The objective of the Associate of Occupational Studies in Respiratory Therapy program is to prepare students with the knowledge, technical skills, and work habits required for an entry-level position in the Respiratory Therapy field or related areas. The combined academic and clinical education prepares the student to take the computer-based assessment exams administered by the National Board of Respiratory Care in order to achieve the Certified Respiratory Therapist (entry level) and Registered Respiratory Therapist (advanced level) credentials. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will be awarded an Associate of Occupational Studies degree. Graduates of this program may, under the supervision of a physician, administer respiratory therapy care and life support to patients with deficiencies and abnormalities of the cardiopulmonary system. Specific duties may include assessing patients, determining the most appropriate methods of therapies, setting up and operating equipment, and monitoring the patients response to various treatment modalities. They may also perform pulmonary function testing and assist patients with breathing maneuvers. Respiratory practitioners are responsible for monitoring and troubleshooting life support systems in critical care areas and emergency departments. Therapists may be employed in education, management, research, pulmonary rehabilitation, home care, skilled nursing facilities, and specialty areas of hospitals.
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