Respiratory Therapy Program Frequently asked Questions
Print Respiratory Therapy Handbook - 61-page pdf
RTh Frequently asked Questions
- What is Respiratory Therapy?
Respiratory Therapy is one of many allied health professions.
The profession developed out of needs of critical and rehabilitative
heart and lung patients of the early 1940's. Respiratory care
practitioners work as members of the critical care team in treating
individuals who are seriously ill. Using sophisticated medical
equipment, they help people with such lung disorders as asthma,
emphysema, pneumonia, and bronchitis. This may include using
equipment that will mechanically breathe for the patient.
- Can I specialize in Respiratory
Yes, there are specialty positions in pediatric care, newborn
care, pulmonary rehabilitation, home care, pulmonary function
diagnostics, exercise stress testing, and adult critical care.
Respiratory Therapists can also specialize in teaching and management
- What credentials can I receive
the AAS program are qualified to take the CRT exam, the Advanced
Practitioner Exam and the Clinical Simulation Exam offered by
the NBRC. After passing these exams you are a Registered Respiratory
- What is required for admission
to the program? What can I do if I do not meet the minimum
requirements for admission, or I feel it has been too long
since completing the required Math and Science courses?
In order to qualify for admission to the program you must, at a minimum:
- have a high school diploma or GED,
- pass BIO 141 Human Anatomy & Physiology I with a grade of "C" or better,
- and place into MTE5
and take ENG 111.
TCC offers a wide variety of developmental
courses. These courses will provide students with the necessary
knowledge to succeed in the program. Developmental Math, English,
Biology and Chemistry are offered at various times both day and
night. Biology 141 courses are offered each semester.
- When is it necessary to
take the Math and English placement tests given by the counseling
All students who have not passed ENG 111 and College Algebra
must take the placement tests. It is recommended that these
tests be taken as early as possible so that if developmental
work is necessary, a student can complete it prior to the start
of the program. Please call the Counseling Center at (757) 822-7211
for testing dates.
- Are there jobs available?
Since the program's inception in 1975, all graduates have accepted
positions immediately upon graduation. The future continues
to be very bright for employment in Respiratory Therapy.
The number and types of employers
actively seeking qualified respiratory care practitioners have
increased considerably. Today's practitioner may work in large
and technologically advanced critical care units, perform in small
rural hospitals, work for a private physician or act as independent
providers in home care. The projected number of jobs is far in
excess of the projected number of graduates expected over the
next several years. Entry-level salaries should continue to increase
over the next few years at or above those of other allied health
- Is there a four year degree
Yes, many colleges across the country offer B.S. degrees in
Respiratory Therapy. Another option is to transfer to a four-year
institution upon completion of your TIC Associate Degree.
Old Dominion University and TCC have a transfer agreement in place where TCC graduates
with A.S. degrees can go in as juniors in a four-year degree
program. Virginia Tech also
offers a similar transfer program.
- What salary can I expect
Salaries are quite good for Respiratory Therapy Practitioners.
Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a Respiratory Therapist can expect to make approximately
$35,000 as a new graduate.
Average salary in 2011 ~ $26.56/hour -U.S. Bureau of Labor
- Are all classes offered
only during the day?
Respiratory Therapy classes are only offered at the Virginia
Beach campus of TCC during the day (identified by the prefix
letters RTH). You may take all non-Respiratory Therapy courses
in the curriculum either during the day or evening at another
campus such as the Portsmouth campus, Chesapeake campus, or
at the Norfolk campus.
- Must courses be taken
in the order they appear in the curriculum?
You must take all Respiratory Therapy courses in the order in
which they appear in the curriculum. Each course prepares you
for the next course, and each is offered only once a year. You
may take any non-Respiratory Therapy course during the semester
it appears in the curriculum or before that semester. It is
recommended that non-Respiratory Therapy courses be taken prior
entry into the program to lighten student load.
- How many hours a week will
I be in class?
You will attend class an average of 26 hours a week during the
program. Of course, if you have already completed any required
course work you will attend class fewer hours.
- I do not believe I can
handle so many credit hours every semester. What courses can
I take before I enter the therapist program?
Any course that is not a Respiratory Therapy course (RTH prefix)
can be taken before you are accepted into the program. You can complete courses such as BIO 141 and 142, ENG
111, SDV 101 as well as your social science, humanities and math classes before you enter the program.
However, if this is your desired approach it is extremely important
to contact the counseling center as soon as possible.
- How long will it take
to complete the Respiratory Therapy Program?
The program is six semesters.
- Where are the clinical
assignments in the program?
Clinical assignments are at the following hospitals:
- Lake Taylor Hospital, Norfolk, Virginia
- Children's Hospital
of the King's Daughters, Norfolk, Virginia
- Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, Chesapeake, Virginia
- Sentara Norfolk General
Hospital, Norfolk, Virginia
- Sentara Careplex, Hampton, Virginia
- Portsmouth Naval Hospital,
- Sentara Leigh Hospital,
- DePaul Medical Center,
- Sentara Princess Anne, Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Bon Secours Maryview, Norfolk, Virginia
- Are there any costs involved
in the Respiratory Therapy Program?
With the cost of required software (DataArc CD-Rom), and recommended
texts, uniforms, a stethoscope, state and regional educational
meeting fees and student membership in the national association
for respiratory care is totaled, a student can expect to spend
$1,850 in addition to tuition.
- Are there scholarships
and loans available to select applicants?
Yes. Traditional College loans
and scholarships are available to many students, please contact
the financial aid office for more information.
- If I am transferring from
another Respiratory Therapy Program, can I get credit for
some of the respiratory therapy courses?
The Respiratory Therapy Program does not offer credit for respiratory therapy classes taken at other institutions.
- If I am graduating from
high school in June, what are my chances for acceptance into
the Respiratory Therapy Program for the summer?
You will still need at least one semester of coursework (specifically
BIO 141) to be eligible for the program. Our advice would
be to take 2 semesters and complete ENG 111, math placement into MTE 5,
SDV 101 (Orientation to health care), BIO 142 and apply to
the program by March 15.
- What if I have visible tattoos?
You will need to cover them with tattoo concealer.
- What are the technical standards for the Respiratory Therapy Program? Print Standards