To see the Respiratory Therapy section in the JCHS Catalog, click here.
To see an update to the Respiratory Therapy information in the Spring 2014 Addendum to the JCHS Catalog, click here.
Click here for a short video on who Respiratory Therapists are.
Most people take breathing for granted. It's second nature, an involuntary reflex. Yet for millions of Americans who suffer from breathing problems, each breath is a major accomplishment. Those people include patients with chronic lung problems, such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema, yet may also include heart attack and accident victims; and premature infants.
Respiratory Therapy (RT) is a unique, growing healthcare profession in which highly-skilled individuals think critically while consulting with physicians and other allied health professionals to diagnose/treat patients with disorders associated with the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
The Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy (BSRT) Program provides you with the knowledge, skills and hands-on experience that will help you begin your exciting career in the RT field.
Applicants who are accepted into the BSRT Program and who enroll in full-time coursework, are eligible to receive the JCHS Wellness Grant, an annual grant of $3,000.
The field of respiratory care is relatively young. It started in the early 1950's when therapists were called "Inhalation Therapists." Their main job was providing oxygen to patients in the hospital.
The field has expanded into management of computerized mechanical ventilators which provide life support for the patients, and understanding and monitoring the heart and its hemodynamics. One might say that we are now considered cardio-pulmonary (heart/lung) therapists. Many therapists are now performing echocardiography and neurodiagnostics.
Statistics say our population is aging, so not only will RTs always have work, but also advancement opportunities as the baby boomers (the largest population demographic in the U.S.) begin to retire (and then become your patients). Obviously, RTs will be in demand for a long time.
Respiratory Therapy is considered to be one of the hottest jobs in the healthcare industry. The respiratory care profession has a bright future with a great deal of job security and opportunity for advancement. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of Respiratory Therapists is expected to increase faster than average over the next decade. The primary reason for this increase is because the aging baby boom generation will expand the generation of older adults who tend to suffer from respiratory conditions like pneumonia and COPD. These patients often have respiratory complications due to heart disease and other common diseases of aging.
While U.S. employment in general is forecast to increase by 15 percent, the need for RTs will grow by up to 26 percent!
Once you enter the profession, you may wish to specialize in an area such as neonatal care, critical care, helicopter transport, rehabilitation, education, cardiopulmonary diagnostics or management. The U.S. Occupational Outlook Handbook might be helpful to you as you choose your future. It provides government projections for the profession, a description of the field, working conditions, employment, job outlook and earnings.
If you would like to learn more about this program, contact Chase Poulsen, BSRT Program Director, at (540) 985-8490 or via e-mail CRPoulsen@jchs.edu.
Earning a BSRT degree at JCHS could be the key to opening important doors in your future as a healthcare professional. Here are some reasons why:
Our graduates are in demand.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of Respiratory Therapists is expected to increase by up to 26% in coming years.
Our graduates earn outstanding salaries.
With demand for respiratory therapists on the rise, salaries are following suit. A recent study found that the average salary for a respiratory therapist in the U.S. is $62,223 and respiratory therapists beginning their careers can expect to earn between $42,000 and $47,000 annually.
Our graduates are exceptionally educated.
Students in the JCHS BSRT program learn in state-of the art labs and in some of the country's most advanced and innovative clinical areas. Plus, our faculty bring years of practical, relatable experience with them to the classroom.
Our BSRT graduates will have the opportunity to start their careers at advanced levels.
Today's Respiratory Therapist is a vital part of a healthcare team. By offering the bachelor’s level degree to our students, we are preparing them to enter the profession on an entirely new and exciting level. And the opportunities for our graduates are growing every day.
Because respiratory therapists are so in demand, there are opportunities for graduates to work in a number of different areas, including:
In hospitals, giving breathing treatments to people with asthma and other respiratory conditions.
In intensive care units, managing ventilators that keep the critically ill alive.
In emergency rooms, delivering life-saving treatments.
In newborn and pediatric units, helping children with conditions ranging from premature birth to cystic fibrosis.
In operating rooms, working with anesthesiologists to monitor patients’ breathing during surgery.
In patient’s homes, providing regular check-ups and making sure people have what they need to stay out of the hospital.
