solutions and acid-base relations. Course includes a laboratory component.

RES 100 Respiratory Care Techniques I 7

This classroom and laboratory course is an introduction to the duties and responsibilities of respiratory care practitioners. Topics covered include a review of physical science, cardiopulmonary anatomy and physiology, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, basic nursing skills, medical gas and aerosol administration, employee health and safety, pulmonary medications, and an orientation to clinical sites.

RES 104 Cardiopulmonary Assessment 2

This course is an introduction to basic physical and laboratory assessment of cardiopulmonary patients. Topics include basic pulmonary function and medical lab values, blood gas analysis, and bedside patient assessment equipment and techniques.

SEMESTER 4

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
RES 110 Respiratory Care Techniques II 5 RES 100 and RES 104

This classroom and laboratory course continues the introduction to basic duties of respiratory care practitioners. Emphasis will be placed on patient assessment, basic therapy modalities, airway management, cardiopulmonary diagnostic equipment and techniques and an introduction to continuous mechanical ventilation.

RES 114 Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology I 2 RES 100 and RES 104

The student in this course will be able to describe the etiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis and management of a variety of cardiopulmonary diseases and processes. Using a series of case studies, student will continue to develop assessment skills and apply clinical practice guidelines to develop care plans for patients with cardiopulmonary disease.

RES 115 Clinical Practice I 5 RES 100 and RES 104

This course provides a hospital experience in which previously acquired classroom theory and laboratory skills can be exercised. Skills practiced include those associated with patient respiratory assessment, oxygen therapy, a wide range of bronchopulmonary hygiene therapies, and equipment processing.

SEMESTER 5

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
RES 120 Respiratory Care Techniques III 6 RES 110 and RES 114

Mechanical ventilation topics are continued in this classroom and laboratory course. Topics presented include volume pre-set and pressure pre-set ventilator equipment and basic ventilator application and management techniques for adult patients.

RES 124 Respiratory Pharmacology 2 RES 110, RES 114 and RES 115

This course provides an overview of general pharmacology with an emphasis on drugs used in the critical care management of cardiopulmonary conditions.

RES 125 Clinical Practice II 2 RES 110, RES 114 and RES 115

This clinical course provides three types of experience for the respiratory therapy student. First, there will be a continuation of basic respiratory care modalities from the previous semester. Second, the diagnostic areas of basic pulmonary function testing, arterial blood gas puncture and analysis, and 12-lead electrocardiography will be introduced. Third, the student will receive an orientation to volume control ventilation in the adult ICU environment. In addition, weekly clinic seminars will be held on campus to facilitate student learning.

RES 126 Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology II 2 RES 114

The student in this course will be able to describe the etiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis and management of a variety of advanced cardiopulmonary diseases and processes. Using a series of case studies, students will continue to develop assessment skills and apply clinical practice guidelines to develop care plans for patients with cardiopulmonary disease.

SEMESTER 6

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
RES 204 Diagnostic Theory 4 RES 120, RES 125 and RES 126

This course covers pulmonary function testing and blood gas analysis equipment and procedures in the laboratory and clinical settings and includes an emphasis on the interpretation of test results from this equipment. Ventilator graphics, an extension of PFT graphics, and their interpretation will be presented. Additionally, equipment and procedures in common use in the areas of ABG laboratories, cardiopulmonary stress testing, pulmonary rehabilitation, and pulmonary home care will be presented.

RES 205 Clinical Practice III 5 RES 120, RES 124, RES 125 and RES 126

This clinical course allows students to assist in the pulmonary management of adults on mechanical ventilation. An integrated approach to patient care will be stressed through accurate patient assessment and application of various equipment and therapies. Students will also function as members of the health care team.

RES 207 Advanced Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Physiology 3 RES 120, RES 125 and RES 126

This course advances the student’s knowledge of cardiopulmonary physiology. The cardiac sections cover gross and histologic cardiovascular anatomy, neural/endocrinological control of cardiac function, hemodynamics, microcirculatory disorders, and a review of common cardiac arrhythmias. The pulmonary section covers bronchopulmonary anatomy, gas diffusion, blood flow, ventilation/perfusion relationships, gas transport, mechanics and control of ventilation, and lung responses to changing environments and conditions.

SEMESTER 7

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
PSY 140 Introduction to Psychology 4 ENG 085* and ENG 090*

Overview of the field of psychology, including learning, development, emotion, motivation, personality, abnormal behavior and psychotherapy.

RES 210 Perinatal & Pediatric Respiratory Care 3 RES 120 and RES 205

This classroom and laboratory course covers topics including fetal growth and development, patient assessment, commonly encountered equipment and the clinical management of common neonatal/pediatric diseases and conditions.

SEMESTER 8

Course # Course Name Credits Prerequisites Notes
MUS 131 Understanding Music 3 ENG 085*

Lecture and directed listening on the elements, forms and historic chronology of Western music.

RES 220 Respiratory Seminar 2 RES 210

This course presents a wide variety of topics for discussion. Included are respiratory care history, management and supervision, trends in allied health, research, job acquisition skills and credentialing exam preparation.

RES 225 Clinical Practice IV 5 RES 210

This clinical course provides a varied experience for students who are about to graduate. A major emphasis will be in assisting with the pulmonary management of neonatal patients on mechanical ventilation. Other rotations will be in a variety to advanced diagnostic laboratories and alternate site venues where respiratory therapists are employed. In addition, weekly clinic seminars will be held on campus to facilitate student learning.