Respiratory Therapy

Associate in Applied Science Degree

The general objective of the Respiratory Therapy program is to prepare graduates with the knowledge, skills, professional attitudes and behaviors necessary to attain state licensing and national credentialing for a career in respiratory therapy. Graduates become a vital part of the healthcare team in a variety of settings including hospitals, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, pulmonary rehabilitation centers and physician offices.

The program has two components: a pre-professional phase that includes all the general education and science prerequisites, and a professional phase that includes respiratory therapy specific course work and clinical education. Courses in the pre-professional phase of the program may be taken on a full-time or part-time basis during day or evening hours. Full-time day attendance is required for the professional phase of the program. Students seeking admission into the Respiratory Therapy program must have a GPA of 2.5 or better and a grade of C or better in all their pre-professional phase courses. Additionally, students must attend a program general orientation and complete an essay. Interested students should schedule an interview with the program director. An Allied Health Professional Phase Application Form must be filed in the office of Records and Registration by March 1 for admission into the professional phase in the Fall Semester.

A statewide criminal record search through the New Jersey State Police and a National Criminal History Database Search is performed on all students upon initial acceptance into the professional phase of the program and annually thereafter. If a record is found as a result of the criminal record searches, admission into the professional phase of the program may be denied. If there is no record upon admission but subsequent searches result in a record found, the student may be immediately dismissed from the program.

When a graduate applies for licensure as a respiratory care practitioner in New Jersey, the New Jersey Board of Respiratory Care requires a Criminal History Background Check. If the Criminal History Background Check reveals a criminal conviction, a review of the application by the Board of Respiratory Care is required.

Students accepted into the program are responsible for obtaining malpractice insurance and must have health clearance through the college’s Health Services. Certification in Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers by the American Heart Association is also required.

The Respiratory Therapy program maintains a zero-tolerance policy regarding substance abuse. Respiratory Therapy students must be free of chemical impairment during participation in all parts of the Respiratory Therapy program including classroom, laboratory and clinical settings. A urine drug screening test is performed on all students upon initial acceptance into the professional phase of the program. If the test is positive for illegal substances, admission into the professional phase of the program is denied. In addition, illegal use of prescribed substances will result in denial of admission into the professional phase of the program.

For more information, visit the Respiratory Therapy website.  

AAS Respiratory Therapy

(P3850)

General Education Foundation
Communication6
English Composition I
English Composition II
Math-Science-Technology3
College Algebra
Social Science or Humanities3
General Psychology
General Education Electives8
Anatomy and Physiology I
Anatomy and Physiology II
General Education Foundation Credits20
Respiratory Therapy Core
CHM-117Introductory Chemistry Lecture3
CHM-118Introductory Chemistry Laboratory1
BIO-215Microbiology4
PHY-103Concepts of Physics4
Humanities Elective3
Respiratory Therapy Core Credits15
Professional Phase
RTH-199Respiratory Therapeutics5
RTH-202Cardiopulmonary Pharmacology2
RTH-203Cardiopulmonary Physiology2
RTH-204Cardiopulmonary Evaluation3
RTH-205Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology2
RTH-206Mechanical Ventilation4
RTH-207Neonatal and Pediatric Respiratory Care2
RTH-210Clinical Practice I3
RTH-211Clinical Practice II3
RTH-212Clinical Practice III4
RTH-208Advanced Respiratory Care2
Professional Phase Credits32
Total Credits67

Due to continual program revisions mandated by the accrediting agencies and/or changes in state mandated requirements, students should consult their academic advisors when selecting courses.

Science courses completed by students prior to entering a Respiratory Therapy course must be less than seven years old. If the science courses exceed the seven-year limit, students can prove their competency by testing or they must retake the courses.

The program is accredited through the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (COARC) www.CoARC.com . Graduates are eligible to apply for New Jersey State licensure and advanced credentialing as a Registered Respiratory Therapist (National Board for Respiratory Care) www.NBRC.org .

John Rutkowski, RRT, FACHE, FAARC
Assistant Chairperson, Allied Health
Associate Professor, Respiratory Therapy Program
MPA, Seton Hall University
MBA, Fairleigh Dickinson University
B.A., Jersey City State College
A.S., St. Joseph Hospital and York College
EH 129     973-328-5423     jrutkowski@ccm.edu

Gracielle Fong, BS, RRT
Director of Clinical Education
Assistant Professor, Respiratory Therapy Program
B.S., Montclair State University
A.A.S., Bergen Community College
EH 128      973-328-5423       gfong@ccm.edu

Courses

Course usage information

RTH-199. Respiratory Therapeutics. 5 Credits.

LECT 4 hrs, LAB 3 hrs
An introduction to respiratory care, including history of the profession, ethical and legal responsibilities of the respiratory therapist; medical terminology, basic respiratory care procedures including the physics, physiology and administration of medical gas therapy, basic patient communication and assessment skills. Basic respiratory care procedures, humidity and aerosol therapy, hyperinflation therapy, chest physiotherapy and bronchial hygiene; an overview of microbiology as applied to respiratory care; infection control; and equipment sterilization procedures. Course requires that students have completed the pre-professional phase of the Respiratory Therapy program and have permission of the program director to enroll.
Prerequisites: Permission of Program Director
Additional Fees: Course fee applies.

Course usage information

RTH-202. Cardiopulmonary Pharmacology. 2 Credits.

LECT 2 hrs
This course is an overview of general pharmacology, including routes of administration, federal regulations, dosages and calculations, and safety precautions. It provides an in-depth study of drugs administered to the respiratory patient, including chemical structure, mechanism of action, indications, contraindications, physiologic effects and side-effects.
Prerequisites: BIO-101, BIO-102, CHM-117 and CHM-118 and permission of program director.

