Definition of Respiratory Care

Respiratory care is a life-supporting, life-enhancing health care profession practiced under qualified medical direction. Respiratory care services provided to patients with disorders of the cardiopulmonary system include: diagnostic testing, therapeutics, monitoring, and rehabilitation. Respiratory care services are provided in all health care facilities and in the home

General Job Description

Respiratory Therapist utilizes the application of scientific principles for the identification, prevention, remediation, research, and rehabilitation of acute or chronic cardiopulmonary dysfunction thereby producing optimum health and function. Reviews existing data, collects additional data, and recommends obtaining data to evaluate the respiratory status of patients, develop the respiratory care plan, and determine the appropriateness of the prescribed therapy. Initiates, conducts, and modifies prescribed therapeutic and diagnostic procedures such as: administering medical gases, humidification and aerosols, aerosol medications, postural drainage, bronchopulmonary hygiene, cardiopulmonary resuscitation; providing support services to mechanically-ventilated patients; maintaining artificial and natural airways; performing pulmonary function testing, hemodynamic monitoring, and other physiologic monitoring; collecting specimens of blood and other materials. Documents necessary information in the patient's medical record and on other forms, and communicates that information to members of the health care team. Obtains, assembles, calibrates, and checks necessary equipment. Uses problem solving to identify and correct malfunctions of respiratory care equipment. Demonstrates appropriate interpersonal skills to work productively with patients, families, staff and co-workers. Accepts directives, maintains confidentiality, does not discriminate, and upholds the ethical standards of the profession.

The Registry Eligible Respiratory Care (RERT) Program at Crafton Hills College is a four semester (fall, spring, summer, and fall) program leading to an Associate Degree and Certificate of Completion. The Associate degree must be in Respiratory Care and must be earned first before the Certificate of Completion can be awarded. Additional courses may need to be completed to be eligible for an Associate degree, please see a counselor for eligibility. All courses applied to the Associate's Degree must have a "C" grade or higher.

Department Head
Ken Bryson

Please see the College Catalog for information and requirements.