COVID-19 showed the world what doctors have always known – respiratory care can save lives. Respiratory Therapists work under the direction of a physician and provide medical treatment to patients who suffer with lung problems from diseases such as COVID-19 and more traditionally, asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. The Volunteer State Community College Respiratory Care Technology Program trains students for the specialty. The program was recently honored with a national award for success in preparing students for board exams. The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care named Vol State a recipient of the Distinguished RRT Credential Success award. Programs are chosen for their success in student board exam pass rates. That accreditation is essential for students to enter the job field. In 2020, Vol State had a one hundred percent pass rate for the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) exam. The school also had a one hundred percent pass rate for the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) exam.
“Accreditation shows that our program is following a list of standards and procedures established by a recognized national organization,” said Health Sciences dean, Kim Christmon. “Students have a right to be taught the skills they need to be successful in their field. Not all Respiratory Care programs are accredited.”
“The integrity of the program over the years has been held to a high standard,” said program director Mallory Higginbotham. “That means students can pass their board exams on their first attempt.” Higginbotham was recently named program director for Respiratory Care. She was clinical director. Christmon is now dean of Health Sciences. She is the former program director.
The demand for qualified Respiratory Care Therapists remains high. Some graduates of the Vol State program are even taking traveling positions from city to city as contractors. The Vol State program has a 100 percent job placement rate. For more information visit www.volstate.edu/respiratorycare
Pictured: Health Sciences Dean, Kim Christmon (left), taught in the Vol State Respiratory Care Technology program for 17 years. Mallory Higginbotham is the new program director. She has been teaching at Vol State for 10 years.