Course usage information

RTH-203. Cardiopulmonary Physiology. 2 Credits.

LECT 2 hrs
A study of physiologic mechanisms of the cardiopulmonary system, including a review of the anatomy of the pulmonary and circulatory systems; ventilatory mechanics, gas diffusion, physiology of internal and external respiration, oxygen transport, carbon dioxide elimination, acid-base balance, ventilation perfusion relationships; and the neurologic control of ventilation.
Prerequisites: BIO-101, BIO-102 and permission of program director.

Course usage information

RTH-204. Cardiopulmonary Evaluation. 3 Credits.

LECT 2 hrs, LAB 3 hrs
This course will cover the techniques of patient assessment and diagnostic evaluation of the cardiopulmonary system. Topics covered include: arterialblood gas analysis, pulmonary function testing,non-invasive monitoring of oxygenation and ventilation, an overview of laboratory tests, chest radiographs, electrocardiograph interpretation and hemodynamic monitoring.
Prerequisites: RTH-199, RTH-202, RTH-203, RTH-210 and permission of Program Director
Corequisites: RTH-205, RTH-206 and RTH-211
Additional Fees: Course fee applies.

Course usage information

RTH-205. Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology. 2 Credits.

LECT 2 hrs
An overview of the pathophysiology of diseases of the cardiopulmonary system with an emphasis on pathophysiologic processes such as hypoxemia, hypoventilation, diffusion defects and ventilation perfusion mismatch; a survey of diseases encountered by the respiratory therapist, including pathophysiology, diagnostic methods and findings, clinical manifestations, treatment and prognosis.
Prerequisites: RTH-203 and permission of program director.

Course usage information

RTH-206. Mechanical Ventilation. 4 Credits.

LECT 3 hrs, LAB 3 hrs
Techniques of airway management and the provision of mechanical ventilation; includes types of airways and appropriate uses; the physics and physiology of mechanical ventilation; classification of mechanical ventilators; indications for clinical application and complications of mechanical ventilation; management and monitoring of the patient requiring ventilatory support; and appropriate methods of withdrawing ventilatory support.
Prerequisites: RTH-199, RTH-202, RTH-203, RTH-210 and permission of program director
Corequisites: RTH-204, RTH-205 and RTH-211
Additional Fees: Course fee applies.

Course usage information

RTH-207. Neonatal and Pediatric Respiratory Care. 2 Credits.

LECT 2 hrs
An overview of fetal development of the cardiopulmonary system with an emphasis on circulatory transitions and respiratory complications occurring at birth and in the neonatal period; a review of neonatal and pediatric respiratory disorders with an emphasis on clinical findings and treatment; a survey of respiratory care procedures as applied to the neonatal and pediatric patient, including oxygen therapy, humidity and aerosol therapy, diagnostic testing and mechanical ventilation.
Prerequisites: RTH-204, RTH-205, RTH-206, RTH-211 and permission of program director
Corequisites: RTH-208 and RTH-212.

Course usage information

RTH-208. Advanced Respiratory Care. 2 Credits.

LECT 2 hrs
A survey of current events and state-of-the-art modalities in respiratory care; includes respiratory care in non-traditional settings, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, controversies in clinical practice, and changes in health care affecting the respiratory care profession. Students are required to complete advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) certification through the American Heart Association.
Prerequisites: RTH-204, RTH-205, RTH-206, RTH-211 and permission of program director
Corequisites: RTH-207 and RTH-212.

Course usage information

RTH-210. Clinical Practice I. 3 Credits.

CLIN 16 hrs
A supervised clinical application of the respiratory care procedures covered in Respiratory Therapeutics including chart review, patient and health professional communication, basic patient assessment, assembly and monitoring of oxygen therapy, aerosol and humidity therapy, aerosolized drug administration, hyperinflation therapy, bronchial hygiene and evaluation of patient response.
Prerequisites: Permission of program director
Corequisites: RTH-199, RTH-202 and RTH-203
Additional Fees: Course fee applies.

Course usage information

RTH-211. Clinical Practice II. 3 Credits.

CLIN 16 hrs
Continued refinement of the skills covered in Clinical Practice I, in a general care environment, with an emphasis on clinical competence in providing basic respiratory care; followed by an introduction to the critical care environment and to respiratory care of the critically ill patient, with an emphasis on patient assessment and monitoring skills, and patient safety. Supervised application of the skills covered in Mechanical Ventilation and Cardiopulmonary Evaluation, including specialty rotations in ECG, the operating room, pulmonary function testing and blood gas laboratory, and physician offices.
Prerequisites: RTH-199, RTH-202, RTH-203, RTH-210 and permission of program director
Corequisites: RTH-204, RTH-205 and RTH-206
Additional Fees: Course fee applies.

Course usage information

RTH-212. Clinical Practice III. 4 Credits.

CLIN 32 hrs
Continued refinement of the skills needed to function in a critical care environment with an emphasis on clinical competence in hemodynamic and advanced monitoring and management of the patient on mechanical ventilation. An emphasis is placed on interaction with other members of the healthcare team, patient care planning, clinical decision making and independent practice. Includes specialty rotations in neonatal and pediatric respiratory care, post open heart recovery and home care. The clinical fee includes the cost of the required National Board of Respiratory Care Self-Assessment Examination (NBRC SAE).
Prerequisites: RTH-204, RTH-205, RTH-206, RTH-211 and permission of program director
Corequisites: RTH-207 and RTH-208
Additional Fees: Course fee applies.

Course usage information

RTH-292. Special Topics in Respiratory Care. 2 Credits.

LECT 2 hrs
An examination of selected topics or issues in Respiratory Therapy. Topics differ each time the course is offered. Students should consult the program director for further information.
Prerequisites: Permission of program director.