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Howard College - Big Spring, Lamesa, San Angelo, SWCID

Respiratory Care

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Respiratory Care
Associate of Applied Science
Campus Availability(AllBSLSASW)

Respiratory therapists evaluate and care for patients with heart and lung problems, provide oxygen therapy, pulmonary medications, chest physiotherapy, diagnostic testing, life support and mechanical ventilation.  Respiratory therapists care for a variety of patients from the newborn to geriatric populations.helping a respiratory patient

Respiratory Care is a two-year program leading to an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree.  The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care - CoARC (1248 Harwood Rd, Bedford, TX 76021-4244, 817-283-2835).  Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the National Board for Respiratory Care entry level examination (Certified Respiratory Therapist CRT).  Upon passing this exam, graduates are then eligible to take the Advanced Practice exam (Registered Respiratory Therapist RRT).  The CRT or RRT credential is typically used as criteria for obtaining a state license to practice.  Click here for the Outcomes Data from the 2011 Annual Report of Current Status posted on the CoARC website.

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Respiratory Care Program at Howard College is to provide for the education of students in respiratory therapy and provide learning opportunities that are innovative and educationally sound.  We serve a 13 county area ranging from LaMesa to Junction.  The program and the college are committed to personal development of each student in the field of respiratory care therapy, so that he or she will be able to serve the community as a competent staff respiratory care therapist.

Program Goals 

  • Graduates will be employable and meet the needs of the community.
  • Students will demonstrate effective communication.
  • Students will be competent when performing respiratory care procedures.
  • The students will demonstrate "Problem Solving" and "Critical Thinking" skills.
  • Students will show professional development and growth.

Program Requirements

All admission requirements with the exception of prerequisite classes must be completed by June 1.  Detailed information about all Health Professions programs and requirements may be found in the Health Professions Booklet.

  1. Attend a Howard College Health Professions Orientation.  A schedule may be obtained by contacting the HCSA Health Profession Division at (325) 481-8323.   Orientations will be announced on the HCSA homepage.
  2. Passing test scores from an approved college assessment exam are required to gain entrance into academic courses.  If needed, HC administers the ACCUPLACER exam.  The Testing Schedule for each campus is posted on each campus website or may be obtained by contacting Student Life & Testing or Student Services.
  3. Students seeking admission to the Respiratory Care program must take the Health Occupations Basic Entrance Test (HOBET). The student will be responsible for registering and paying for the exam through the ATI website (www.atitesting.com). The testing schedule is on the Howard College website howardcollege.edu. Please contact the Testing Coordinator at 325-481-8300 for more information. The HOBET test can be taken once every 30 days with a maximum number of three (3) times per admission cycle (September 1 – May 31).
  4. Complete the required prerequisite courses with a final grade of "C" or better. 
  5. Provide proof of required immunizations.
  6. Successful completion of a criminal background check.
  7. Submit Health Professions Application for the desired program to the Health Professions Division along with an official transcript indicating high school graduation or proof of GED and an official transcript from each college/university attended including Howard College.

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Respiratory Care Prerequisites

Prior to actual admission to the Respiratory Care Program, applicant must successfully complete the required support courses with a final grade of "C" or above. If enrolled in these courses during the summer, applicant must furnish proof of enrollment.

BIOL 2401 - Anatomy & Physiology I
BIOL 2402 - Anatomy & Physiology II
MATH 1314 - College Algebra OR MATH 1332 - Contemporary Mathematics

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Course Curriculum

RSPT 1101 Introduction to Respiratory Care
Course Description:  An introduction to the field of respiratory care.  Topics include the history of respiratory care, hospital organization, medical malpractice, ethics, vital signs, body mechanics, basic cardiopulmonary assessment, infection control, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
End-of-Course Outcomes:  Discuss major events and individuals involved in the development of the respiratory care profession; explain the basic structure and function of hospital departments; discuss the basic considerations involved in medical malpractice and ethics; perform basic vital signs, body mechanics, cardiopulmonary assessment, and CPR; and describe and perform infection control policies and procedures.
                             
