Oct 05, 2022  
2011-2013 Undergradate & Graduate Bulletin 
2011-2013 Undergradate & Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED PUBLICATION]

Respiratory Therapy Major, A.S.

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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, 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 maintain at least a C 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 approved by the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, TX 76021, phone 817/283-2835, and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, 515 N. State Street, Suite 7530, Chicago, IL 60610, phone 312/464-5333.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must apply for admission 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.

Admission criteria

  • satisfactory SAT or ACT score;
  • graduation in upper third of high school class, with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 or above (4.0 system);
  • completed respiratory therapy application accompanied by an official high school transcript; and
  • high school courses that include algebra, chemistry, physics, anatomy, and physiology. Courses in advanced sciences, math, and computer sciences also are recommended.

Students meeting academic requirements also must be in good health, eligible for respiratory therapy certification, and capable of fulfilling clinical practice requirements. Students who do not meet these criteria may ask for reconsideration or reevaluation following successful completion of selected science and other specified courses required for the respiratory therapy program. Students currently enrolled in an accredited college or university must submit an official transcript of grades with the application.

All qualified applicants are interviewed by the respiratory therapy admissions committee. All interviews are confidential, private, and scheduled by appointment. Respiratory therapy program applicants are encouraged to participate in tours at the local hospitals to become familiar with the field. Tours can be arranged by contacting the program director prior to the April 1 deadline.

Respiratory Therapy Curriculum

First Year

Second Year


REST 205 , REST 206 , REST 293 , REST 391  are 10-week clinical courses.

*Designates courses in which students must earn a grade of C or better.

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