Respiratory Therapy

Program Description

The Associate of Applied Science degree in Respiratory Therapy is designed to prepare selected students as competent Registered Respiratory Therapists and to serve as members of the health care team. As a graduate, you are eligible to take the Therapist Multiple Choice (TMC) examination and the Written Registry examination and Clinical Simulation examination to be credentialed as a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).


The Respiratory Therapy program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (

Opportunities for Employment

Respiratory therapists have job opportunities in hospitals, home care, rehabilitation agencies, nursing homes, emergency transport teams, sleep centers, pulmonary function laboratories, outpatient clinics, and physician offices. The respiratory therapist sees a diverse group of patients ranging from newborn and pediatric patients to adults and the elderly.

Job opportunities are very good in this area and nationwide. 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.” In 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the national average annual earnings of respiratory therapists were $57,880 and Virginia had an average annual earnings of $56,550.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the general admission requirements of the College, this program requires a high/home school diploma or GED. High/home school courses must include one unit of algebra 1 and one unit of laboratory science with a C or above. If courses were not completed in high/home school with a C or above, they must be completed in college.

To apply to the program, please complete the Respiratory Therapy Program Application and submit to Enrollment Services in Godwin Hall. If you are a new student or have not attended classes within the past year, you will also need to complete an Application for Admission to the College.The student’s high/home school and any college work attempted must reflect a minimum of “C” average.

Respiratory Therapy classes begin in the summer semester each year. Applications are accepted from August 16th to May 1st for each class starting in June. A selection process is utilized to choose applicants for each year’s program as each class is limited to a maximum of 20 students.

After the class has been filled, the remaining applicants will be placed on an alternate list. Should an admitted student not accept his/her position, applicants on the alternate list will be admitted into the program through the last day of registration for the summer classes.

Applicants who do not meet all the prerequisites will remain on the pre-respiratory list until all prerequisites are documented. Upon completion of the prerequisites, the applicant will be considered for admission to the program. If all the positions are filled, the applicant will be added to the alternate list.

A new Respiratory Therapy Program Application must be submitted for each year you wish to be considered for admission to the Respiratory Therapy program.

Respiratory Therapy Application Forms

Special Considerations

Students accepted into the program are required to submit a health certificate signed by a duly licensed physician, physician’s assistant, or registered nurse practitioner and should include: documentation of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) exposure or inoculations; TB skin testing or chest x-ray for previously positive TB results; and overall general health of the applicant.

Physical demands in this program include duties that frequently require walking, bending, reaching and lifting; pushing and pulling with assistance and occasional carrying. Duties also require constant use of acute sense of sight, hearing, touch, and speech.

In addition to the usual college tuitions and fees, the Respiratory Therapy program requires:  uniforms, books, liability insurance, CPR certification, criminal background check, and miscellaneous equipment. Costs for drug screens, if required by clinical facility, are the responsibility of the student. Students are also responsible for transportation to and from the college and health agencies used for clinical experience.

Criminal Background Check/Drug Screening

Background checks for criminal history and sex offender crimes against minors are required for entrance into clinical agencies.  Students with convictions may be prohibited from clinical practice and may not complete the program.  Clinical agencies may require drug testing prior to placement of students for clinical rotations.  Students with positive drug test results may be prohibited from clinical practice and may not complete the program.  Cost of criminal background checks and drug testing will be the responsibility of the student.

Opportunities for Advancement

Opportunities for advancement are excellent for those willing to continue their education and training.  Individuals who display leadership, team-building skills, self-confidence, motivation, and decisiveness become candidates for promotion.

NOTE:  Students are required to repeat a RTH or NAS course in which a grade lower than “C” is received before progressing to the next course or graduating from the program. All electives must have a grade of “C” or above.


Respiratory Therapy (181)


Course # Course Title Credit
NAS 171 Human Anatomy and Physiology 4
RTH 102 Integrated Sciences for Respiratory Care 3
RTH 110 Fund. Theory & Procedures for Respiratory Care 3
SDV 100 College Success  Skills 1
    Social Science/Humanities 3
ENG 111 College Composition I 3
RTH 111 Anatomy & Physiology of the Cardiopulmonary System 3
RTH 131 Respiratory Care Theory & Procedures I 4
RTH 145 Pharmacology for Respiratory Care 2
RTH 151 Fundamental Clinical Procedures I 4
RTH 112 Pathology of the Cardiopulmonary System 3
RTH 121 Cardiopulmonary Science 3
RTH 132 Respiratory Care Theory & Procedures II 4
RTH 152 Fundamental Clinical Procedures II 4
RTH 135 Diagnostic & Therapeutic Procedures I 2
RTH 224 Integrated Respiratory Therapy Skills I 2
RTH 253 Advanced Clinical Procedures III 3
    Humanities/Fine Art Elective 3
    Social Science Elective 3
ITE 119 Information Literacy 3
RTH 226 Theory of Neonatal and Pediatric Respiratory Care  2
RTH 254 Advanced Clinical Procedures IV 3
RTH 227 Integrated Respiratory Therapy Skills I 2
RTH 267 12-Lead EKG Diag. 3
Total Minimum Credits for Degree 70

Core competencies for HLT 105, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, are covered within RTH 110. Students will receive a BLS Healthcare Provider Card.

PRINTABLE VERSION: AAS Respiratory Therapy 2016-17

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