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Respiratory Therapist

Paula Fuller, Program Director
Allied Health 105

This program is designed to prepare the graduate to work as a Respiratory Therapist; that is, one who specializes in the application of specific theory to practical clinical problems of respiratory care. The respiratory therapist is qualified to assume primary clinical responsibility for all respiratory care modalities. The therapist may be required to use considerable independent judgment in the care of patients under the direction of a physician. Further, the therapist may serve as a resource person to a physician, regarding current practices in respiratory care, and as a resource person to hospital staff regarding effective and safe methods for administering respiratory therapy. The therapist's scope of practice includes, but is not limited to, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures for cardiopulmonary disorders. Duties range from patient education to the performance of emergency life-sustaining procedures. "Hands-on" patient interaction forms a significant portion of the therapist's work and the use of elaborate high-tech equipment is common.

The Respiratory Therapist program at Allegany College of Maryland has been designated as a Health Manpower Shortage Program. The Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has determined certain health occupations in the state to be in short supply. The Maryland Higher Education Commission has designated educational programs that correspond to these health occupations to be eligible for the Health Manpower Shortage Program. Maryland residents from counties other than Allegany County who register in this eligible program will be charged the out-of-county tuition rate. However, these students may be eligible to receive reimbursement for a portion of the cost difference between the in-county and out-of-county tuition rates. Funding availability for this program is based on funding from the State of Maryland and is thus subject to change each semester. Some restrictions apply. More information can be obtained by contacting the Admissions Office.

The Respiratory Therapist curriculum is designed to be completed within four college semesters and one summer session. This time frame may be prolonged due to unforeseen circumstances; however, a maximum time limit of eight consecutive semesters is allowed for completion of the program.

Respiratory Therapist students must maintain the scholastic standards of the college and must achieve a grade of "C" or better in each Respiratory Therapist course. CPR certification is a prerequisite to clinical respiratory therapy. Certification and/or recertification are the responsibility of the student. The college regularly offers such courses.

A student making unsatisfactory progress in an Respiratory Therapist course may repeat it only once and may repeat only two Respiratory Therapist courses due to unsatisfactory progress.

A satisfactory health record must be on file prior to clinical experience. In order to participate in clinical experiences, students must obtain a Criminal Record Check prior to entrance into Respiratory Therapy. If participating in clinicals at a Pennsylvania clinical site, the student must also obtain a Child Abuse History Clearance. During enrollment, any official change or the initiation of any governmental proceeding affecting the information revealed by the required criminal or child abuse background check must be reported immediately by the student to the director of the Respiratory Therapy program.

The program cost beyond tuition, fees, and books is approximately $1,500. This covers uniforms, liability insurance, a stethoscope, and travel. This is a career program and is designed to enable students to seek employment at the program's completion. Students planning to transfer should consult with their advisor or the Advising Center staff regarding specific program and course transfer issues.

Successful completion of this program qualifies a student to apply for an Associate of Applied Science degree in Respiratory Therapist.

This program is composed of non-clinical and clinical components. The Respiratory Therapist Program accepts students at the end of the fall semester for admissions into the clinical phase of the program in the spring semester. During the fall semester, students are enrolled in the non- clinical phase of the Respiratory Therapist curriculum. During this semester, students are evaluated for admissions to the clinical component. This component consists of those courses designated as "Clinical Practice." Hospital facilities are limited and should the number of clinical applicants be greater than the available seats, admission to the clinical component may be competitive. Minimum requirements for admission to the clinical component are a GPA of 2.0 in Chemistry 100, Mathematics 102, Biology 116, and Respiratory Therapist 101. (The last class accepted had a GPA range of 2.5 to 4.0.) Please consult the Respiratory Therapist Office for further information.

Required Respiratory Therapist Courses

Intro Respiratory Therapy
Respiratory Pathogens
Clinical Practice I
Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology
Community Health Education
Clinical Practice II
Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology
Cardiopulmonary Assessment and Diagnostics
Clinical Practice III
Research Methods
Advanced Respiratory Concepts
Pediatrics and Neonatology
Clinical Practice IV

Required General Courses

Human Biology
Elements of Chemistry or
General Chemistry I
English Composition I
College Algebra or
Probability and Statistics
Computer Literacy
General Psychology

Required Elective Courses

Please consult with your advisor or the Advising Center staff for selecting appropriate elective courses for graduation.


Humanities Elective - 3 credits




Biological Science 116 (Human Biology) 3
Chemistry 100 or 101 (Elements of Chemistry or General Chemistry I) 1 4
English 101 (English Composition I) 3
Mathematics 102 or 109 (College Algebra or Probability and Statistics) 3
Respiratory Therapist 101 (Introduction to Respiratory Therapy) 3
Total: 16
Computer Technology 101 (Computer Literacy) 3
Respiratory Therapist 102 (Pharmacology) 3
Respiratory Therapist 104 (Respiratory Pathogens) 1
Respiratory Therapist 190 (Clinical Practice I) 5
Respiratory Therapist 206 (Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology) 3
Total: 15
SUMMER SESSION (following second semester)
Respiratory Therapist 210 (Clinical Practice II) 6
Total: 6
Psychology 101 (General Psychology) 3
Respiratory Therapist 212 (Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology) 3
Respiratory Therapist 213 (Cardiopulmonary Assessment and Diagnostics) 3
Respiratory Therapist 225 (Clinical Practice III) 5
Respiratory Therapist 231 (Research Methods) 1
Total: 15
Humanities Elective 3
Respiratory Therapist 207 (Community Health and Education) 2
Respiratory Therapist 232 (Advanced Respiratory Concepts) 2
Respiratory Therapist 240 (Pediatrics & Neonatology) 3
Respiratory Therapist 250 (Clinical Practice IV) 5
Total: 15
Total Credit Hours: 67

Students who are planning to enter the Respiratory Therapist Program and have had no chemistry must take Chemistry 100.

NOTE: All courses specifically identified by course number are graduation requirements for this program.


The Respiratory Therapist Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), 264 Precision Blvd Telford, TN 37690. Graduates receive an Associate of Applied Sciences degree and are eligible to sit for the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) examinations to become a Registered Respiratory Therapist.