Link to Kirkwood Community College
Program - Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory Therapist

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.

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.

For more information contact:
Tamara Alt, BAS, RRT, NPS
2164 Linn Hall

American Association for Respiratory Care

Advance for Respiratory Care and Sleep Medicine Professionals

Accreditation: The Respiratory Therapy program 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 to sit for the CRTT (Certified Respiratory Therapy Technician) entry-level exam, and the RRT (Registered Respiratory Therapist) advanced exam, both administered by the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC). The exams listed are required for employment and licensure within the state of Iowa and the Respiratory Therapy profession.

The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care can be contacted at:
1248 Harwood Rd.
Bedford, Texas 76021-4244