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Associate in Science or Associate in Applied Science

Respiratory Care (2244)

Mission Statement
Creating competent, ethical, confident entry–level health care practitioners committed to professional development through life–long learning in a positive, non–discriminatory and supportive learning environment.

The Career
Respiratory care is a matter of life and breath. Your patients may be premature infants or 90 year old nursing home residents. They may have an acute heart and lung disorder, chronic asthma or emphysema, or be emergency victims of heart attack, stroke, drowning or shock. Some patients may have breathing disorders during sleep, such as apnea.

The respiratory care profession is one of the fastest growing allied health specialties. It is involved with the treatment, diagnosis and rehabilitation of patients with diseases of the heart and lungs. You will be involved in their evaluation, rehabilitation and case management. You will also provide counseling on smoking and disease prevention.

For additional information on the profession, contact:

American Association for Respiratory Care
11030 Ables Lane
Dallas, Texas 75229

The Program
The Respiratory Care program is led by a faculty with professional backgrounds and a commitment to your success. Your coursework combines liberal arts with courses in Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology, Respiratory Care and Therapy, Pulmonary Pathology, Pharmacology, Ventilator and Therapeutic Techniques, Diagnostics, Neo Natal/Pediatric Respiratory Care and Community Health.

Florida Community College Health programs have an edge over every other schools in Northeast Florida. Partnerships with Mayo Clinic, Brooks Rehabilitation, Baptist, Memorial, Shands, St. Luke’s and St. Vincent’s hospitals provide advanced medical tools and equipment, such as computerized mannequins that simulate both common and rare medical conditions, a pulse and breathing so you see how patients with different problems react to treatment.

The professional phase of the education makes simultaneous employment difficult due to clinical demands. Students will be expected to lift up to 30 pounds frequently, be mobile and have sufficient motor abilities to provide safe care.

Certification and Accreditation
This limited access program is fully accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Respiratory Care. Your degree qualifies you to take the national Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) followed by the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) advanced level examinations. Your Florida Community College degree also makes you eligible for specialty certifications such as neo-natal and pediatrics.

Your A.S. degree program articulates into a bachelor’s degree program at at the University of North Florida, Franklin University, Nova Southeastern University. See more information on articulation.

Advanced Placement for CRTs
An advanced placement option is available for this program for Certified Respiratory Therapists. By taking and successfully completing placement exams, students can earn credit for up to seven RET courses (RET 1024, RET 1276, RET 1485, RET 1824, RET 2484, RET 1008 and RET 2272L). Please contact the program manager to arrange these exams.

Clinical rotations provide care experience in a supervised environment for diverse groups of patients, and generally lead to immediate employment. You may be required to undergo drug screening and criminal background checks prior to placement.

Career Opportunities, Rapid Placement
An aging population heightens the incidence of cardiopulmonary disease and care. There is a shortfall of 5000 candidates in respiratory care nationwide; and the need is expected to rise 30% annually. Experienced CRTs can rapidly advance to specialty care of critically ill patients, become a supervisor or director, or move into education and marketing.

Annual Salaries
Median CRT income is $36,700, while median RRT salary is $43,150, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2004 report (latest available).

A brochure outlining costs, requirements, deadlines and procedures is available online.

Estimated cost of tuition is $5,046 (tuition rated for Florida residents, as of 7/06). The estimated cost of fees, books, uniforms and materials is $500. See details in the online brochure.

The following seven courses should be completed, or nearing completion, prior to submitting an application to the program:

  • ENC 1101 English Composition I
  • MAC 1105 College Algebra
  • BSC 2085C Human Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BSC 2086C Human Anatomy and Physiology II
  • *Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • *Humanities

Application Procedure
To meet minimum requirements for consideration for acceptance to the Respiratory Care program, students must:

  1. Complete a Respiratory Care application packet.
  2. Applicants must document all eligibility requirements:
    1. current Health Care Provider Basic Life Support (HCP–BLS) card
    2. current Health Occupations Test (HOT) scores
    3. completion of prerequisite courses with a grade of “C” or better
  3. Students will be ranked according to the quality points. (Contact the RC office for additional information).
  4. The top 25 ranked students will be notified by mail of their acceptance into the program. Orientation and registration information will also be provided. Those who fail to contact our office upon notification of acceptance will forfeit their placement in the program. In case of forfeiture, the next highest ranked student will be notified of acceptance.

Respiratory Care (2244)

General Education Courses
ENC 1101 English Composition I 3
BSC 2085C Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4
  *Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
MAC 1105 College Algebra 3
  *Humanities 3
  Credit Hours 16

Required Professional Courses
BSC 2086C Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4
RET 1024 Fundamentals of Respiratory Therapy 4
RET 1824 Clinical I 2
RET 1276 Physical Assessment Skills 2
RET 1485 Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology 4
RET 2484 Pulmonary Pathology 4
RET 2272L Clinical II 4
RET 1008 Pharmacology for the Respiratory Therapist 2
RET 2264 Ventilatory Techniques 3
RET 1450 Diagnostic Monitoring 3
RET 2265 Advanced Monitoring and Therapeutic Techniques 2
RET 2350 Advanced Pharmacology 2
RET 2714 Neo Natal/Pediatric Respiratory Care 2
RET 2834 Clinical III 11
RET 2520 Community Health 2
RET 2835 Clinical IV 9
  Credit Hours 60

Total Credit Hours: 76

*Refer to A.S./A.A.S. degree General Education Requirements.

You have two options in this program: the associate in science (A.S.) degree, which can prepare you for employment or transfer to a state university, and the associate in applied science (A.A.S.) degree, which is intended primarily for students who want immediate employment after graduation. If you choose the A.S. degree you must take MAC 1105, MGF 1106 or a higher level mathematics. The A.A.S. degree requires MAT 1033 or higher. Please see an advisor to determine the option that is best for you.

Record of Conviction of a Crime
The Florida Board of Respiratory Care will determine a respiratory care graduate’s eligibility for licensure when there is an arrest/conviction record. Students should contact the Florida Board for information regarding potential licensure problems if a student has an arrest/conviction record that may be an issue. The Respiratory Care program will not offer opinions or assurances of licensure to graduates with problematic backgrounds.

Most clinical agencies require students to undergo drug screen and criminal background checks prior to placement in the agencies for clinical experiences. Students whose drug screening and criminal background checks are deemed unsatisfactory may be denied access to clinical experiences by the clinical agencies. Failure to qualify for and meet clinical requirements at clinical sites may prevent completion of the program. Withdrawal from the program may be necessary if students cannot be placed for clinical experiences.

The cost of the background check and drug screen is borne by the student. Additionally, it is the student’s responsibility to have all paperwork completed by the program’s published deadline. Students who are unable to complete the clinical requirements after acceptance into the selective access programs are not eligible for refunds of tuition.

A physical examination will be required upon acceptance to the program.


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