Respiratory Care Major
What You'll Study
A respiratory therapist, also known as respiratory care practitioner, is a health professional that focuses on the diagnostic evaluation, treatment and management of patients with cardiopulmonary disorders. As a respiratory therapist, you'll be proficient in
- therapeutic administration of medical gases and aerosols
- intermittent and continuous mechanical ventilation
- bronchopulmonary hygiene
- basic and advanced cardiac life support techniques
- non-invasive patient monitoring
- pulmonary function evaluation
- arterial blood gas analysis
- airway management procedures
- pulmonary rehabilitation techniques
Respiratory therapists work under the supervision of a physician to provide many therapeutic and diagnostic procedures and make recommendations based on these responses. They must also communicate with other members of the health care team, such as nurses and doctors, in order to follow the progress of patients and make the modifications to treatments as necessary.
After extensive didactic and laboratory course preparation during your first two years, the respiratory program begins to move into various clinical settings by the beginning of the third year of the program. After gaining confidence by observing various clinical procedures, you will gradually start to perform more hands-on therapies while under the direction of adjunct clinical faculty. By the last semester of the program, you will virtually perform the same tasks as the clinical faculty they are assigned to. While gaining clinical experiences at area health care facilities, you will still be taking various didactic and laboratory courses at the university.