The Associate of Applied Science is a cooperative effort between the College, the School of Allied Health Professions at LSU Health Sciences Center, and area hospital clinical affiliates to prepare graduates as competent Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT). Respiratory Therapy is a program employed with medical direction in the treatment, management, diagnostic evaluation, and care of patients with deficiencies and abnormalities of the cardiopulmonary system
Respiratory therapists, also known as respiratory care practitioners, provide treatment, evaluation, monitoring and management of patients with breathing disorders or cardiovascular problems.
Care provided by respiratory therapists may include: administration of oxygen, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, management of mechanical ventilators, administering drugs to the lungs, monitoring cardiopulmonary systems and measuring lung function. Respiratory therapists work with numerous types of cutting edge technology to assist their patients. They also understand how to apply high tech devices in the care and treatment of patients, how to assess patients to ensure the treatments are working properly, and how to make the care changes necessary to arrive at the best outcome for the patient.
Respiratory therapists treat all types of patients, ranging from premature infants whose lungs are not fully developed to elderly people with lung disease. They provide temporary relief to patients with chronic asthma or emphysema, as well as emergency care to patients who are victims of a heart attack, stroke, drowning or shock.
Respiratory therapists work in a wide variety of settings including: hospitals, long term care facilities, medical equipment companies, home health agencies, physician offices and more.
For a more complete description of careers in respiratory therapy, refer to the website of the American Association for Respiratory Care.
The objective of the program is to train competent individuals in respiratory care skills sufficient for the delivery of safe clinical therapy and adequate to meet qualification for the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) certification exam and advance registry exam after the four semesters of clinicals.
Students in the Associate of Applied Science degree program will receive didactic, laboratory practice and clinical training in the therapeutic use of the following: medical gases and devices of administration, environmental control systems, humidification, aerosols, medications, ventilatory support systems, bronchopulmonary hygiene modalities, cardiopulmonary diagnostics, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and airway management. The program consists of 33 hours of didactic prerequisite coursework and four (4) semesters of clinical course work (38 hours). Upon successful completion of this course work, the graduate will receive the Associate of Applied Science degree and be eligible for the NBRC entry and advanced level exam (CRT and RRT).
The Respiratory Therapy Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, Texas 76021-4244, phone 817-283-2835.
The selection process for the RT Program clinical component begins each spring. Students should be aware of the following requirements and procedures regarding clinical selection:
Students who have successfully completed the designated qualification courses for the Associate of Applied Science degree, who are of a minimum age of 18 by the beginning of the clinical semester and who have a minimum GPA of 2.500 in all qualification courses with a minimum of a "C" in each qualification course and submit a program application by the published deadline, are eligible to appear before the Program Selection Committee in May/June for an interview. The Selection Committee is composed of the program director, clinical and academic coordinators, College personnel, and area professionals working in respiratory therapy. Only those students who have completed application to BPCC AND completed the respiratory therapy application packet by April 15 will be qualified to interview. Selection for clinicals is based upon the following:
Students will be notified by mail of acceptance or rejection for entry into summer clinical course work. Clinical class size is determined by clinical site availability and employment statistics.
All students selected for respiratory therapy clinicals must provide all required clinical information (listed earlier in this section) including: