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Respiratory Care

Respiratory Care is a health care specialty offering unique challenges in the areas of disease prevention, education, diagnosis, treatment, management and rehabilitation of patients with cardiopulmonary disease.

You can live without water for a few days and food for a few weeks, but without oxygen, you will suffer brain damage within a few minutes and can die after about 9 minutes. Become a Respiratory Therapist and make a difference in peoples lives!


Duties of a Respiratory Care Practitioner

Under medical direction, licensed Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCP) exercise their level of training in the administration of medical gases, humidity and aerosol therapy, various modalities of technically oriented breathing treatments, all aspects of continuous mechanical life-supporting ventilation techniques (invasive and non-invasive), special therapeutic and diagnostic procedures and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

The practice of respiratory care is extremely diverse and may include, but not limited to, the following: Adult, Pediatric, and Neonatal Intensive Care (ICU), Trauma, Hyperbaric Medicine, Special Diagnostics (Sleep Medicine, Pulmonary Function, Stress Testing, assisting in Bronchoscopes), Floor Therapies, Home Care, Rehabilitation Programs, Asthma Education, Smoking Cessation, and Air Transport.

Technical Standards for the Program and the Profession
This is what is required of you in the field to perform your job duties:
You must have the motor skills, sensory/observational, communication, cognitive, behavioral/emotional skills and the ability to conduct yourself in an ethical and professional manner.

  • Lift (50 lbs), transfer and support patients.
  • Communication -Be able to communicate effectively with MD’s, fellow therapist, nurses, patients and their families.
  • You will be on your feet for long periods of time – up to 12 hours a day.
  • Caring and empathetic personalities are a must.
  • Attention to detail -Verifying prescriptions, charting examination details, etc.
  • Handle small objects, draw arterial blood gases, draw up medications and read appropriate measurements.
  • Being part of a health care team.
  • Be able to hear in order to assess breath sounds.
  • Be able to maintain complete confidentiality of all patient information and records in accordance with hospital regulations and Federal HIPPA Laws.
  • Be able to properly adhere to all policies and procedures regarding patient and student safety guidelines. This includes but not limited to: exposure to infectious disease and exposure to environmental hazards.

Employment Outlook

The demand for qualified Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCP)) continues to grow much faster than average with an expected growth of 21% between 2008-2018 (U.S. Dept. of Labor). According to the 2009 AARC Human Resource Survey, new graduate salaries range between $42,078 - $47,297 / year.  To address the immediate need for Respiratory Therapist, many hospitals are offering sign-on bonuses among other benefits. 


The Respiratory Care Program is recognized by the American Medical Association and accredited by the:

Commission on Accreditation of Respiratory Care (CoARC)
1248 Harwood Road
Bedford, Texas 76021-4244
Telephone number 817-283-2835
Facsimile number 817-354-8519

This peer review organization is nationally accepted for setting standards for Respiratory Care education.  Graduates from this accredited program are eligible to take national board exams administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). This organization is accepted as the credentialing agency for Respiratory Care in the United States and Puerto Rico.  

Mission & Goals

The Department of Respiratory Care Program holds as its highest priority an academic and professional environment of excellence. To this end, there is commitment to prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive "knowledge", psychomotor "skills" and affective "behavior" learning domains of respiratory care practice as preformed by registered respiratory therapist "RRTs". Additionally to promote lifelong learning where students, faculty, and members of the health science professional community can develop and refine skills and attitudes necessary to effectively meet the challenges of a dynamic health care environment and realize the best chance for success.  Fulfillment of the program's mission is assessed by the degree to which the program achieves the following goals.

Provide an educational environment that promotes student success by:

  • Providing appropriate instructional and educational support services
  • Providing job placement assistance

Provide employers with graduates possessing the knowledge, practical skills, and problem solving abilities to:

  • Deliver Quality Respiratory care
  • Ensure a safe work environment
  • Communicate effectively
  • Maintain the ethical and professional values outlined in the AARC code of ethics.

Contact Us

Dr. Nancy Latimer, Department Chair
561-207-5068  |  Faculty Webpage

Professor Stephanie Parlamento, Director of Clinical Education
561-207-5064  |  Faculty Webpage

Non-Discrimination Policy
The Respiratory Care program will ensure that all programmatic activities including but not limited to: admission, attendance, didactic, laboratory, clinical placement and club activities are available to all on a non-discriminatory basis, without regard to race, sex, age, color, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or veteran’s status. For additional information on the College’s Non-Discriminatory policy please refer to the College’s Student Handbook.

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