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, Professions of Caring (HSC 1004) for students pending acceptance to a health sciences program, or New Student Experience (SLS 1122), mathematics, English, and English for Academic Purposes in which you are placed.
- Complete Respiratory Care Prerequisite for admission Courses with a minimum grade of C.
- Have a minimum overall college GPA of 2.0 (including transfer work). NOTE: Transfer students with completed coursework at Valencia College also need to have a minimum institutional/Valencia GPA of 2.0 as well at the time of applying.
- 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 their campus based Allied Health Program Advisor for assistance in determining the best education plan for their career goals.
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: https://valenciacollege.edu/academics/programs/as-degree/credit-industry-certification-agreements.php.
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, Professions of Caring (HSC 1004) for students pending acceptance to a health sciences program, or New Student Experience (SLS 1122), 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 campus based Allied Health Program Advisor or access the Course Planning Guide on the Health Sciences webpage https://valenciacollege.edu/academics/programs/health-sciences/respiratory-care/.
- Respiratory Therapist
- Critical Care Staff Therapist
- Home Health Care Respiratory Therapist
- Respiratory Care Practitioner
Salary & Earnings Information
For career information related to this program, please visit O*Net OnLine.
To learn more about this program, contact Enrollment Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-582-1507 or visit valenciacollege.edu/respiratory-care/.
Active Valencia students who are pending program acceptance may meet with the pending Allied Health Program Advisor in the campus Student Services department. For Information Sessions, Admission Guides, Program Applications, and the most updated information, visit the website at: https://valenciacollege.edu/academics/programs/health-sciences/index.php. Accepted, in-program students will meet with their assigned Career Program Advisor after confirming acceptance.
- 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.
Plan of Study Grid
|Prerequisite for Admission||Credit Hours|
|BSC 2093C ||HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY I +*~ ||4 |
|PHY 1007C ||PHYSICS WITH MEDICAL APPLICATIONS +* ||4 |
| +~ ||3 |
| ||Credit Hours||11|
|MCB 2010C ||MICROBIOLOGY +*~ ||4 |
|ENC 1101 ||FRESHMAN COMPOSITION I +*~ ||3 |
|RET 1025 ||PRINCIPLES OF RESPIRATORY CARE +* ||3 |
|RET 1485 ||CARDIOPULMONARY PHYSIOLOGY +* ||3 |
|RET 2350 ||RESPIRATORY PHARMACOLOGY +* ||3 |
| ||Credit Hours||16|
|BSC 2094C ||HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY II +*~ ||4 |
|RET 1295 ||RESPIRATORY DISEASE MANAGEMENT +* ||3 |
|RET 1450 ||BASIC PHYSIOLOGY MONITORING +* ||3 |
|RET 1274L ||RESPIRATORY CARE LAB I +* ||2 |
|RET 1874L ||CLINICAL PRACTICE I +* ||3 |
| ||Credit Hours||15|
|RET 1264 ||PRINCIPLES OF MECHANICAL VENTILATION +* ||3 |
|RET 1875L ||CLINICAL PRACTICE II +* ||3 |
|RET 2447 ||HEMODYNAMIC MONITORING +* ||3 |
|RET 2283L ||RESPIRATORY CARE LAB II +* ||2 |
| ||Credit Hours||11|
|RET 2244 ||ADVANCED LIFE SUPPORT +* ||3 |
|RET 2714 ||NEONATAL/PEDIATRIC RESPIRATORY CARE +* ||3 |
|RET 2284L ||RESPIRATORY CARE LAB III +* ||2 |
|RET 2876L ||CLINICAL PRACTICE III +* ||3 |
| ||Credit Hours||11|
|RET 2877L ||CLINICAL PRACTICE IV +* ||3 |
| +*~ ||3 |
|PSY 2012 ||GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY +~ ||3 |
|RET 2920 ||RESPIRATORY CARE PRACTICUM +* ||3 |
| ||Credit Hours||12|
| ||Total Credit Hours||76|
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 and may not be offered every session.
Upon earning the A.S. degree in Respiratory Care, eligible applicants can continue at Valencia to complete the Bachelor’s degree in Cardiopulmonary Sciences or a bachelor-level Advanced Technical Certificate (ATC) in Echocardiography. Additional education at the bachelor’s level and professional experience can enhance your skills and create more career opportunities.
Students who wish to continue their education should consult with their Program Advisor to determine the best education plan for their career goals.