Programs And Courses

Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory Therapist

Learn more about a rapid growing career in respiratory care and our two-year Respiratory Therapist Degree program.


What does a respiratory therapist do?

Respiratory therapists:

  • 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
  • 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

Where do respiratory therapists work?

  • They 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 much does the program cost?

What degree will I earn? Will I be eligible for credentials? 

  • Upon successful completion you will earn a Respiratory Therapist Associate in Science Degree
  • You can become a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) after completing a national credentialing exam.


What are the required courses and what is the suggested schedule? How long does the program take to complete? Where are the clinical classes held?

  • Download Courses Required/Suggested Schedule (pdf, rev 4/16/15). NEW FOR FALL 2016
  • NOTE: RESP 100 will now be offered SPRING and SUMMER semesters only. 
  • HACC holds Respiratory classes at the Harrisburg Campus. Prerequisite courses are offered at other campuses and sites.

What are the program clinical admission criteria and 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-clinical student and work closely with your advisor to prepare to apply to the clinical/core component.
  • Download Admission Criteria and Point System, Essential Qualifications and Shadowing Form (pdf, rev 7/3/14).
  • If you are a pre-respiratory student, you are required to meet with Professor Aumiller, the program director. Call (717) 221-1392 (Christen) to schedule your appointment.
  • Before meeting with the program director, view the Respiratory Therapist AARC "Life and Breath" video .
  • A shadowing experience is required within 24 months prior to submitting your clinical program application. Email Joy Hughes at jahughes@hacc.edu to make arrangements.
  • The clinical application is available online using Survey Monkey during Spring semester. Application deadline is April 15.


Is the program accredited?

The program is accredited by The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care ( CoARC)
1248 Harwood Road
Bedford, TX 76021-4244


Can I advance my education in this field?


What are the program goals?

Program goals are to prepare students to:

  • become registered respiratory therapists (RRT)
  • demonstrate competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavioral) learning domains of respiratory care

What is the most current program effectiveness data?


How can I get more information?

Who can I contact for more information? 

Please contact an Admissions Counselor, by phone at 800-ABC-HACC, or by email at start@hacc.edu

Respiratory Therapy Program Office
HACC Harrisburg Campus
Select Medical Health Education Pavilion (SMHEP) Room 114
Harrisburg, PA  17110