Respiratory Care Program Undergoes a Redesign

Students looking to enroll in the Piedmont Technical College respiratory care program will notice changes for the fall semester. The curriculum has been revised to better accommodate the advances in the health care system and to streamline the path of students in the program.

The respiratory care program will transition to a Phase I /Phase II program beginning in the 2014-2015 school year. All general education coursework will be completed in Phase I, prior to application to Phase II. These courses were previously considered to be prerequisite and program-ready requirements. In addition, a computer class and a microbiology course have been added.

“We have always had requirements that had to be met before students could enroll in the clinical portion of the program,” said Ann Allen, respiratory care program director. “By making this a two-phase program, and pulling out those prerequisites to Phase I, we were able to condense all the respiratory courses into five semesters instead of six.”

Phase II will consist of five semesters of respiratory coursework, with the first Phase II program beginning in January 2015. By completing the general education courses in Phase I, students in Phase II will be able to focus solely on the respiratory care courses.

 “Immersing the students into their respiratory coursework without the addition of general education courses makes for stronger students,” said Jerry Alewine, dean of health science. “For five semesters, they are immersed into that respiratory genre, which keeps them in that health science mind-set constantly for studying and learning.”

The idea behind the two phase program is already in place to some extent for most of the health science programs. Allen says by classifying it as two separate segments of the same program, it allows students to better prepare for Phase II by being able to focus on the requirements for Phase I early in the program.

“All of the courses required for Phase I, with the exception of the computer course, are transferable to any public four-year college or university in the state,” Allen said. “It also means that students who have completed these courses can transfer in and be prepared to begin their respiratory coursework almost immediately.”

The two-phase concept is also designed to better prepare students for the rising demand for therapists with a bachelor’s degree. The schedule of courses leading to the associate degree will provide a solid foundation for students who wish to continue their education.

“I am excited that the respiratory care program has taken this initiative,” said Alewine. “Respiratory therapy and respiratory therapists have always been very proactive with their profession. This is just another example of them being leaders in health care.”

For more information on the respiratory care program, contact Allen at (864) 941-8533 or