In sleep laboratories, helping to diagnose disorders like sleep apnea.
In skilled nursing facilities and pulmonary rehabilitation programs, helping older people breathe easier and get more out of life.
In doctor’s offices, conducting pulmonary function tests and providing patient education.
In asthma education programs, helping kids and adults alike learn how to cope with the condition.
In smoking cessation programs, assisting those who want to kick the habit for good.
In air transport and ambulance programs, caring for critically ill patients in transit.
In case management programs, helping devise long-term care plans for patients.
To watch a video exploring more about respiratory therapy, go to the American Association of Respiratory Care website and view the "Life and Breath" presentation.
- Draw and analyze blood samples to determine the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide and other gases in order to assess the best course of treatment for a patient
- Measure the capacity and efficiency of a patient's lungs to determine if there is impaired function.
- Perform stress tests and other studies of the cardiopulmonary system.
- Study disorders of people with disruptive sleep patterns.
- Obtain and analyze sputum and breath specimens.
- Read and analyze chest x-rays and electrocardiograms
- Operate and maintain various types of highly sophisticated equipment to administer oxygen or to assist with breathing.
- Employ mechanical ventilation for treating patients who cannot breathe adequately on their own.
- Monitor and manage therapy that will help a patient recover lung function.
- Administer medications in aerosol form to help alleviate breathing problems and to help prevent respiratory infections.
- Monitor equipment and patient response to therapy
- Conduct rehabilitation activities, such as low-impact aerobic exercise classes to help patients who suffer from chronic lung problems.
- Maintain a patient's artificial airway, one that may be in place to help the patient who cannot breathe through normal means.
- Stand by in labor and delivery rooms to monitor and treat pre-mature infants who have difficulty in breathing on their own
- Conduct smoking cessation programs for the hospital patients and other patients in the community who want to kick the tobacco habit. (Young teens to adult to elderly population.)
|Course Number||Course Name||Credit Hours|
|Year One – Fall Semester|
|GEN 101||Academic Seminar||3|
|ENG111||Grammar and Composition I||3|
|Year One – Spring Semester|
|ENG 112||Grammar & Composition II||3|
|PHL 115||Foundations of Ethics||3|
|HLT 215||Medical Terminology||3|
|Year Two – Fall Semester|
|BIO 211/211L||Anatomy and Physiology I||4|
|MTH 165||College Algebra||3|
|Year Two – Spring Semester|
|IPE 200||Foundations of Teamwork||1|
|BIO 212/212L||Anatomy and Physiology II||4|
|ELE||Social Science Elective||3|
|Year Three – FallSemester|
|IPE 300||Interprofessional Healthcare Discovery and Collaboration||1|
|RTH302/302L||Respiratory Therapy Procedures I/Lab||4|
|RTH304||Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Physiology||3|
|RTH305||Integrated Sciences for Respiratory Therapy||3|
|RTH308C||Clinical Practice I||1|
|Year Three – Spring Semester|
|RTH311/311L||Respiratory Therapy Procedures II/Lab||4|
|RTH332||Pulmonary Function Studies||2|
|Year Three Summer Semester|
|HCM 301||U.S. Healthcare System||4|
|Year Four – Fall Semester|
|MTH301||Statistics for Healthcare or Statistics Class||3|
|IPE 400L||Interprofessional Health Experiences Lab||1|
|RTH420||Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Therapy||3|
|RTH430||Patient Case Management I||3|
|RTH448C||Clinical Practice III||3|
|Year Four – Spring Semester|
|RTH410||Patient Education & Rehabilitation||3|
|RTH450||Patient Case ManagementII||3|
|IDS 453||Research Methods||3|
|RTH478C||Clinical Practice IV||3|
|RTH488C||Clinical Specialty Rotation||1|
|TOTAL Non-Major Credits||71|
|TOTAL Respiratory Therapy Credits||54|
|TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS||125|
The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC). The AARC is the professional association representing respiratory therapists, physicians, and other health care professionals who are interested in respiratory care. For information on respiratory care, visit the AARC website at www.aarc.org.
This program is accredited by:
Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
We are also members of:
American Association for Respiratory Care
Virginia Society for Respiratory Care
National Board for Respiratory Care