The field of Respiratory Care is an allied health profession that promotes health and improvement in the cardiopulmonary function of people with heart and lung abnormalities and disease. Newborn, pediatric, adult, and elderly patients are treated for a wide range of problems--infant respiratory distress syndrome, trauma, cardiopulmonary arrest, conditions brought on by shock, post-operative surgical complications, and respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema.
The respiratory care practitioner is a member of the health-care team in medical centers, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient rehabilitation programs, physician offices, and in-home care.
Many are involved in research and development of innovative care and equipment. They are effective communicators and compassionate caregivers possessing an awareness of cultural sensitivity and diversity. They have leadership roles in patient education, wellness intervention, and development of respiratory care plans. Respiratory care professionals apply critical thinking skills in cardiopulmonary diagnostics and patient assessment to optimize decision making and delivery of patient care. In a time of high technology, increasing growth of the elderly population, and increasing numbers of patients with asthma and chronic lung disease, there is a greater demand for educated, skilled respiratory care practitioners.
Advances in respiratory medicine, technology, and changes in healthcare have created a need for better educated respiratory care practitioners with diverse abilities. Job analysis research by the National Board for Respiratory Care reveals that employers now expect higher skill levels from respiratory education program graduates. Graduates need better critical thinking and problem solving skills and stronger verbal and written communication skills as well as computer literacy.
Program Accreditation Information
- Only the Entry Level Bachelor of Science Respiratory Care program accreditation is provided by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, Texas, 76021-4244. www.coarc.com. The Advanced Practitioner - Respiratory Care Bachelor of Science degree advancement program is not CoARC accredited.
- Additional accreditation information and programmatic outcomes data is provided by CoARC.