Apr 24, 2024  
2019-2020 Catalog 
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Respiratory Therapy AAS

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Respiratory Therapy AAS

Graduates of the Respiratory Therapy Program at Shawnee State University earn an Associate of Applied Sciences degree. The program is five semesters in length and combines classroom, laboratory, and clinical educational experiences.

Most classroom and laboratory instruction is provided at the University. Clinical education is provided at a variety of hospitals, extended care facilities, and homecare sites located throughout Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

Respiratory Care is the health care discipline that specializes in the promotion of optimum cardiopulmonary function and health. Respiratory Therapists employ scientific principles to identify, treat and prevent acute or chronic dysfunction of the cardiopulmonary system. Knowledge and understanding of the scientific principles underlying cardiopulmonary physiology and pathophysiology, as well as biomedical engineering and technology, enable respiratory therapists to provide patient care services effectively.

As a health care profession, Respiratory Care is practiced under medical direction across the health care continuum. Critical thinking, patient/environment assessment skills, and evidence-based clinical practice guidelines enable respiratory therapists to develop and implement effective care plans, patient-driven protocols, disease-based clinical pathways, and disease management programs. A variety of venues serves as the practice site for this health care profession including, but not limited to:

  • acute care hospitals
  • sleep disorder centers and diagnostic laboratories
  • long term acute care facilities
  • rehabilitation, research and skilled nursing facilities
  • patients’ homes
  • patient transport systems
  • physician offices
  • convalescent and retirement centers
  • educational institutions
  • medical equipment companies and suppliers
  • wellness centers

The practice of respiratory care encompasses activities in diagnostic evaluation, therapy, and education of the patient, family and public. These activities are supported by education, research and administration. Diagnostic activities include but are not limited to:

  • Obtaining and analyzing physiological specimens
  • Interpreting physiological data
  • Performing tests and studies of the cardiopulmonary system
  • Performing neurophysiological studies
  • Performing sleep disorder studies

Therapy includes but is not limited to the application and monitoring of:

  • Medical gases and environmental control systems
  • Mechanical ventilator support
  • Artificial airway care
  • Bronchopulmonary hygiene
  • Pharmacological agents related to respiratory care procedures
  • Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation
  • Hemodynamic cardiovascular support

The focus of patient and family education activities is to promote knowledge and understanding of the disease process, medical therapy and self-help. Public education activities focus on the promotion of cardiopulmonary wellness.

You’ll find RT’s -

  • 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 kids with conditions ranging from premature birth to cystic fibrosis.
  • In operating rooms working with anesthesiologists to monitor patients’ breathing during surgery.
  • In patients’ homes providing regular check-ups and making sure people have what they need to stay out of the hospital.
  • In sleek 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 rushing to rescue people in need of immediate medical attention.
  • In case management programs helping devise long-term care plans for patients.


This program is fully accredited by the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). Graduates of this program are eligible to take the credentialing exams for the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) administered by the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC)


In 1980 the Ohio Board of Regents approved the creation of this program of study, leading to the associate of applied science degree at Shawnee State University. 

Program Number: 200268 Accreditation
Shawnee State University

Category: RRT-level program

Degree: AAS Degree

 Accreditation Status: Continuing Accreditation

This program has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)
777 Cannon Drive
P.O. Box 54876
Hurst, TX 76054-4876

 Employment Opportunities

Employment of respiratory therapists is expected to grow by 23 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth in the middle-aged and older population will lead to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions such as pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other disorders that can permanently damage the lungs or restrict lung function.  The aging population will in turn lead to an increased demand for respiratory therapy services and treatments, mostly in hospitals. 

In addition, a growing emphasis on reducing readmissions in hospitals may result in more demand for respiratory therapists in nursing homes and in doctors’ offices.

Advances in preventing and detecting disease, improved medications, and more sophisticated treatments will also increase the demand for respiratory therapists.  Other conditions affecting the general population, such as respiratory problems due to smoking and air pollution, along with respiratory emergencies, will continue to create demand for respiratory therapists.

Most respiratory therapists work full time. Because they may work in medical facilities such as hospitals that are always open, some work evening, night, or weekend hours.

 Academic Requirements

To remain in good standing in the Respiratory Therapy program, the following conditions must be met:

·         Maintain an overall grade point average of 2.000.  This applies to required courses taken before as well as after admission.

·         NOT receive a grade of F, D-, D, D+, or C- in any Allied Health major course with the RPTT prefix. 


Failure to meet any one of the stated conditions may result in dismissal from the respiratory therapy program. You may apply for readmission to the respiratory therapy program the following year, after you have successfully completed the required remedial work as detailed by the chairperson of the department at the time of dismissal.

Application to the Program

 See the Associate Degree Admission Requirements on page 140. Students applying to the Respiratory Therapy program with math and English ACT scores less than 19 and 22 respectively must take the Shawnee State placement examination if they have not completed mathematics and English courses at the college level. Students may also after their application folder is completed, make an appointment with the chairperson of the Respiratory Therapy program to ask any questions or obtain information about the program or selection process, by calling 740.351.3240. All application materials must reach the admission office by April 1 in order for the applicant to be considered for the Respiratory Therapy program. Later applications may be considered based on qualifications and space available within the class.

Please Note

  • Only those students who have been officially accepted into the Respiratory Therapy program or have received the approval of the department’s chairperson may take courses beginning with the RPTT prefix.
  • After the first semester, all subsequent technical courses are closely related and, therefore, must be taken in sequential order.
  • Applicants to the Respiratory Therapy program must complete a shadowing experience in the Respiratory Department at a local hospital.
  • Meeting the minimum criteria for admission consideration does not guarantee admittance into the Respiratory Therapy Program. All candidates meeting the minimum criteria for admission consideration are subsequently ranked and only a selected number are admitted due to clinical site limitations. In most years the number of applicants meeting the minimum criteria far exceeds the numbers of seats available in the Respiratory Therapy Program. As a result, the qualifications of those students admitted are much higher than the minimum requirements for admission consideration.


Sample Schedule

Fall Semester

Spring Semester


1 General Studies Electives must be Humanities or Social Sciences courses approved by the Program Leader and may include, but are not limited to, courses of study in the following areas: Anthropology, English, Philosophy, Psychology, or Sociology. 

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