This program prepares individuals to function effectively as entry-level respiratory therapists. Respiratory therapists work in a rapidly changing, fast-paced medical environment and possess advanced knowledge for the care and treatment of patients with cardiopulmonary deficiencies and diseases. Respiratory therapy is a health profession whose practitioners function in the diagnosis, treatment, management, and preventive care of patients with medical disorders such as asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, pulmonary edema, croup, bronchitis, and newborn and acute respiratory distress. These professionals utilize their specialized knowledge, critical thinking, clinical expertise, and interpersonal skills to care directly for patients. The respiratory therapist is proficient in the therapeutic use of medical gases, humidification, aerosols, artificial airways, mechanical ventilation, chest physiotherapy, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
To obtain required knowledge and skills needed for respiratory therapy, students must follow a prescribed sequence of academic and clinical courses. University Core Curriculum courses also are required for completion of degree requirements. All University Core Curriculum courses and most respiratory therapy (REST) courses are taught on campus. Clinical courses are conducted at various clinical sites including Deaconess Hospital, St. Mary’s Medical Center, Henderson Community Methodist Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital of Vincennes, Owensboro Mercy Health Systems, and other area healthcare facilities.
The program involves 24 months of continuous full-time study. To complete the program, students must pass all required University Core Curriculum courses, and earn a grade of C or better in all REST courses. University Core Curriculum courses may be completed on a part-time basis prior to entering the program, or they can be transferred from other approved institutions. Students interested in completing University Core Curriculum courses prior to entering the program or transferring credits should contact the program director.
An Associate of Science degree in Respiratory Therapy is awarded to students who successfully complete the program. Graduates are eligible to take the examinations (entry-level and registry) given by the National Board for Respiratory Care and become registered therapists (R.R.T.) upon successful completion of the credentialling process. Graduates are encouraged to continue their studies for a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Services.
The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). CoARC is located at 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, TX 67021-4244 and can be reached at 817-283-2835.
Applicants must be admitted to the University before being admitted to the respiratory therapy program. A separate application must be submitted for admission to the program. Application forms for the respiratory therapy program may be obtained from the College of Nursing and Health Professions or by calling 812/464-1708. The completed form must be submitted to the respiratory therapy program by April 1 of the year the student wishes to enter. Due to limited enrollment in this program, applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. A complete set of official high school and any college/ university transcripts must be included with the program application form.
Respiratory Therapy Program Admission
Applicants must apply and be accepted to the University of Southern Indiana. This includes payment of an application fee as well as submission of high school and college/university transcripts to the office of Admissions, 8600 University Blvd., Evansville, IN 47712.
In addition, applicants must complete and submit the Respiratory Therapy Program application that can be found on the USI College of Nursing and Health Professions website (http://health.usi.edu) or in the College of Nursing and Health Professions office. Respiratory Therapy applications are due on or before April 1 of the year the student desires admission to the program.
Applicants must have a minimum high school or college grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or above based on a 4.0 scale.
Applications will be scored using the following guidelines:
- 24 possible points from GPA: Multiply GPA by 6. Most recent college GPA will be used if 24 hours have been earned. If an applicant has not accumulated 24 hours, then high school GPA will be used.
- 3 possible points from Health Care Experience: 2 points – Direct Patient Care health work experience + 1 point for 12 hours of observation (shadowing) with a respiratory therapist or completion of a health occupation program.
- 5 possible points from Academic Preparedness – 1 point for each of the following courses with a grade of “C” or above: BIOL 121 Anatomy and Physiology I, BIOL 122 Anatomy and Physiology II, CHEM 103, Molecules, Matter and Me or higher chemistry that meets USI UCC requirements.
- Students must be in good health, eligible for respiratory therapy certification and capable of fulfilling clinical practice requirements.