Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory care is a health care specialty, which under medical direction, is involved in the prevention, treatment, management and rehabilitation of people with lung problems. Respiratory care personnel are instrumental in life support and emergency measures. The respiratory care practitioners must be experts in providing specialized and selective therapeutic respiratory care in such areas as medical gas administration, humidity and aerosol administration, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and ventilatory support. The respiratory care practitioner must also be capable of performing pulmonary function studies, blood gas analysis and other related physiologic monitoring.

The respiratory therapist specializes in the application of scientific knowledge and theory to practical clinical problems of respiratory care. The respiratory therapist is qualified to assume primary clinical responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including responsibilities involved in supervision of certified respiratory therapist functions. Further, the therapist is capable of serving as a technical resource person to the physician with regard to current practices in respiratory care and the hospital staff in regard to effective and safe methods of administering respiratory care.

Graduates are eligible to take both certification and registry exams prepared by the National Board for Respiratory Care to become both Certified (CRT) and a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).

Students in this program will experience first hand leading edge instructional technology; instruction in current medical practices; and receive dynamic hands-on clinical experience.

Local Salaries

Locally, respiratory therapist salaries start at approximately $15.00 – $20.00 per hour.

Degree

Associate in Applied Science (Career Program)
Total Credit Hours: 71

Program Requirements

Select a course number below to see a course description.

Required General Education Courses

Course Name Credit Hours
ENGL 110 COMPOSITION I ** 3
COMM 110 INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNICATION: PRESENTATION AND THEORY ** 3
PSY 110 INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY ** 3
BIOL 205
and
PRINCIPLES OF HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY I **
and
4
BIOL 206
or
PRINCIPLES OF HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY II **
or
4
BIOL 140
and
HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY **
and
4
BIOL 210 MICROBIOLOGY ** 4
HUMANITIES * 3

Required Program Courses

Course Name Credit Hours
HEOCC 114 INTRODUCTION TO INTERDISCIPLINARY HEALTH CARE ** 1
HLTH 108 ELECTROCARDIOGRAM INTERPRETATION  1
HLTH 121 MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY ** 2
RESP 125 RESPIRATORY CARE PRACTICUM II  3
RESP 123 PHARMACOLOGY FOR RESPIRATORY CARE  2
RESP 122 CARDIOPULMONARY ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY  2
RESP 121 FUNDAMENTALS OF RESPIRATORY CARE II  5
RESP 115 RESPIRATORY CARE PRACTICUM I  3
RESP 112 FUNDAMENTALS OF RESPIRATORY CARE I  4
RESP 110 INTRODUCTION TO RESPIRATORY CARE  1
RESP 127 CARDIOPULMONARY DISEASES  3
RESP 201 INTRODUCTION TO MECHANICAL VENTILATION  1
RESP 210 FUNDAMENTALS OF RESPIRATORY CARE III  5
RESP 220 RESPIRATORY CARE PRACTICUM III  3
RESP 231 FUNDAMENTALS OF RESPIRATORY CARE IV  4
RESP 235 RESPIRATORY CARE PRACTICUM IV  3
RESP 240 RESPIRATORY THERAPY CAPSTONE  1
SOC 110 AN INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY ** 3

* See specific requirements for Associate in Applied Science Degree.
** BIOL 140 or BIOL 205 and BIOL 206
*** Underlined courses may be taken prior to admission into the program.

Students enrolled in the Associate in Applied Science degree program must meet with their assigned academic advisor to plan a specific course schedule meeting Illinois Central College and personal requirements

HEOCC 111 - Introduction to Health Careers is a recommended College course.

 

Recommended Course Sequence

Semester Courses
Fall Semester 1ENGL 110; RESP 110; RESP 112; RESP 115; RESP 122; HLTH 121
Spring Semester 1 RESP 121; RESP 123; RESP 125; RESP 127; BIOL 205 or BIOL 140
Summer SemesterPSY 110; RESP 201; BIOL 210
Fall Semester 2COMM 110; RESP 210; RESP 220; BIOL 206; Humanities
Spring Semester 2SOC 110; RESP 231; RESP 235; RESP 240; HLTH 108; HEOCC 114

Program Contact Information

Health Careers Department

Peoria Campus, Cedar 105


(309) 690-7530

Illinois Career Cluster

Health Science

Career Pathway:
Therapeutic Services

Accreditation

The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

CoARC
1248 Harwood Rd
Bedford, TX 76021-4244
(817) 283-2835
(817) 354-8519 —  Fax

