Learn more about our Respiratory Therapist Associate in Science Degree program.
What is a respiratory therapist?
Respiratory Therapists have various duties. You must:
- Provide hands-on care to help people recover from various medical conditions.
- Work with all kinds of patients, including accident victims on mechanical ventilators, elderly people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, children suffering from asthma and premature infants with underdeveloped lungs.
- Draw and analyze blood specimens to determine the levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide and other gases in order to assess the best course of treatment.
- Use mechanical ventilation for treating patients who cannot breathe adequately on their own.
- Administer medications to help alleviate breathing problems and help prevent respiratory infections.
- Be exposed to bloodborne pathogens, potentially hazardous materials and ionizing radiation.
- Have good communications skills and attention to detail.
- Learn more about the career (American Association for Respiratory Care- AARC -website)
Attend a respiratory therapist program information session- check back for Spring dates
What are the required courses?
Courses Required/Suggested Schedule (pdf, rev 9/14).
What is the goal of the program?
Our goal is to prepare you to be a registered respiratory therapist (RRT). You will be able to demonstrate competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavioral) learning domains of respiratory care.
How do I apply for clinicals?
- Admission to HACC does not guarantee admission to the clinical component of the program. You begin as a pre-respiratory student and work closely with your advisor to prepare to apply to the clinical/core component.
- If you are a pre-respiratory student, you are required to meet with Professor Aumiller, the program director. Call (717) 780-2303 to schedule your appointment.
- Before meeting with the program director, view the Respiratory Therapist AARC "Life and Breath" video (Windows Media).
- A shadowing experience is required within 24 months prior to submitting your clinical program application. Email Joy Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
- Download Admission Criteria and Point System, Essential Qualifications and Shadowing Form (pdf, rev 7/3/14).
- The clinical application is available online using Survey Monkey during Spring semester.
Who accredits the program?
The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care ( CoARC) accredits the program. 817-283-2835
1248 Harwood Road
Bedford, TX 76021-4244
Where does HACC hold classes?
HACC holds Respiratory classes at the Harrisburg Campus. Some required courses are offered at other campuses and sites.
How much does the program cost?
Download Estimated Expenses (pdf, rev 5/14).
Program effectiveness data
CoARC Outcomes data from the 2012 Annual Report of Current Status includes attrition, job placement and success on the credentialing exam.
HACC has the second-highest success rate (94%) for the RRT exam in all of PA. We also have the second-highest pass rate in PA on the national registry exams (94%) and are in the top 5 percent of programs nationally.
What degree will I earn? Will I be eligible for credentials?
Upon successful completion you will earn an associate of science degree.
You can become a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) after completing a national credentialing exam.
Where can I work?
Most respiratory therapists work in hospitals where they perform intensive care, critical care and neonatal procedures. They are also vital to a hospital's life-saving response team that handles patient emergencies.
How can I advance my education in this field?
- HACC has an articulation agreement with University of Cincinnati for an online Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy.
- Franklin University offers a BS in Healthcare Management.
- Shippensburg University offers a BS in Healthcare Administration.
- Immaculata University offers an accelerated BA in Health Care Management (classes are available in accelerated format at HACC's Lancaster Campus).
- Widener University (transfer sheet) offers a BS in Allied Health.
Where can I get more information?
- Visit Career InfoNet for salary and job outlook statistics, career videos and licensing requirements.
American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC).
- Visit Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
- Visit AARC Career. It contains Life and Breath and several other videos showing the roles and responsibilities of respiratory care practitioners. It also features interviews with real-life therapists.
- Attend a respiratory therapist program information session - Oct. 21 or Nov. 12.
Who can I contact for more information?
(717) 780-1988 or 800-222-4222, ext. 211988