Respiratory Therapist Program Description

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1 Program Description Respiratory Therapy is a health profession that specializes in the evaluation, treatment, education and rehabilitation of patients with lung and heart disease, under the direction of a physician. Respiratory Therapy requires the application of scientific principles to promote optimum cardiopulmonary function and health. NWTC provides advanced respiratory therapy training based upon national standards provided by the matrix of the NBRC (National Board for Respiratory Care). Program Affiliations: CAAHEP accredited program (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs) CoARC accredited program (Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care) NBRC (National Board of Respiratory Care) Program Outcomes: 1. Apply advanced-level respiratory therapy concepts to patient care situations. 2. Demonstrate technical proficiency required to fulfill the role of an advanced-level Respiratory Therapist. 3. Practice respiratory therapy according to established professional and ethical standards. Graduates are awarded an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree for Respiratory Therapy and eligible to obtain a license in the state of their choice. Graduates are eligible to take the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) Credentialing Examinations, which upon passing, leads to the credential Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT). After obtaining CRT status, graduates qualify to take the NBRC Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) exam.

2 Career Opportunities Most RT s work in hospitals where they perform intensive care, critical care, neonatal and diagnostic procedures. Increasingly, RT s are vital to the hospital s lifesaving emergency response teams. Other opportunities exist in nursing homes, home health care agencies, outpatient clinics, physician offices, and educational facilities. The NWTC graduate survey indicates Respiratory Therapist graduates: Have a 99% pass rate on the NBRC entry level exam 100% job placement in their chosen field 2006 entry level pay approximately $16.16 per hour plus shift differential Many employers offer tuition reimbursement or sign on bonus There are opportunities for advancement within the field of respiratory care. With on the job or advanced training, a Respiratory Therapist can specialize. Respiratory Therapist (Level 1-4) Pulmonary Function Technologist Neonatal/Pediatric Therapist Respiratory Care Educator Pulmonary Rehabilitation Therapist Sleep Disorder Therapist Home Care Therapist Respiratory Care Manager Respiratory Care Supervisor

3 Katherine Schlitz, BA, RRT, CPFT, AE-C Program Director Phone: Debra Dolan, RRT Clinical Director Phone: Peggy Johnson, RRT Instructor Phone: Respiratory Therapist Program Staff

4 Student Profile Desirable Personal Attributes of a Respiratory Therapist include: Desire to help others by working in the health care system Mechanically inclined Good interpersonal communication skills Capable of working will under stress Interested in working as part of a team Sensitive to patients physical and psychological needs Have basic computer skills Flexible Manages time and resources responsibly Self directed and motivated

5 Frequently Asked Questions Why the increase in demand? Increasing numbers of patients with asthma and chronic lung disease Technology advances in treatment of heart attack, cancer, and accident victims Smoking and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Advances in treatment of premature babies Rising numbers in the elderly population Who will I care for? Patients ages range from newborns to elderly RT s are often responsible for the care of critically ill patients requiring life support Patients common breathing disorders include asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, COPD, pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, chest trauma, and heart disease What is the nature of work? As a Respiratory Therapist (RT), you will evaluate patients : Lung function and capacity via pulmonary function studies Levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other gases in blood samples via highly sophisticated electronic devices Cardiopulmonary status via diagnostic stress, sleep, and exercise studies test As a RT, you will treat patients by: Administering oxygen and other therapeutic gases Managing medication Mechanical ventilation Resuscitation techniques Providing chest and lung therapies Monitoring equipment and patient responses to therapies As a RT, you will rehabilitate and educate, continually providing patients with the latest theory on disease management.

6 Clinical Affiliations NWTC students access a wide variety of clinical experiences provided by some of the most highly skilled affiliates in the country. These include but are not limited to the affiliates below. Clinical coursework is mandatory and a student must complete each successive rotation to become eligible to continue to the next. We are continually working to increase our clinical affiliations. St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay Bellin Hospital, Green Bay Bel-Regional Home Medical, Green Bay Aurora, Oshkosh St. Mary s Hospital, Green Bay Theda Care, Appleton St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton Children s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee St. Luke s Hospital, Milwaukee Aurora BayCare, Green Bay Holy Family Medical Center, Manitowoc Bay Area Medical Center, Marinette Froederdt Hospital, Milwaukee NWTC RT students work with specialists in these clinical facilities. Neonatologists Cardiologists Pulmonologists Critical Care Specialists Anesthesiologists Emergency Room Physicians Allergists Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons General Surgeons Internists Primary Care Physicians

7 New Statewide Curriculum FIRST SEMESTER Oral/Interpersonal Communication Gen Anatomy & Physiology Intro to Psychology Medical Terminology Respiratory Therapy Survey 4 SEMESTER TOTAL 17 SECOND SEMESTER Respiratory Therapeutics Respiratory Pharmacology Respiratory & Circulatory Physiology Written Communication Microbiology 4 SEMESTER TOTAL 16 SUMMER SEMESTER runs mid May through mid July Respiratory Therapeutics Respiratory Therapy Clinical Practice 1 2 SEMESTER TOTAL 5 THIRD SEMESTER Respiratory Diseases Respiratory Life Support Tech Respiratory Therapy Clinical Practice Respiratory Therapy Clinical Practice Intro to Sociology 3 SEMESTER TOTAL 16 FOURTH SEMESTER Respiratory & Circulatory Diagnostic & Monitoring Respiratory Neonatal/Pediatric Care Respiratory Therapy Clinical Practice Respiratory Therapy Clinical Practice Race, Ethnic & Diversity Clinical Simulation Review Clinical Simulation Review 2 1 SEMESTER TOTAL 16 TOTAL CREDITS 70

8 The Respiratory Therapist Associate Degree is a two year, plus one-summer (five semester) program. Upon graduation, a student will have completed 70 credits. Students will be required to purchase a name tag, provide their own transportation to clinical facilities, and cover any other expenses related to their fieldwork experiences. NOTE: Students are expected to do approximately 1000 clinical hours cumulatively over the course of the program. This equates to approximately 16 hours for Clinical 1 and 24 hours each week in each of the Clinical courses 2-5.

9 Requirements for Program Admission Candidates submitting an application must have taken an Academic Skills Assessment or ACT assessment within the last three years. Candidates must submit transcripts demonstrating completion of the following with the application: High school diploma or equivalent On year of Algebra with a C or better (or attain program benchmark for Algebra on the Academic Skills Assessment) One year of Biology AND one year of Chemistry, or equivalent, with a grade of C or better. If in high school, C in two semesters of each. One year of Physics or Advanced Mathematics (all with grades of C or better). If in high school, C in two semesters of each. Priority Admission Applicants with documentation of completion of General Anatomy and Physiology, with a B or better, will receive priority standing among that year s applicant pool. Requirements for Program Entry Meet established Academic Skills Assessment program benchmarks, or achieve minimum standard composite score of 20 on the ACT. Proof of remediation may be demonstrated by an Academic Skills Assessment post-test or completion of an approved course in the content requiring remediation. Attend mandatory spring Program Orientation A medical examination satisfactorily completed within three months before entering the program and maintain current immunization information Complete an American Heart Association Health Care Provider CPR course. Students are required to maintain a current CPR card to comply with affiliating agency requirements. Submit Caregiver Background Check paperwork. Complete optional four hour job shadow Wisconsin s Caregiver Law (1997 WISCONSIN ACT 27) requires a completed criminal background check prior to access to patients and/or children in clinical agencies/field sites used by this program. Based upon results of the criminal background check, a student may be denied access to clinical agencies/field sites and thus would not be able to complete the program. For the most current information on the Caregiver Law, visit the Web site:

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