Respiratory therapists provide direct patient care, patient education, and care coordination. They practice in acute care facilities, long-term acute care facilities, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living centers, subacute care units, rehabilitation centers, diagnostic units, and in the home. Their clinical decisions are increasingly data-driven by scientifically supported algorithms (protocols) to deliver respiratory Care. They are involved in research and need to be adept at understanding the practical ramifications of published research. Respiratory therapists use sophisticated medical equipment and perform complex therapeutic procedures and diagnostic studies. They also provide education to patients and other members of the public. Respiratory therapists must possess and in-depth understanding of human physiology and apply that knowledge in the clinical setting.
The continually expanding knowledge base of today's respiratory care field requires a more highly educated professional than ever before. Factors such as increased emphasis on evidence based medicine, focus on respiratory disease management, demands for advanced patient assessment, and growing complexities of American healthcare overall, clearly mandate that respiratory therapists achieve formal academic preparation commensurate with an advanced practice role.
The primary purpose of a formal respiratory care educational program is to prepare competent respiratory therapists for practice across multiple health care venues. The Respiratory Care Program is twenty-four months and the graduate will receive an associate degree. Full-time students in this program enroll in three to five courses per term which average 17-30 class/lab hours per week or 9-12 credit hours per term. The two year graduate will receive an associate of applied science degree in respiratory care and is eligible to apply for admission to the National Board Exams and for South Carolina State Licensure.
Clinical rotations follow the initial fall term. Students are scheduled at affiliated hospitals and other designated areas where practical experience is gained. Affiliated hospitals are Spartanburg Regional Medical Center, Spartanburg Hospital for Restorative Care, Rutherford Regional Health System, Village of Pelham, Mary Black Health System, and Mary Black Gaffney. Practical studies also include home care, sleep lab, rehabilitation facilities and physician offices.
Each year CoARC (our accreditation agency) awards a program that has (1 three years of outcome data; (2 hold accreditation without a progress report; and (3 have RRT credentialing success of 90% or above with green in all outcomes thresholds. In 2014, only 62 (sixty-two) out of 438 programs in the country met these criteria. We are proud to say we are one of those programs:
Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist Credentialing Success 2019
Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist Credentialing Success 2018
Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist Credentialing Success 2017
Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist Credentialing Success 2016
Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist Credentialing Success 2015
Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist Credentialing Success 2014
Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist Credentialing Success 2013
Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist Credentialing Success 2012
The Life and Breath Video
which can be found at the bottom of the following web page, https://www.aarc.org/careers/what-is-an-rt/life-breath-video/
which shows the roles and responsibilities of respiratory care practitioners and interviews with real-life therapists, students, and physicians, and shows the various work settings and types of patients, as well as educational requirements.
The AARC Online Home Page
contains links to many articles. Obtain legislative updates from Washington D. C. regarding health issues and e-mail comments to your senator. There is an on-line application for membership registration and dues renewal.