Respiratory Care

Program Description

Respiratory care practitioners are allied health specialists who play a crucial role within the health care team. Working closely with physicians and other health care professionals, they care for patients with respiratory and cardiovascular conditions. Under the supervision of a physician, they are involved with the assessment, treatment, diagnostic testing, rehabilitation, and prevention of conditions that affect the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Employment opportunities are found in hospitals, clinics, home health care agencies, product support and sales, education, rehabilitation and continuing care, and health/disease prevention programs.

This program is a partnership with Northeast Iowa Community College.

Award Options

  • Associate in Applied Science - Respiratory Care

Job Outlook

Very Good: According to the 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of respiratory therapists is expected to grow 28 percent through 2020, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

For details, please visit this link http://www.bls.gov/oco/

Earnings

Workforce Development Data for Northeast Iowa

  • Entry-level wage $14.22 (2009 Survey)

Entry-Level Salary

  • Average entry-level wage of $19.39 (2010 NICC Alumni Survey)

Sample Job Titles

  • Cardio Pulmonary Technician
  • Certified Respiratory Therapist
  • Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT)
  • Respiratory Care Practitioner
  • Respiratory Therapist

Experience/Skills/Personality Traits

Respiratory care workers must have the capacity to accept great responsibility for patients, stay calm in emergency situations, and have a genuine desire to care for others. They work with ventilators and other sophisticated machinery, so it helps to be hands-on and have mechanical aptitude. Math skills are also necessary to compute medication dosages and calculate test results. Communication skills and the ability to follow orders are also vital.

Physical Demands

Daily activities require bending, stooping, squatting, reaching, pushing, and pulling in all directions. You will be asked to lift and carry objects weighing up to a minimum of 50 pounds and also shared weight. Clinical tasks require use of hands for repetitive action such as simple and firm grasping and fine manipulation, and walking, including stair stepping. Respiratory care practitioners may also be in contact with communicable diseases and chemical/biohazardous materials and odors.

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