Respiratory Therapist
2-year AAS degree

Respiratory therapists, also known as respiratory care practitioners, provide treatment, evaluation, monitoring and management of patients with breathing disorders or cardiovascular problems. Respiratory therapists administer oxygen, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, manage mechanical ventilators, administer medications, monitor cardiopulmonary systems and measure lung function. Respiratory therapists treat all types of patients: premature infants whose lungs are not fully developed, elderly patients with chronic asthma or emphysema, as well as emergency care for heart attack, stroke, drowning or shock.

Students in this program may be eligible to have half their tuition paid for by the Kibbie Grant.

Respiratory Therapist


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Respiratory therapists work closely with physicians, nurses and other health care professionals to provide direct care to children and adults, including delivery of oxygen, administration of aerosolized drugs, endotracheal intubation, suctioning, management of life support, weaning of ventilation or life support, insertion of arterial lines, management of tracheostomies, and drawing and interpretation of arterial blood gas samples. Advanced skills include intravenous, chest tube and central line insertions, as well as bronchoscopy procedures.

The Respiratory Therapist curriculum consists of classroom, laboratory and hospital-based clinical experiences at area hospitals and in-home health. This program begins each Fall semester.

American Association for Respiratory Care

Advance for Respiratory Care and Sleep Medicine Professionals

The Kirkwood Respiratory Therapy program, CoARC Program number 200190, located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care ( To prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practices as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRTs). Upon completion of the Respiratory Therapy program, you should have the skills and knowledge needed for board exams; TMC (Therapist Multiple Choice) exam (entry level), WRRT and/or CSE exam(s) (Registered Respiratory Therapist). Exams are administered by the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC). Listed exams are required for employment, along with licensure to practice respiratory therapy.

The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
P.O. Box 54876 | Hurst, Texas 76054-4876 |

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