Academic Catalog

Respiratory Therapy

Program Description

Respiratory Therapy is a dynamic and challenging healthcare profession. Therapists work with physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals in intensive care units and hospital floor care areas. They are involved in the treatment, management, and rehabilitation of patients with lung and heart problems. Respiratory Therapists manage the ventilation of critically ill patients, as well as provide care to patients with acute and chronic pulmonary disease. The Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) (www.coarc.com).

Learn more about the program on the Respiratory Therapy website.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Graduates will have acquired the necessary knowledge, skills and values for the practice of respiratory therapy.
  • Graduates will be able to demonstrate appropriate critical thinking skills, time management skills, communication skills and technical skills necessary to provide competent respiratory care in multidisciplinary care settings.

Career Opportunities

The employment outlook for graduates is good—Respiratory Therapists can work full or part-time. The average annual salary for new graduates is approximately $86,000. The average annual salary for experienced registered therapists in the Bay Area is approximately $100,000 to $110,000. Most therapists work 8 or 12-hour hospital shifts. Graduates may specialize in many different areas, including but not limited to: intensive care (adult, neonatal, and pediatric), pulmonary function testing and home care. There are also many opportunities for advancement within the field of Respiratory Therapy.

Award Type(s)

  • AS = Associate in Science Degree
  • CA = Certificate of Achievement

Units Required

  • Major: 100
  • Certificate(s): 16

Program Application

Admittance to the Respiratory Therapy Program is through an application process. Program information, admission criteria details, and applications can be found at the Respiratory Therapy program website.

Program Prerequisites

Must be completed with a grade of "C" or better

MATH 105INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA (or equivalent)5
One of the following:5-8
COMPOSITION & READING
HONORS COMPOSITION & READING
INTEGRATED COMPOSITION & READING
and INTEGRATED COMPOSITION & READING
or equivalent
CHEM 25FUNDAMENTALS OF CHEMISTRY5
or CHEM 30A SURVEY OF INORGANIC & ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
or equivalent chemistry course that includes a laboratory
BIOL 40A
BIOL 40B
BIOL 40C
HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY I
and HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY II
and HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY III
15
or a semester of Anatomy that includes a laboratory and a semester of Physiology that includes a laboratory, or equivalent courses
AHS 52MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY (or a medical terminology course of at least 3 quarter/2 semester units)4

Associate Degree Requirements

English Proficiency
Select one of the following:
ENGL 1ACOMPOSITION & READING5
ENGL 1AHHONORS COMPOSITION & READING5
ENGL 1S
ENGL 1T
INTEGRATED COMPOSITION & READING
and INTEGRATED COMPOSITION & READING
8
or equivalent
Mathematics Proficiency
Select one of the following:
MATH 105INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA5
MATH 180QUANTITATIVE REASONING5
or any MATH course approved for Foothill GE Area V, Communication & Analytical Thinking

A minimum of 90 units is required1 to include:

  • Completion of one of the following general education patterns: Foothill General Education, CSU General Education Breadth Requirements or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)
  • Core courses (100 units)

Note: All courses pertaining to the major must be taken in sequence for a letter grade. In addition, a grade of "C" or better is required for all core courses used for the degree.

Core and Support Courses

Core Courses

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall QuarterUnits
AHS 50A INTRODUCTION TO ALLIED HEALTH PROGRAMS 1.5
RSPT 50A RESPIRATORY THERAPY PROCEDURES 4.5
RSPT 51A INTRODUCTION TO RESPIRATORY ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY 2
RSPT 52 APPLIED SCIENCE FOR RESPIRATORY THERAPY 3
RSPT 54 ORIENTATION TO RESPIRATORY CARE 2
RSPT 55A MEDIATED STUDIES IN RESPIRATORY THERAPY I 0.5
 Units13.5
Winter Quarter
AHS 50B INTERPROFESSIONAL PATIENT COMPETENCIES 0.5
BIOL 41 MICROBIOLOGY 6
RSPT 50B INTRODUCTION TO PATIENT CARE PROCEDURES 5
RSPT 53A INTRODUCTION TO RESPIRATORY THERAPY PHARMACOLOGY 2
RSPT 55B MEDIATED STUDIES IN RESPIRATORY THERAPY II 0.5
RSPT 56 ORIENTATION TO HOSPITAL & PATIENT CARE I 1
 Units15
Spring Quarter
RSPT 50C THERAPEUTICS & INTRODUCTION TO MECHANICAL VENTILATION 4
RSPT 51B RESPIRATORY PHYSIOLOGY 3
RSPT 51C PATIENT ASSESSMENT & PULMONARY DISEASE 4
RSPT 55C MEDIATED STUDIES IN RESPIRATORY THERAPY III 0.5
RSPT 57 ORIENTATION TO HOSPITAL & PATIENT CARE II 2
 Units13.5
Second Year
Summer Session
6 Weeks  
RSPT 55D MEDIATED STUDIES IN RESPIRATORY THERAPY IV 0.5
RSPT 61A ADULT MECHANICAL VENTILATION 4
RSPT 70A CLINICAL ROTATION I 2
 Units6.5
Fall Quarter
AHS 60A CARDIOLOGY FOR ALLIED HEALTH 2
PSYC 1
GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY
or HONORS GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY
5
RSPT 53B ADVANCED RESPIRATORY THERAPY PHARMACOLOGY 2
RSPT 55E MEDIATED STUDIES IN RESPIRATORY THERAPY V 0.5
RSPT 61B NEONATAL RESPIRATORY CARE 3
RSPT 70B CLINICAL ROTATION II 8
 Units20.5
Winter Quarter
AHS 60C ADVANCED CARDIAC LIFE SUPPORT 2
RSPT 55F MEDIATED STUDIES IN RESPIRATORY THERAPY VI 0.5
RSPT 61C HOME & REHABILITATIVE RESPIRATORY CARE 2
RSPT 63A ADVANCED PATHOPHYSIOLOGY & PATIENT MANAGEMENT 3
RSPT 65 COMPUTER PATIENT SIMULATIONS 0.5
RSPT 70C CLINICAL ROTATION III 8
 Units16
Spring Quarter
AHS 50C INTERPROFESSIONAL COMPETENCIES FOR COLLABORATIVE PRACTICE 0.5
RSPT 55G MEDIATED STUDIES IN RESPIRATORY THERAPY VII 0.5
RSPT 60C PULMONARY DIAGNOSTICS 3
RSPT 61D PEDIATRIC RESPIRATORY CARE 2
RSPT 62 MANAGEMENT, RESUME & NATIONAL BOARD EXAMINATION 1
RSPT 70D CLINICAL ROTATION IV 8
 Units15
 Total Units100

Certificate Requirements

Certificate of Achievement in Interventional Pulmonology Assistant

  • Units: 16
RSPT 82ORIENTATION TO INTERVENTIONAL PULMONOLOGY2
RSPT 83CASE-BASED ANALYSIS & CRITICAL THINKING IN DIAGNOSTIC INTERVENTIONAL PULMONOLOGY2
RSPT 84FUNDAMENTALS OF PULMONARY DISEASE3
RSPT 85INTERVENTIONAL PULMONOLOGY THEORY & APPLICATION3
RSPT 86INTERVENTIONAL PULMONOLOGY PROCEDURES3
RSPT 87AINTERVENTIONAL PULMONOLOGY CLINICAL INTERNSHIP I1
RSPT 87BINTERVENTIONAL PULMONOLOGY CLINICAL INTERNSHIP II1
RSPT 88INTERVENTIONAL PULMONOLOGY RESEARCH PROJECT1
Total Units16