Respiratory Therapy School
What specific courses are offered as part of respiratory therapy programs?
Training programs offered by respiratory therapy schools will include some general coursework that would be common of most all medically related technical fields. These courses provide a framework upon which more specialized career oriented training can be built. The basic classes that would be part of an associate’s degree program or the general undergraduate requirements of a bachelor’s program in respiratory care would include:
- Human anatomy
After satisfying general undergraduate requirements, the core training begins. The career-specific training offered by respiratory therapy schools tends to be more clinical and methods based, though it will still be inclusive of didactic coursework. This specialized training would include methods and procedural protocol based instruction that would include:
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Therapeutic procedures
- Diagnostic procedures
- Cardiac rehabilitation
- Pulmonary rehabilitation
- Outpatient care
What is the educational methods component of respiratory therapy training programs?Respiratory therapy training will also address educational components that are so wonderfully unique to this profession. Because
RT programs will also involve a level of mechanical technical training so as to prepare graduates to perform ventilator/breathing apparatus maintenance and repair. It is not uncommon for administrative training in medical records keeping and office management to also be part of bachelor’s programs specific to respiratory therapy.
What are my degree options as a respiratory therapist?Respiratory therapy training is offered at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s levels. Associate degree programs offer the fastest way to begin practicing and are the minimum requirement for entering the field. In fewer than three years these programs prepare graduates for both the possibility of attaining a bachelor’s degree as well as the ability to fill entry-level positions in hospitals and clinics.
The more common four-year bachelor’s-level respiratory therapy degree programs will be better suited to those interested in a more comprehensive training that better prepares graduates for a greater level of responsibility. Managerial positions and advancement opportunities are more readily available to those who hold a Bachelor of Science in respiratory therapy. Some hospitals and clinics show a strong preference for hiring graduates of master’s programs and will often accept applicants with this degree in lieu of working experience.
The more ambitions graduates of bachelor’s programs may opt to pursue two years of postgraduate study in order to earn the highly regarded Master of Science in respiratory therapy degree. This advanced degree will create boundless opportunities within this field by allowing recipients to work in a more educational capacity, doing research work, or even specializing in public health and community programs designed around promoting good respiratory health.