Respiratory Care is an allied health specialty involved in life saving and life support situations. Under medical supervision, the respiratory therapist is involved in the treatment, management, control, diagnostic evaluation, and care of patients with deficiencies and abnormalities associated with the cardiopulmonary system. These patients may be found in the newborn nursery, surgical and medical units, emergency room, intensive care units, extended care facilities, and the home.
Respiratory care personnel deal with acute and chronic conditions that are life-threatening or disabling. They must be highly skilled in patient assessment, pulmonary rehabilitation, therapeutic use of medical gases and administration apparatus, aerosol therapy, bronchopulmonary drainage and exercises, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, maintenance of artificial airways, and mechanical ventilation. The Respiratory Therapist is a life support specialist, and an integral part of the intensive care team.
Various testing techniques are employed in respiratory care to assist in diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, and research. These tests include stress testing, electrocardiogram analysis, capnography, sleep apnea testing, pulse oximetry, measurement of pulmonary function, blood gas analysis, and hemodynamic monitoring. The college’s program in Respiratory Care meets the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) requirements for certification and registration. The program is approved by the New York State Education Department and by the Commission on Accreditation of Respiratory Care (link to CoARC outcomes data below). The course of study is designed to teach students the principles as well as the clinical and technical skills needed for the practice of respiratory care. The program may be completed on a part- or full-time basis.
The curriculum requires practical experience with patient contact at cooperating hospitals, including Northern Westchester Hospital, Lawrence Hospital, Blythesdale Children’s Hospital, Westchester Medical Center, Sound Shore Hospital Medical Center, St. John’s Riverside Hospital, Greenwich Hospital, Phelps Memorial Hospital, White Plains Hospital Medical Center, and Burke Rehabilitation Center. Rotations include cardiac catheterization, open-heart surgery, neo-natal/pediatric/adult critical care, tracheal intubation, home-care/rehabilitation, stress testing, pulmonary rehabilitation, bronchoscopy, hyperbaric chambers, and pulmonary function testing.
All procedures are also practiced in the college’s state-of-the-art respiratory care laboratory. In addition, the college library has a wide variety of current texts, journals, periodicals, and computer assisted instructional materials. Faculty includes educators who have graduate degrees as well as all NBRC clinical and specialty credentials. Physician input is provided by a team of Board Certified Pulmonologists. There is a formal Respiratory Care Tutorial program to assist students with lecture, lab and clinical issues. In addition remediation sessions by the faculty are available when warranted.
The program requires two five-week clinical practicums during the summer sessions. Students must successfully complete NBRC generated exams to pass Summer Clinical 2. An appropriate credit fee is charged. Uniforms and attendance are mandatory for all clinical sessions. Students are also required to pay a modest annual malpractice insurance fee. (See Financial Information, Fees .)