Paul J. Crockford, Med, RRT, Program Director
Respiratory Care is an allied health specialty. It is an important part of modern medicine and health care. Respiratory Care encompasses the care of patients with respiratory problems in the hospital, clinic, and home.
Respiratory therapists, as members of a team of health care professionals, work to evaluate, treat, and manage patients of all ages with respiratory illnesses and other cardiopulmonary disorders in a wide variety of clinical settings. Respiratory therapists must behave in a manner consistent with the standards and ethics of all health care professionals. In addition to performing respiratory care procedures, respiratory therapists are involved in clinical decision-making (such as patient evaluation, treatment selection, and assessment of treatment efficacy) and patient education. The scope of practice for respiratory therapist includes, but is not limited to:
- acquiring and evaluating clinical data;
- assessing the cardiopulmonary status of patients;
- performing and assisting in the performance of prescribed diagnostic studies, such as drawing blood samples, performing blood gas analysis, pulmonary function testing, and applying adequate recording electrodes using polysomnographic techniques;
- utilizing data to assess the appropriateness of prescribed respiratory care;
- establishing therapeutic goals for patients with cardiopulmonary disease;
- participating in the development and modification of respiratory care plans;
- case management of patients with cardiopulmonary and related diseases;
- initiating ordered respiratory care, evaluating and monitoring patients' responses to such care, modifying the prescribed respiratory therapy and cardiopulmonary procedures, and life support endeavors to achieve desired therapeutic objectives;
- initiating and conducting prescribed pulmonary rehabilitation;
- providing patient, family, and community education;
- promoting cardiopulmonary wellness, disease prevention, and disease management;
- participating in life support activities as required; and
- promoting evidence-based medicine, research, and clinical practice guidelines.
Starting salaries are excellent with premiums paid for evening, night, and weekend shifts. Jobs are plentiful throughout the United States. Graduates are eligible to take the credentialing examinations, administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), which include the Therapist Multiple Choice (TMC) examination and the Clinical Simulation Examination (CSE). Upon successfully achieving the designated Low Cut score, the candidate is awarded the Certified Respiratory Therapist credential. When the candidate successfully achieves the High Cut score, instead of the Low Cut score, on the TMC, they are eligible to take the CSE. Once the CSE is successfully passed, the candidate is awarded the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential. Licensure requirements in the state of Montana are met by successful achievement of the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential.
The goal of the program is, "To prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRTs)" CoARC standard 3.01.
The program is 4 semesters in length which includes the AA prerequisite courses and a summer session. The Respiratory Care Program at The University of Montana Missoula College, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (www.coarc.com), 264 Precision Boulevard, Telford, Tennessee 37690.. Graduates receive the degree of Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Care.
Students accepted to the program are required to rotate to clinical sites outside the Missoula area on a periodic basis. These rotations take place during the spring semester, summer session and autumn semester of the second year. These sites may include, but are not limited to: Kalispell, Ronan, Plains, Butte, Billings, Hamilton, Helena, and Coeur d Alene, Idaho. Transportation and housing are the student's responsibility.
Associate of Applied Science - Respiratory Care
|Pre- Respiratory Care Prerequisite Courses||23|
|Respiratory Care Courses||48|
Degree Specific Credits: 71
Required Cumulative GPA: 2.0
Note: It is preferred that students have the prerequisite core completed by the end of the semester in which they intend to apply to the program (i.e. applying to the program in the spring and completing the core by the end of that spring semester.) However, those students who anticipate completing the core by the end of the summer semester are still encouraged to apply in the spring and may be granted provisional acceptance.
Pre- Respiratory Care Prerequisite Courses
Note: Must be completed or be in the process of completing when applying to the program. A minimum GPA of 2.75 for prerequisite courses is required in order to apply to the program.
|Complete all of the following courses:|
|BIOH 201N||Human Anatomy & Physiology I||4|
|BIOH 211N||Human Anatomy and Physiology II||4|
|COMX 115S||Introduction to Interpersonal Communication||3|
|M 115||Probability and Linear Mathematics||3|
|PSYX 100S||Intro to Psychology||3|
|PHSX 105N||Fundamentals of Physical Science||3|
|WRIT 121||Introduction to Technical Writing||3|
Minimum Required Grade: C-
Respiratory Care Courses
|Complete all of the following courses:|
|AHRC 101||Communication Management||1|
|AHRC 129||Patient Care & Assessment||4|
|AHRC 131||Respiratory Care Fundamentals I||5|
|AHRC 132||Respiratory Care Fundamentals II||3|
|AHRC 150||Respiratory Care Lab I||1|
|AHRC 231||Respiratory Critical Care||4|
|AHRC 232||Respiratory Pathology & Disease||3|
|AHRC 235||Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Physiology||3|
|AHRC 243||Perinatal & Pediatric Respiratory Care||3|
|AHRC 250||Respiratory Care Lab II||2|
|AHRC 252||Respiratory Care Review||2|
|AHRC 255||Clinical Experience I||4|
|AHRC 260||Respiratory Care Lab III||1|
|AHRC 265||Clinical Experience II||5|
|AHRC 270||Respiratory Care Lab IV||1|
|AHRC 275||Clinical Experience III||6|
Minimum Required Grade: B-