Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy

Degree Awarded: 
Bachelor's Degree

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.

Contact Chase Poulsen, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of the Respiratory Therapy Program, at (540) 985-8490 or crpoulsen@JCHS.edu to discuss your options.

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.

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 students qualify for additional internal grants.
New 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.

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.

Respiratory therapists 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.

What BSRT Students Learn

Diagnostic Procedures:

  • 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.

Treatment:

  • 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
Admission Requirements: 
  • Click here for the general information on admissions requirements.
Other Information: 
Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy Plan of Study

PREFIX

COURSE TITLE

CREDITS

Year One – Fall Semester

GEN 101

Academic Seminar

3

ENG111

Grammar and Composition I

3

ELE

 

3

ELE

 

3

 

TOTAL

12

Year One – Spring Semester

ENG 112

Grammar & Composition II

3

PHL 115

Foundations of Ethics

3

HLT 215

Medical Terminology

3

ELE

 

3

 

TOTAL

12

Year Two – Fall Semester

BIO 211/211L

Anatomy and Physiology I

4

HUM

Humanities Elective

3

MTH 165

College Algebra

3

ELE

 

3

 

TOTAL

13

Year Two – Spring Semester

IPE 200

Foundations of Teamwork

1

BIO 212/212L

Anatomy and Physiology II

4

ELE

Social Science Elective

3

ELE

 

3

ELE

 

3

 

TOTAL

14

Year Three – Fall Semester

IPE 300

Interprofessional Healthcare Discovery and Collaboration

1

RTH301

Patient Assessment

2

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

 

TOTAL

14

Year Three – Spring Semester

BIO 253/253L

Microbiology

4

RTH310

Cardiopulmonary Pharmacology

3

RTH311/311L

Respiratory Therapy Procedures II/Lab

4

RTH318C

Clinical Practice II

3

RTH332

Pulmonary Function Studies

2

 

TOTAL

16

Year Three Summer Semester

BIO300

Pathophysiology

3

HCM 301

U.S. Healthcare System

4

RTH320/320L

Mechanical Ventilation/lab

4

ELE

Elective

1

 

TOTAL

12

Year Four – Fall Semester

MTH301

Statistics for Healthcare or Statistics Class

3

RTH330

Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology

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

 

TOTAL

16

Year Four – Spring Semester

RTH410

Patient Education & Rehabilitation

3

RTH450

Patient Case Management II

3

IDS 453

Research Methods

3

RTH478C

Clinical Practice IV

3

RTH488C

Clinical Specialty Rotation

1

RTH490

Professional Seminar

3

 

TOTAL

16

 

 

 

 

TOTAL Non-Major Credits

71

 

TOTAL Respiratory Therapy Credits

54

 

TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS

125

Junior Level Transfer Information

In addition to college entrance criteria, junior level transfer students must have completed the first two years of the plan of study and possess a minimum of a 2.5 cumulative GPA.  Admission is based on availability.  JCHS currently has articulation agreements with the following colleges (click on link to open course transfer sheet).

Coming soon are advising sheets transferring students from:

  • Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC)
  • Wytheville Community College (WCC)
  • Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC)
  • Central Virginia Community College (CVCC)

Watch this webpage for updates!

Accreditations

Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC); our program outcome data found at: http://www.coarc.com/47.html

We hold membership with:

  • The Coalition for Baccalaureate and Graduate Respiratory Therapy Education (CoBGRTE)
  • American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC)
  • Virginia Society for Respiratory Care (VSRC)
  • National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC)