Associate in Science Degree (CIP# 1351090800)
Respiratory Therapists assist in diagnosing and treating patients with acute and chronic cardiopulmonary illnesses. The work of respiratory therapy extends Practitioners into intensive care with patients on mechanical ventilation. Practitioners assist physicians in treatment ranging from bedside surgical procedures to balloon pump management in the operating room. Therapists treat patients with pulmonary diseases ranging from premature infants with underdeveloped lungs to COPD patients with chronic lung disease. The primary employer for a credentialed Respiratory Therapist is the acute care hospital. This dynamic profession can lead therapists to different specializations such as pulmonary functions testing, pulmonary rehabilitation, polysomnography, medical sales, management, and education.
Graduates are eligible to obtain the national credential(s) through the National Board for Respiratory Care. Once you complete your A.S. degree in Respiratory Care, you can now continue on and get your Bachelor’s degree from Valencia in Cardiopulmonary Sciences. With additional education at the Bachelor level and professional experience, you will enhance your skills and have more career options available.
This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.
Respiratory Care is a limited-access program. Admission to Valencia does not imply acceptance to the Respiratory Care Program; students must apply and be accepted into the program. General admission procedures for this program are found in the Admissions section of this catalog. The Division of Allied Health provides information about specific admission criteria.
Estimated program expenses are given in the Financial section of this catalog.
Admission requirements that must be satisfied prior to submitting an application to the A.S. Degree Program in Respiratory Care are:
- Review the general admission requirements for Health Sciences programs in the Admissions section of this catalog
- Submit a completed Valencia Application for Admission; satisfy the requirements for degree-seeking status and be in active student status
- Satisfy the college entry testing requirements and satisfactorily complete all mandatory courses in reading, New Student Experience (SLS 1122), mathematics, English, and English for Academic Purposes in which you are placed
- Complete Respiratory Care Prerequisites for admission Courses with a minimum grade of C
- Have a minimum overall college GPA of 2.0 (including transfer work)
- Submit the completed Valencia Respiratory Care Program application with the application fee
A minimum grade of C must be achieved in all respiratory care and required courses to meet a prerequisite or graduation requirement.
Any student admitted to the Respiratory Care Program who fails or withdraws from any RET-prefix courses must petition the Health Sciences Admissions Committee for re-evaluation and readmission. Students will be allowed to petition one time. The petition process can be found in the Respiratory Care Student Handbook.
Students are strongly encouraged to consult a Health Sciences advisor for assistance in determining the best education plan for their career goals.
Degree-seeking students enrolling at Valencia for the first time will have a limited range of courses from which to choose for their first 18 college-level credits. Within the first 18 college credit hours, you will be required to take ENC1101 (3 credits), and if applicable, SLS 1122 (3 credits) and a mathematics course appropriate to your selected meta-major (3 credits). The remaining courses will be chosen from the General Education Core Courses in humanities (3 credits), science (3 credits), or social science (3 credits), and/or the introductory courses within the A.S. degree programs. For specific courses see the Foundation Courses on the “Program Requirements” tab. For course sequencing recommendations, see your Career Program Advisor or create an education plan by logging into Atlas, clicking on the LifeMap tab and clicking My Education Plan.
- Respiratory Therapist
- Critical Care Staff Therapist
- Home Health Care Respiratory Therapist
- Respiratory Care Practitioner
Salary & Earnings Information
For salary and wage information, visit: www.floridawages.com.
Health Sciences Program Advisor, West Campus: HealthScienceAdvising@valenciacollege.edu or 407-582-1288.
For Information Sessions, Admission Guide, Program Application, and the most updated information, visit our website at: valenciacollege.edu/west/health.
Alternative Ways to Earn Credit
If you have earned your credential as a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT), you may be eligible to receive credit toward this A.S. degree. For more information, visit: http://valenciacollege.edu/asdegrees/credit_alternative.cfm
- Demonstrate competence described by the scope of practice for Respiratory Care.
- Demonstrate effective communication skills within the healthcare setting.
- Demonstrate professional behaviors within the Respiratory Care program.
- Provide a safe environment within the Respiratory Care program.
- Execute safe clinical decision making in Respiratory Care.
|Prerequisite for Admission||Credit Hours|
|BSC 2093C||HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY I +*~||4|
|MAC 1105||COLLEGE ALGEBRA +*~||3|
|PHY 1007C||PHYSICS WITH MEDICAL APPLICATIONS +*||4|
|RET 1025C||PRINCIPLES OF RESPIRATORY CARE +*||6|
|RET 1485C||CARDIOPULMONARY PHYSIOLOGY +*||4|
|MCB 2010C||MICROBIOLOGY +*~||4|
|ENC 1101||FRESHMAN COMPOSITION I +*~||3|
|RET 1275C||CLINICAL CARE TECHNIQUES||4|
|RET 1450C||BASIC PHYSIOLOGY MONITORING +*||3|
|RET 1295C||CHEST MEDICINE +*||4|
|BSC 2094C||HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY II +*~||4|
|RET 2350C||RESPIRATORY PHARMACOLOGY +*||4|
|RET 1264C||PRINCIPLES OF MACHANICAL VENTILATION +*||4|
|RET 1874L||CLINICAL PRACTICE I +*||4|
|RET 1875L||CLINICAL PRACTICE II +*||4|
|RET 2244C||LIFE SUPPORT +*||3|
|RET 2714C||PEDIATRIC RESPIRATORY CARE +*||4|
|RET 2876L||CLINICAL PRACTICE III +*||4|
|Humanities:: See Gen. Ed. Core or Institutional Requirement +*~||3|
|PSY 2012||GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY +~||3|
|Total Credit Hours:||76.0|
This course must be completed with a grade of C or better.
This course has a prerequisite; check description in Valencia catalog.
This is a general education course.
All accepted applicants are required to submit applications through Valencia for a criminal background check and drug testing. Applicants for Valencia’s Health Sciences programs must be free of offenses that would disqualify them from a student clinical experience in a healthcare setting and must have their civil rights intact. This policy is in response to requirements by clinical agencies and state/federal regulations.
Specialized program courses are offered on the West Campus.
Specialized courses may not be offered every session or on every campus.
Once you complete your A.S. degree in Respiratory Care, you can continue at Valencia to earn your Bachelor’s degree in Cardiopulmonary Sciences or a bachelor-level Advanced Technical Certificate (ATC) in Echocardiography or in Leadership in Healthcare. With additional education at the bachelor’s level and professional experience, you will enhance your skills and have more career options available.
Several Florida public universities provide opportunities for A.S. degree graduates to pursue a Bachelor’s degree. All of Valencia’s A.S. degrees will transfer into the Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degree offered at UCF’s regional campuses, as well as other universities. For more information on UCF’s B.A.S. degree, go to regionalcampuses.ucf.edu/program/applied-science.
For other transfer options that may be available, go to valenciacollege.edu/asdegrees/transferagreements.cfm. Students who want to continue their education should contact their university of choice for acceptance of this degree.
For students who are interested in pursuing UCF’s B.A.S. degree, 36 credit hours of general education courses will be required. Students will also have to fulfill the state’s foreign language requirement, which is two years of the same high school foreign language or two semesters of the same college-level foreign language.