Learn more about a rapid growing career in respiratory care and our two-year Respiratory Therapist Degree program.
What does a respiratory therapist do?
- 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?
- Download Estimated Expenses (pdf).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
- The clinical application is available online using Survey Monkey during Spring semester. Application deadline is April 15 at 4 pm. Link to application -
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?
- This program leads directly to an occupation
- 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.
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?
- CoARC Outcomes data from the Annual Report of Current Status includes attrition, job placement and success on the credentialing exam.
How can I get more information?
- Visit Career InfoNet for salary and job outlook statistics, career videos and licensing requirements.
- Visit 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.
Who can I contact for more information?
Respiratory Therapy Program Office
HACC Harrisburg Campus
Select Medical Health Education Pavilion (SMHEP) Room 114
Harrisburg, PA 17110