Respiratory Care

Respiratory care is a professionally and personally rewarding career with a balanced blend of technology and patient interaction. Working under the medical direction of doctors to provide treatment to patients with heart and lung disorders, respiratory therapists are important members of the health care team.

Credentials offered

A Career in Respiratory Therapy

Respiratory care is a professionally and personally rewarding career with a balanced blend of technology and patient interaction.

Working under the medical direction of doctors to provide treatment to patients with heart and lung disorders, respiratory therapists are important members of the health care team. As a respiratory therapist, you’ll provide treatment for all age groups—from infants to the elderly.

Employment for respiratory therapists is expected to grow by 23 percent through 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth in the middle-aged and elderly population will lead to greater demand for respiratory therapy services and
treatments, mostly in hospitals and nursing homes.

Special Application Requirements

The Respiratory Care program has special program admission criteria which must be completed prior to applying for the clinical phase of the program. A student may be admitted to the college at any time in order to complete prerequisite and general education coursework.

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What Will I Do as a Respiratory Therapist?

Respiratory care is used primarily in the treatment of heart and lung diseases such as cardiac failure, asthma, emphysema, bronchitis and shock. The registered respiratory therapist is trained to assist the medical staff with the treatment, management and care of patients with cardiopulmonary abnormalities or deficiencies.

Most respiratory therapists work in hospitals. Others may work in nursing care facilities or travel to patients’ homes.

Some Job Duties May Include:

  • Interview and examine patients with breathing or cardiopulmonary disorders
  • Consult with physicians to develop patient treatment plans
  • Perform diagnostic tests such as measuring lung capacity
  • Treat patients, using a variety of methods, including chest physiotherapy and aerosol medications
  • Monitor and record the progress of treatment
  • Supervise respiratory therapy technicians during tests and evaluate the findings of the tests

Career Quick Facts

Career Outlook
  • Median Salary Average: $55,190
  • SC Salary Range: $42,670-$73,920
  • 100% placement rate for 2017-2018 graduates

Salary and career information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Entry Level Positions
  • Respiratory Therapy Technician
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Advancement to supervisor and management positions possible
Employers
  • Abbeville Area Medical Center
  • Aiken Regional Medical Centers
  • B-L Family Practice, P.A.
  • Carolina Bone & Joint Clinic
  • Carolina Health Centers
  • Carolina Imaging Center
  • Carolina Nephrology
  • Doctors Care
  • Edgefield County Hospital
  • Encompass Health
  • Express Medical Care
  • Greenwood Family Practice (Physicians Care Walk In Clinic)
  • Greenwood Genetic Center
  • Greenwood Urological
  • Lakelands Orthopedic Clinic
  • Laurens County Health Care (Now Prisma Health)
  • Lexington Medical Center
  • McCormick Correctional Institution
  • McCormick Family Practice
  • MD360 Convenient Care
  • Mobilex USA
  • Newberry County Memorial Hospital
  • Palmetto Bone & Joint P.A.
  • Providence Hospital
  • Pruitthealth
  • Regency Hospital
  • Saluda Family Medicine
  • Self Medical Group
  • Self Regional Health Care
  • St. Francis Health System
  • Tower Pointe Medical Center
  • United Mobile Imaging
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Vista Women's Healthcare
  • Ware Shoals Center for Family Medicine

Program Information

With instruction in anatomy and physiology, respiratory physics, pharmacology and clinical training, the graduate of this program is prepared to provide care in various medical facilities.

Proficiency in all aspects of respiratory care, including diagnostic, rehabilitative and therapeutic applications, prepares the student to take the entry and advanced level exams.

The Respiratory Care program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care

State Licensure Eligibility Information

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