 
RSPT 1160 Clinical - Respiratory Care
Course Description:  A health-related work-based learning experience that enables the student to apply specialized occupational theory, skills, and concepts.  Direct supervision is provided by the clinical professional.
End-of-Course Outcomes:  As outlined in the learning plan, apply the theory, concepts, and skills involving specialized materials, tools, equipment, procedures, regulations, laws, and interactions within and among political, economic, environmental, social, and legal systems associated with the occupation and the business/industry and will demonstrate legal and ethical behavior, safety practices, interpersonal and teamwork skills, and appropriate written and verbal communication skills using the terminology of the occupation and the business/industry.
                                                       
 
RSPT 1213 Basic Respiratory Care Pharmacology
Course Description:  A study of basic pharmacological principles/practices of respiratory care drugs.  Emphasis on classification, routes of administration, dosages/calculations, and physiological interaction.
End-of-Course Outcomes:  Explain the mode of action, clinical indications, dosages, hazards, and side effects of the respiratory care drugs.  Perform drug dosage calculations and select appropriate pharmacological agents used in the practice of respiratory care.
              
RSPT 1266 Practicum - Respiratory Care
Course Description:  Practical general workplace training supported by an individualized learning plan developed by the employer, college, and student.
End-of-Course Outcomes:  As outlined in the learning plan, apply the theory, concepts, and skills involving specialized materials, tools, equipment, procedures, regulations, laws, and interactions within and among political, economic, environmental, social, and legal systems associated with the occupation and the business/industry and will demonstrate legal and ethical behavior, safety practices, interpersonal and teamwork skills, and appropriate written and verbal communication skills using the terminology of the occupation and the business/industry.
               
RSPT 1327 Applied Physics for Respiratory Care
Course Description:  Review of the theoretical and practical applications of mathematics and physics with a focus on the applicability and clinical utility of the modalities, techniques, procedures, equipment, and diagnostic tests utilized in respiratory care.
End-of-Course Outcomes:  Apply basic principles of mechanics, gas laws, fluid dynamics, and thermal dynamics as applied in respiratory care.
              
RSPT 1329 Respiratory Care Fundamentals I
Course Description:  Provides a foundation for the development of knowledge and skills for respiratory care including history, medical terms/symbols, medical/legal, infection control, vital signs, physical assessment, chest x-ray interpretation,medical gas therapy, oxygen analyzers, and humidity/aerosol therapy.
End-of-Course Outcomes:  Select, review, obtain, and interpret data in a selected respiratory care patient setting; select, assemble, and check equipment for proper function, operation, and cleanliness; identify equipment malfunctions; maintain patient records; and demonstrate knowledge of therapeutic procedures.
                      
RSPT 1331 Respiratory Care Fundamentals II
Course Description:  Provides a foundation for the development of knowledge and skills for respiratory care including lung expansion therapy, postural drainage and percussion, artificial airways, manual resuscitation devices, suctioning, pulse oximetry, bedside spirometry, arterial sampling techniques and blood gas analysis and interpretation.
End-of-Course Outcomes:  Select, review, obtain, and interpret data in a selected respiratory care patient setting; select assemble, and check equipment for proper function, operation, and cleanliness; identify equipment malfunctions; maintain patient records; and demonstrate knowledge of therapeutic procedures.
                    
RSPT 1335 Cardiopulmonary Testing
Course Description:  A comprehensive study of pulmonary testing of lung function, dysrhythmia interpretation, and 12-lead-electrocardiogram (EKG) interpretation.
End-of-Course Outcomes:  Describe the methods, standards, and purpose of performing pulmonary function testing including appropriate equipment uses; interpret atrial, junctional, and ventricular dysrhythmiasl and apply knowledge of the electrocardiogram to the identification of common cardiac disturbances.
                                
RSPT 2160 Clinical - Respiratory Care
Course Description:  A health-related work-based learning experience that enables the student to apply specialized occupational theory, skills, and concepts.  Direct supervision is provided by the clinical professional.
End-of-Course Outcomes:  As outlined in the learning plan, apply the theory, concepts, and skills involving specialized materials, tools, equipment, procedures, regulations, laws, and interactions within and among political, economic, environmental, social, and legal systems associated with the occupation and the business/industry and will demonstrate legal and ethical behavior, safety practices, interpersonal and teamwork skills, and appropriate written and verbal communication skills using the terminology of the occupation and the business/industry.
      
