Respiratory Therapy


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

Career Description

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.

Program Overview

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, 264 Precision Blvd. Telford, TN 37690, phone 817-283-2835.

CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an ‘outcomes based’ process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented. Click here for Programmatic Outcomes Data.

Admission Requirements

The selection process for the RT Clinical Program begins each Spring. Students should be aware of the following requirements and procedures regarding program selection:

  • Transfer students must complete all College Admissions Forms and a request for official transcriptsto be sent to BPCC prior to Official clinical Program admission.
  • Students must submit a completed RT Clinical Application Packet by the April 15th deadline to include RT Program application as well as Essential Requirements Form.
  • Students must also attend a Mandatory Applicant Orientation meeting typically scheduled for late April. The exact date/time for orientation can be obtained by emailing Ms. Michel:
  • Pre-RT (qualification) courses must be completed by the end of the Spring semester of the application year. In certain special situations, students are occasionally offered provisional admission when missing up to 3 hours of a non-science/non-math core course. Contact Professor Reed, Academic Advisor for more detailed information (
  • Pre-RT (qualification) courses must be at a GPA of > 2.5 and students must earn a “C” or better in all courses to be eligible for application.
  • Interviews are conducted in May each year.
  • Clinical class size is determined by clinical site availability and employment statistics.

*All RT Clinical Program applications as well as the ‘Essential Requirements Form’ must be submitted electronically by the annual April 15 deadline. No late submissions will be accepted for the current cohort year.

Interview/Selection Process

Potential RT Clinical Program students must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible to appear before the Program Selection Committee for an Interview:

  • have successfully completed the prerequisite qualification courses for the Associate of Applied Science degree in RT
  • be of a minimum age of 18 by the beginning of the first clinical semester
  • have a minimum GPA of 2.5 in all prerequisite qualification courses with a minimum of a “C” in each qualification course
  • electronically submit a program application by April 15

The Selection Committee is composed of the Program Director, Clinical and Academic Coordinators, faculty, college personnel, and area professionals working in Respiratory Care. Only those students who have completed and submitted the RT Clinical Program application packet by April 15 will be qualified to interview. Selection for entry into the RT Clinical Program is based upon the following:

  1. Minimum of “C” earned in each prerequisite qualification course.
  2. Overall GPA of 2.0 and minimum of 2.5 in qualification courses.
  3. Attendance of the mandatory applicant orientation – The exact date/time for orientation can be obtained by emailing Ms. Michel:
  4. Post interview assessment by selection committee to include language skills, personal appearance, demeanor, past academic achievements, knowledge of the profession, and job experience, as applicable.

*Students will be notified by email of acceptance or rejection for entry into Summer clinical course work. Clinical class size is determined by clinical site availability and employment statistics.

Special Requirements

All students selected for respiratory therapy clinicals must provide all required clinical information (listed earlier in this section) including:

  • A completed health status statement form from a physician, laboratory immunization/testing reports for mumps, measles, rubella, tetanus, tuberculosis, varicella zoster, and Hepatitis B and any others required by the hospital/clinical facility and documentation of laboratory testing for negative drug screening.
  • Students must also maintain current health insurance coverage while in the program and submit a signed consent/release for criminal background check.
  • Once accepted into clinicals, students will pay a clinical fee in addition to regular tuition and fees during each clinical semester.
  • Students must maintain a minimum grade of C (70%) or better in all clinical course work to remain in the program. Any student who fails to maintain a 70% while in clinical programs will be terminated from the program. The student may reapply and re-interview for the next class the following year if he/she wishes to continue to pursue the RT degree. If reaccepted, it will be at the discretion of the program director as to which course(s) must be remediated or audited based on results of the student’s prior performance in the program.


Lindsay Michel

Charles Reed
Academic Coordinator