Respiratory Therapy

A healthcare discipline specializing in the production of optimal cardiopulmonary function and health.

Respiratory therapists apply scientific principles to prevent, identify, and treat acute or chronic dysfunction of the cardiopulmonary system. Knowledge of the scientific principles, underlying cardiopulmonary physiology, and pathophysiology, as well as biomedical engineering and technology, enable the respiratory therapist to effectively assess, educate, and treat patients.

As a healthcare profession, respiratory therapy is practiced under medical direction across the healthcare continuum. Respiratory therapy is specifically focused on the assessment, treatment, management, control, diagnostic evaluation, education, and care of patients with deficiencies and abnormalities of the cardiopulmonary system, as well as on the prevention of the development of these deficiencies. Critical thinking, patient and environment assessment skills, and evidence-based clinical practice guidelines enable respiratory therapists to develop and implement effective care plans, therapist-driven protocols, disease-based clinical pathways, and disease management programs.

A consortium between the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College and Buckeye Hills Career Center has been established as a means to (a) educate and train individuals in the science of Respiratory Care, (b) to develop in those individuals an understanding of the role of a Respiratory Care Practitioner as an integral part of the healthcare team, and (c) to produce Respiratory Care Practitioners who will serve the community with both competent and technological skills with a caring and ethical behavior.

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Learn more about this exciting and high-demand degree by contacting our Admissions team.

Respiratory Therapy Degrees

Respiratory Therapy (Associate)

  • Associate's Program

Program Overview

Respiratory Therapy program is designed to provide an educational program that will prepare students to practice as qualified Respiratory Care Practitioners and to serve the community healthcare agencies by graduating competent and experienced Respiratory Care Practitioners. The program will build a solid foundation from which graduates can evolve with the changing respiratory therapy environment to grow into well-respected healthcare professionals.  

Learning Outcomes

  •  Explain respiratory therapy techniques in a manner appropriate to current national standards, as defined by the National Board of Respiratory Care.
  • Develop the application of clinical skills required for delivery of the practice Respiratory Therapy.
  • Develop the skills to use critical thinking and analytical skills to promptly and accurately assess the condition of patients presenting with respiratory conditions, and to develop and implement an appropriate plan of care.
  • Safely and appropriately perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, advanced cardiac life support, and neonatal resuscitation according to national standards.
  • Safely and appropriately treat and monitor patients in need of artificial respirators (life support) in the form of mechanical ventilators.

Sample Courses

  • PSY 11103 General Psychology    
  • PHT 14302 Pharmacology for Respiratory Care
  • PHT 14303 Pharmacy Math for RCP

All Course Requirements 

Degree or Certificate
  • Associate of Science
Campus Location
  • Rio Grande Main Campus
College or School
  • College of Professional and Technical Studies
  • Holzer School of Nursing
Modality tells you whether this program is in-person, online, or hybrid.
  • All courses required in-person
Total Credit Hours
High School GPA of 2.5 and high school biology, algebra, and chemistry or college-level equivalents; all with a minimum grade of “C.” See Academic Catalog for more information.