RSPT 2166 Practicum - Respiratory Care
Course Desctiption:  Practical general workplace training supported by an individualized learning plan developed by the employer, college, and student.
End-of-Course Outcomes:  As outlined in the learning plan, apply the theory, concepts, and skills involving specialized materials, tools, equipment, procedures, regulations, laws, and interactions within and among political, economic, environmental, social, and legal systems associated with the occupation and the business/industry and will demonstrate legal and ethical behavior, safety practices, interpersonal and teamwork skills, and appropriate written and verbal communication skills using the terminology of the occupation and the business/industry. 
              
RSPT 2230 Examination Preparation
Course Description:  Comprehensive review for selected respiratory care credentialing examinations.  Test matrices and exam content areas for selected exams will be presented.
End-of-Course Outcomes:  Explain the matrices and content area of selected exams; demonstrate the ability to use a computerized testing format; and employ test taking skills.
                          
RSPT 2255 Critical Care Monitoring
Course Description:  Advanced monitoring techniques used clinically to assess a patient in the critical care setting.
End-of-Course Outcomes:  Describe the principles/techniques involved in critical care monitoring devices; and analyze, interpret, and apply patient data in selected patient care settings.
                      
RSPT 2266 Practicum - Respiratory Care
Course Description:  Practical general workplace training supported by an individualized learning plan developed by employer, college, and student.
End-of-Course Outcomes:  As outlined in the learning plan, apply the theory, concepts, and skills involving specialized materials, tools, equipment, procedures, regulations, laws, and interactions within and among political, economic, environmental, social, and legal systems associated with the occupation and the business/industry and will demonstrate legal and ethical behavior, safety practices, interpersonal and teamwork skills, and appropriate written and verbal communication skills using the terminology of the occupation and the business/industry.
            
RSPT 2267 Practicum - Respiratory Care
Course Description:  Practical general workplace training supported by and individualized learning plan developed by employer, college, and student.
End-of-Course Outcomes:  As outlined in the learning plan, apply the theory, concepts, and skills involving specialized materials, tools, equipment, procedures, regulations, laws, and interactions within and among political, economic, environmental, social, and legal systems associated with the occupation and the business/industry and will demonstrate legal and ethical behavior, safety practices, interpersonal and team work skills, and appropriate written and verbal communication skills using the terminology of the occupation and the business/industry.
                          
RSPT 2310 Cardiopulmonary Disease
Course Description:  A Discussion of pathogenesis, pathology, diagnosis, history, prognosis, manifestations, treatment, and detection of cardiopulmonary diseases.
End-of-Course Outcomes:  Analyze the etiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and management of cardiopulmonary disorders.
                       
RSPT 2314 Mechanical Ventilation
Course Description:  In-depth coverage and application of therapeutic procedures to achieve adequate, spontaneous, and artificial ventilation with emphasis on ventilator classification, methods, principles, and operational characteristics.  Also included are the indications, complications, and physiologic effects/principles of mechanical ventilation.  Emphasizes initiation, management of ventilation support.
End-of-Course Outcomes:  Describe procedures for mechanical ventilation; identify and assemble necessary equipment for mechanical ventilation; and state clinical goals for mechanical ventilation.
                                      
RSPT 2353 Neonatal/Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Care
Course Description:  A study of acute care, monitoring, and management as applied to the neonatal and pediatric patient.
End-of-Course Outcomes:  Compare normal and abnormal neonatal and pediatric anatomy and physiology; and select, adjust, check, and modify equipment necessary to manage the high risk neonatal or pediatric patient.

 

Director of Clinical Care

Lauri Kirgis. RRT, B.A.T.
(325) 481-8371, ext. 3431
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Program Director 

For more information on the program,  please contact: 

Michelle Trubenstein, RRT, B.A.T.
Respiratory Care Program Director
(325) 481-8371, ext. 3430

(325) 481-8300 ext. 3263
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