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Respiratory Therapy Degrees

What type of degree is required to become a respiratory therapist?

Respiratory therapist must obtain a minimum of an associate’s degree but many baccalaureate degrees are now available and new programs are continually starting. The respiratory therapy associate’s degree programs typically take two years to complete and the bachelor’s programs take four years. There are accelerated programs available. Most RT programs are available at community colleges.

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Do respiratory therapy programs have to be accredited?

In order for students to be eligible for the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) exams, they must graduate with a minimum

What is the cost of tuition for most respiratory therapist programs?

The cost of a program is dependent upon the institution and location. Schools can range from $8,000 to $50,000 for a two-year degree, typically costing somewhere in the middle. It depends largely on whether the school chosen is public or private.

Are there typically prerequisites for entry into a respiratory therapist program?

Most schools require chemistry and algebra courses to be complete prior to enrolling in a respiratory therapy program but this can vary based on the specific school.

What kinds of courses are included in a respiratory therapist program?

    • Cardiopulmonary anatomy and physiology

    • Physics

    • Pharmacology

    • Therapeutics

    • Mechanical ventilation

    • Beginning and advanced patient assessment

    • Pediatrics and neonatology

    • Cardiopulmonary diseases

  • Clinical (internships in hospitals)

Are internships required to graduate from these programs?

Typically programs require clinical rotations in various areas of the hospitals such as pulmonary function labs, critical care, emergency room, adult, pediatric and neonatal care. It is typical for a program to require over 1,000 clinical hours prior to graduation.

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How many students are admitted into respiratory therapy programs typically?

Each school is different but a typical program admits approximately 20 students and may have 16 who graduate. Some RT programs have a yearlong waiting list due to keeping the student/teacher ratio low and other programs don’t have a waiting list.

What is the typical make up of students in a respiratory therapist program?

The types of students in respiratory therapy programs can run the gamut. These programs consist of new high school graduates, displaced workers, graduates from other types of degrees who cannot find work in their field, and students who want to use this profession as a stepping stone to get into another field in health care like nursing, radiography, physician assistant or even a doctor. Students who initially want to use the field as a stepping stone oftentimes decide to stay in respiratory therapy when they learn how exciting and rewarding it can be to take care of critically ill patients and be part of an emergency life saving team.

Respiratory Therapy Schools

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            1 Program(s) Found
            • Offers training in various types of massage therapy, physical therapy/sports rehab, and personal fitness training & wellness.
            • Teaches in an environment that promotes learning and encourages empathetic and compassionate therapists.
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            • Students can work in the SOCHI Massage Clinic to gain experience and build their career skills.
            • Financial aid representatives help students develop a personalized financial plan to finance their tuition.
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            Concorde , San Bernardino
            • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1994.
            • Designated as a 2015 Top Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
            • Currently offers over 20 degree and diploma programs in Healthcare.
            • 16 campuses across the United States, with online options as well.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and the Accrediting Commission of the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
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            • Offers a free trial period so students can attend classes before paying tuition.
            • Provides blended courses that combine traditional classroom instruction with online learning.
            • Lets students connect with peers at any time, and instructors during office hours with online chat rooms.
            • Gives students the chance to participate in externships and clinical training work under the general supervision of college staff.
            • Has accelerated programs that allow students to take the same coursework in a shorter timeframe.
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            • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
            • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
            • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
            • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            • 12 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
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            • Ranked 23rd among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A public research university with an enrollment of more than 42,000 students.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 16:1, and 43.1% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has been the source of many discoveries creating positive change for society including co-op education and the oral polio vaccine since its founding in 1819.
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