Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2024
Units: 5
Hours: 5 lecture per week (60 total per quarter)
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • The student will be able to demonstrate an understanding of respiratory disease specialties, including asthma educator and chronic disease management.
  • The student will be able to compare and contrast the credentialing and certificate options for respiratory care specialties.


Respiratory Care departments utilize clinical specialists to assist departments with training, policy development, and research, as well as perform other functions. The role of the Clinical Specialist may involve chronic disease management, serving as a liaison between patients and other members of the care team, pulmonary rehab, and asthma education. Respiratory Therapists can acquire credentialing in the areas of Neonatal Pediatric Specialty (NPS), Asthma Educator (AE-C), and Adult Critical Care Specialty (ACCS). Clinical Specialists may also be utilized in other areas, such as sleep medicine, pulmonary function, pulmonary rehab, home care, and interventional pulmonology. Intended for students in the Respiratory Care Baccalaureate Degree Program; enrollment is limited to students accepted in the program.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Explain the pathophysiology of chronic pulmonary disease
  2. Discuss the epidemiology and trends in chronic pulmonary disease in the United States and worldwide
  3. Identify the role of pulmonary function testing for diagnosing chronic pulmonary disease
  4. Identify risk factors and conditions that lead to exacerbations for patients with chronic pulmonary disease
  5. Discuss disease management, treatment, and self-management
  6. Identify current pharmacological treatment options as well as adjunct therapies and drug delivery devices
  7. Explain the role of nutrition and exercise for patients with chronic pulmonary disease
  8. Discuss patient education, smoking cessation, and pulmonary rehab
  9. Describe components of action plans for chronic pulmonary disease patients
  10. Discuss other treatment options, including lung transplantation, lobe resection, and palliative care
  11. Discuss quality assurance and how to measure the success of a chronic pulmonary disease management program
  12. Discuss obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment
  13. Discuss the role of the RT as a clinical specialist, chronic disease manager, COPD navigator, case manager, asthma educator, and others
  14. Explore credentialing options and certificates for respiratory care practitioners in the areas of chronic disease management

Course Content

  1. Pathophysiology of chronic pulmonary diseases
    1. COPD
    2. Asthma
    3. Cystic fibrosis
    4. Bronchiectasis
    5. Interstitial lung disease
    6. Lung cancer
    7. Pulmonary hypertension
  2. Epidemiology and current trends in chronic pulmonary diseases
    1. COPD
    2. Asthma
    3. Cystic fibrosis
    4. Bronchiectasis
    5. Interstitial lung disease
    6. Lung cancer
    7. Pulmonary hypertension
  3. Diagnostic testing
    1. Pulmonary function testing
    2. Interventional pulmonology
    3. Other diagnostic exams and procedures
  4. Risk factors associated with chronic pulmonary disease exacerbations and acute changes in status
  5. Management of chronic pulmonary disease
    1. Education and general care of the patient with chronic pulmonary disease
    2. Self-management and maintenance of chronic pulmonary disease
  6. Pharmacological and therapeutic options for disease-specific pulmonary diseases
    1. Medications and medication modalities
    2. Therapeutic therapies
    3. Oxygen therapy
    4. Other treatment options
  7. Nutrition and exercise programs
  8. Patient education, behavior modification, smoking cessation programs, and pulmonary rehabilitation
  9. Action plans
    1. COPD action plans
    2. Asthma action plans
  10. Surgical and non-surgical treatment options
    1. Lung reduction
    2. Lung transplantation
    3. Palliative care
  11. Quality assurance
    1. Follow-up care
    2. Re-admission rates
    3. Program adherence and compliance
  12. Obstructive sleep apnea
    1. Pathophysiology
    2. Diagnosis
    3. Treatment
  13. Role of the RT as a clinical specialist
    1. Case manager
    2. COPD navigator
    3. Respiratory disease specialist
    4. Sleep disorder specialist
    5. CF coordinator
    6. Asthma educator
  14. Credentialing options and certificates
    1. NBRC's Asthma Educator Specialist credential
    2. AARC Pulmonary Disease Educator course
    3. NBRC's Pulmonary Function Technology credentials
    4. NBRC's Adult Critical Care Specialist credential
    5. NBRC's Neonatal/Pediatric Specialist credential
    6. NBRC's Sleep Disorders Specialist credential

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

This course is taught fully online. Students need access to a computer with internet.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Weekly assignments
Weekly participation in discussion forums
Group projects

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Instructor-led weekly discussion forums
Instructor-led group projects

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

No textbook. All course materials will be provided by instructor or included in the Respiratory Care journal.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

Weekly assigned readings from provided articles, journals, and other online resources.


Respiratory Technologies