Sep 27, 2023  
Fall 2022 - Summer 2023 Academic Catalog 
Fall 2022 - Summer 2023 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Respiratory Care A.A.S.

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School: Health Careers, Technology and Applied Learning
Academic Dept: Allied Health Careers
HEGIS: 5215

Important Note about Program Requirements

The requirements listed below are for students entering into this program from Fall 2022 to Summer 2023. Students who entered the program during a prior semester will find their specific requirements listed in the Catalog under which they entered. Archived Catalogs are accessible through the dropdown menu above.


Application Deadline: Rolling admission to the waitlist

Program Description

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 .)

Required Screening

Students admitted into this program must complete, at their own expense, a successful criminal background check and drug screening prior to beginning clinical courses. Please consult the curriculum chair of your program for additional details regarding the timetable and procedure for completing these requirements.

Additional Program Notes

Students must receive a grade of “C” or better in all Respiratory Care Courses in order to continue in the program. All students must have an annual medical exam and receive medical clearance prior to clinical rotation assignments.

Additional Resources

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, a student will:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to read prescriptions correctly, measure arterial blood gases, and review patient information to assess accurately a patient’s condition.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to recommend appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic procedures using patient data from laboratory and physiologic evaluations.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to inspect, clean, test, and maintain respiratory therapy equipment to ensure equipment is functioning safely and efficiently, ordering repairs when necessary.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to monitor correctly a patient’s physiological responses to therapy, such as vital signs, arterial blood gases, or blood chemistry changes, and consult.

Program Map

The academic map below presents the recommended plan of study and will guide you through your program in a timely manner. Click the course abbreviations for full course descriptions. A course may be critical because it is a pre-requisite, requires a minimum grade, or because it is only offered once a year. Missing a critical course may push back your graduation date. Meet with an Academic Counselor or Faculty Advisor to ensure you are on track to complete your program.

Critical Courses should be taken in the order shown to stay on track and graduate on time.


 Semester 1

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Critical Course Pre-reqs or Co-reqs Credits Notes
RESP 101A     5     
RESP 102     2  
RESP 141     1  
BIOL 121     4

ENG 101     3
MATH 117     3
PSYCH 101     3
Semester Total Credits     21  


✹ Recommend taking while on program waitlist

Semester 2

(click for more information)
Critical Course Pre-reqs or Co-reqs Credits Notes
RESP 103A   5  
RESP 104   2  
RESP 143   1  
RESP 145   1  
BIOL 123     4
CHEM 113     4
Semester Total Credits     17  


✹ Recommend taking while on program waitlist

Semester 3

(click for more information)
Critical Course Pre-reqs or Co-reqs Credits Notes
BIOL 201  or  BIOL 202   3
BIOL 229   2  
RESP 201A   6  
RESP 202A    2  
RESP 241   2  
BIOL 203     3  
Semester Total Credits     18     


✹ Recommend taking while on program waitlist

Semester 4

(click for more information)
Critical Course Pre-reqs or Co-reqs Credits Notes
RESP 203A   6  
RESP 204A   2  
RESP 206   1  
RESP 243    2  
RESP 245   2  
Semester Total Credits     13  


Minimum Total Credits: 69

Transfer Opportunities

Westchester Community College is committed to facilitating a smooth transfer process to ensure that graduates of the college are prepared to transfer with junior status, and are able to complete a bachelor’s degree within two years of full-time study upon transfer. View 4-year institutions’ transfer agreement information by program here.

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