Vol State’s Respiratory Care Program Receives Distinguished Award from the CoARC

award certificate
students learning the respiratory lab, MetaNeb

Gallatin, TN – Volunteer State Community College’s Respiratory Care Program received the Distinguished RRT Credentialing Success Award from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

Vol State is among a select group of national programs recognized by the CoARC. This award is presented as part of the CoARC’s continued efforts to value the RRT credential as a standard of professional achievement. The CoARC views the RRT credential as a measure of a program’s accomplishment in inspiring its graduates to achieve their highest educational and professional goals.

To obtain the RRT credential the student must pass two national board examinations. One national board exam is the Therapist Multiple Choice Exam consisting of 160 questions in the form of recall, application, and analysis. The second national board exam is the Clinical Simulation Exam, which is a scenario based on various respiratory, cardiac, and neuromuscular pathologies. The students have to gather information and apply critical thinking skills to make appropriate decisions on treating patients on this exam. The Clinical Simulation Exam is one of the most difficult medical exams to pass.

Vol State’s Respiratory Care Program has received this RRT award since 2017. Mallory Higginbotham, BA, RRT-ACCS, Program Director says, “Our Respiratory Care Program has been fortunate to receive this award for at least the last five years. This award is an honor that shows hard work, dedication, and success. Our students work exceptionally hard to obtain and earn the RRT credential. I feel honored to represent the Respiratory Care Program as Program Director. I have been an instructor in the program since January 2011. I became the Clinical Director in October 2014 and the Program Director in May 2021. There is nothing better than seeing a group begin the program and aiding in their journey to see them graduate and pass their national board examinations then on to patient care.”

During the student's tenure in the Respiratory Therapy Program at Vol State, they complete over 800 clinical hours in acute care, intensive care, and emergency. The combination of didactic, laboratory, and clinical rotations provides a well-rounded, thorough education that leads to student success. Of those who graduated in May 2022, 14 of the 16 graduates have obtained their RRT Credential, with two students still to test. The program had a 100% pass rate on the national board examinations, scoring above the national average.

To learn more about the Respiratory Care Program at Vol State, visit the program’s web page at https://www.volstate.edu/academics/health-sciences/respiratorycare.

The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care became a freestanding accreditor of respiratory care programs on November 12, 2009. The CoARC accredits degree-granting programs in respiratory care that have undergone a rigorous process of voluntary peer review and have met or exceeded the minimum accreditation Standards as set by the professional association in cooperation with the CoARC. These programs are granted accreditation status by the CoARC, which provides public recognition of such achievement. For more information on the CoARC, visit their website: https://coarc.com.

Pictures: (1) Award certificate, (2) Students learning in the MetaNeb Lab on the Gallatin Campus