Essential Skill and Abilities

The following list contains information regarding essential skills outlining the physical abilities and behavioral characteristics necessary for the student to successfully participate in and complete the respiratory therapist program. These standards are not conditions of admission, but reflect the performance abilities and characteristics necessary to successfully complete requirements for respiratory care. The student should carefully look over the essential skills for the program and ask questions if not familiar with the activities or functions listed. The student must decide if he or she has any limitations that may restrict or interfere with satisfactory performance of any of the requirements. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to meet these essential skills if accepted into the respiratory therapist program. The student should consult with the program director or the director of clinical education to discuss any individual situation if he or she may not be able to meet these essential performance requirements.

A. Hearing

Able to hear and understand patients and staff; assess and monitor patient sounds

  • Communicate and interact with patients, staff, and families from a variety of cultural backgrounds
  • Follow verbal instructions
  • Use a stethoscope to hear heart and breath sounds
  • Detect and discriminate between sounds of normal conversation
  • Hear percussion sounds during patient assessment
  • Ability to hear sounds of a variety of equipment alarms

B. Mobility

Mobile and strong enough to support and move patients. Able to work remaining in a standing position for 60-.‐90 minutes. Able to more quickly from place to place to perform patient care.

  • Support and transfer patients safely from bed to wheelchair, and modify patient position in bed
  • Move in and out of treatment areas
  • Respond to emergency situations in a timely manner
  • Reach equipment and parts of patient’s body
  • Reach above shoulder height to manipulate equipment
  • Reach below waist level to manipulate equipment
  • Read fine print, monitors, and gauges
  • Differentiate color/character of sputum for signs/nature of infection/disease
  • Chart (write) procedures and observations legibly in a permanent medical record
  • Ability to see and discriminate between a variety of equipment visual alarms
  • Ability to observe demonstrations and patients close up and at a distance to learn skills and to gather patient data (e.g., observe a patient’s gait, appearance, posture, etc.)

C. Motor Skills (fine and gross)

Perform multiple motor tasks simultaneously. Fine and gross motor skills sufficient to handle equipment and provide safe and effective patient care; steady arm and hand movements while manipulating objects or assisting patients. Able to lift 40 pounds.

  • Operate and manipulate equipment; multiple operations may be required
  • Prepare blood collection syringes; draw venous and arterial blood samples
  • Manipulate a syringe and needle to prepare medications
  • Administer aerosols, suction patients, and adjust pressure gauges
  • Lift and transport oxygen cylinders; attach regulators; move in and out of treatment areas
  • Push/pull hospital beds; transport patients
  • Lift and move patients safely
  • Perform airway management and CPR

D. Visual

Able to monitor and assess patient and equipment function; to provide safe and effective respiratory care.

  • Read written instruction/orders
  • Read fine print, monitors, and gauges
  • Differentiate color/character of sputum for signs/nature of infection/disease
  • Chart (write) procedures and observations legibly in a permanent medical record
  • Ability to see and discriminate between a variety of equipment visual alarms
  • Ability to observe demonstrations and patients close up and at a distance to learn skills and to gather patient data (e.g., observe a patient’s gait, appearance, posture, etc.)

E. Tactile

Able to assess patient’s response to therapy tactilely.

  • Distinguish textures, degrees of firmness, temperature differences, pulse rate, vibrations and strength.

Essential Functions

All individuals, including persons with disabilities, who apply for admission to the respiratory therapist program, must be able to perform specific essential functions with reasonable accommodations. Essential functions are the basic activities that a student must be able to perform to complete the curriculum and function as a respiratory therapist. A respiratory therapist student must be able to perform these essential functions:

Communication: Students must be able to communicate orally and in writing with patients and members of the healthcare team. Students also must be able to read and comprehend written material in English.

Intellectual and Cognitive Abilities: Students must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, integrate and apply information. Problem solving, a clinical skill required of therapists, requires all these intellectual abilities.

Behavioral and Social Attributes: Students must possess the emotional health required to use their intellectual abilities fully, such as exercising good judgment, promptly completing all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and developing mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and other healthcare workers. Students must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties and ambiguities inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for  others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are  personal qualities that will be assessed during the educational process.

Ethical Standards: A student must demonstrate professional demeanor and behavior and must perform in an ethical manner in all dealings with peers, faculty, staff, and patients.