Respiratory Care

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What Does A Respiratory Care Therapist Do?

Certified Respiratory Therapists (CRT) and Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT) work under the direction of a physician and provide medical treatment to patients who suffer with chronic lung problems such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. They also work with victims of heart attack, accident victims and others with breathing problems.

CRTs and RRTs provide treatments that could include:

  • Obtaining blood specimens for gas analysis, determining levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide and other gases.
  • Interpreting data obtained from these specimens to evaluate and make changes with life support systems, oxygen or nitric oxide or heliox gas administrations.
  • Diagnostic procedures to calculate impaired lung functions.
  • Recommend and administer aerosolized antibiotics, antiviral and bronchodilator therapies.
  • Metabolic testing to assess the cardiopulmonary systems.
  • Home therapeutics for chronically ill patients or those suffering from a respiratory-related sleep disorders.
  • Monitoring and managing therapy that will help a patient recover lung function.
  • Administering medications in aerosol form to help alleviate breathing problems and to help prevent respiratory infections.
  • Monitoring equipment and patient responses to therapy.
  • Conducting rehabilitation activities, such as low impact aerobic exercise classes, to help patients who suffer from chronic lung problems.
  • Maintaining a patient's artificial airway, one that may be in place to help the patient who can't breathe through normal means.
  • Conducting smoking cessation programs for both hospital patients and others in the community who want to kick the tobacco habit.
What type of Training Does Volunteer State Community College Offer?

We offer the advanced-level Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) Program which consists of 4 semesters of study (after completion of general education/prerequisite requirements) and graduates receive an A.A.S. in Respiratory Care Technology. Graduates are then eligible to sit for a National Credentialing Exam to become a Registered Respiratory Therapist.

Our program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

How Do I Get Started?

After admission to Volunteer State Community College through the Office of Admissions, submit an “Pre Health Sciences Interest Form” form to:

John B. Wallace Allied Health Division
Respiratory Care Program
Volunteer State Community College
1480 Nashville Pike
Gallatin, Tennessee 37066-3188

Program Application Deadline Is March 1st

Enrollment Requirements

Drug Screen

In an effort to comply with the recommendations of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, some healthcare facilities and agencies utilized by the College for clinical training require that each student undergo and pass a drug screen prior to participating in clinical rotations. Each student, at his/her expense, is responsible for acquiring a drug screen and authorizing the submission of results to the College. No student will be permitted to participate in specific clinical rotations until the results have been received, reviewed, and accepted by the College. The specific type of drug screen and the due date will be provided to the students by the Director of Clinical Education during the latter part of the Fall Semester. Get more information about the drug screening process.

Student Background Check

Effective September 1, 2005, students seeking enrollment in designated Health Sciences programs requiring participation in clinical training in area hospitals and related clinics/agencies must provide evidence of a passing score on a background check prior to official acceptance/enrollment into the respective program. Either the failure to provide the required background check results by the due date established or the receipt of anything other than a passing score on the background check will make a student ineligible for enrollment in the respective program. Background checks are performed at the student’s expense. Find more detailed information about Student Background Checks.

Degree Advancement Program Agreement with MTSU

MTSU and Vol State have developed an AAS-to-BS program to allow students who earn an Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Care at Vol State to transfer the majority of those credits to MTSU toward the completion of a Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies with a concentration in Organizational Leadership. This degree is offered through MTSU’s University College in cooperation with the Tennessee Board of Regents.

MTSU provides a wealth of information about Degree Advancement Program on their website; including an information sheet about Respiratory Care.