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Respiratory Care, Health Science/A.S. Degree



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                                                 Program Advisor: Thomas Carey, RRT, MPH


Respiratory care practitioners help treat patients with a wide range of cardiopulmonary illnesses, including such problems as asthma or heart failure. Respiratory care includes diagnostic testing, and administering oxygen, various other gases, and aerosol drugs.

Under a physician’s supervision, respiratory care practitioners plan and assist with patient care, and serve as a resource for professionals in other health care fields. They work in various settings, including hospital acute care and intensive care units, hospital neonatal units (for premature infants), outpatient rehabilitation facilities, nursing home, home care, and diagnostic laboratories.

This program is a sequence of lecture, laboratory, and clinical courses. Comprehensive on-site training provides opportunities for students to become skilled and confident in respiratory care procedures.

Program graduates are eligible to take the National Board for Respiratory Care examination to become registered Respiratory Therapists.

Related major at the baccalaureate level: respiratory care.

Admission Requirements

Students who meet all admission requirements are accepted in the Respiratory Care program on a space available basis at any time. Those who do not initially qualify for the program may become eligible through BCC's Liberal Arts program in Pre-RSP.     

The sequence of courses for this program is offered on a cyclical basis. Call for additional information. The next cycle begins Fall 2012; then Fall 2016. 

Interested students are urged to consult the program advisor and to work on prerequisites and required courses during semesters when RSP courses are not offered. Admission requirements are as follows:

  • Skills Assessment Scores/Competency Requirements

    a. Completion of ENG 020 and ENG 060 , if applicable;

    b. Completion of MAT 136 or MAT 102C (Math 800 series) OR MAT 102 , if applicable;
  • Completion of college chemistry (CHM 150) or one year of college prepatory chemistry with a grade of C (73) or better within five years;
  • Completion of college prepatory or college-level biology or anatomy and physiology with a grade of C (73) or better within five years;
  • Graduation from high school with an average of B (80%) or ranked in the upper third of the graduating class; OR completion of a minimum of 10 credits of college level respiratory care support courses (C or better);
  • All students entering the Respiratory Care Program must be immunized (or be in process) by August 1 prior to the academic year for which they are seeking admission.

Upon completion of all admission requirements, students wishing to enter the program must complete a matriculation form.

Expected Outcomes

Graduates of this program should be able to:

  • practice as advanced-level respiratory care practitioners;
  • demonstrate professional behavior consistent with employer expectations;
  • comprehend, apply, and evaluate clinical information relevant to their roles as advanced level respiratory care practitioners;
  • critically think and problem solve;
  • promote a team approach to patient care and interact with all health workers;
  • communicate effectively both orally and in writing and practice therapeutic communication.

Graduation Requirements

To earn a degree in this program, a student must complete the 65 program and general education credits, plus the additional requirements, shown below. 

Program 44 Credits
AHS 121 The Essentials of Pharmacology 3
AHS 230 Pathophysiology 3
BIO 201 Anatomy and Physiology l 4
BIO 202 Anatomy and Physiology ll 4
BIO 207 Microbiology 4
RSP 105 Respiratory Care l: Theory and Practice 7
RSP 107 Respiratory Care Practicum 2
RSP 205 Respiratory Care ll: Theory and Practice 7
RSP 207 Respiratory Care lll: Theory and Practice 8
RSP 241 Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology 2
General Education  21 Credits
CHM Chemistry (see footnote 4) 3
COM Communication (see footnote 1) 3
ENG English Composition/Writing
(see footnote 2)
MAT Mathematics (see footnote 3) 3
Behavioral and Social Science 3
  General Education Elective (see footnote 5) 3
   Total Credits



Additional Requirements  As Shown
  Core Competencies Portfolio 6 Items
  Forum 12 Units
  Health/Fitness (see footnote 6) 30 Hours
  Minimum Cumulative Average Overall 2.000
  Area of Specialization (All RSP Courses):  
  Minimum Grade Required in each RSP Course 2.000

Suggested Block For Program Completion

The following is a suggestion for completing this program in two years. The actual time needed to complete the program will vary according to each student's individual needs.

First Semester 


 16 Credits

BIO 201  Anatomy and Physiology l                 4
CHM   Chemistry (see footnote 4)                 3
ENG  English Composition/Writing (see footnote 2)                 3
MAT  Mathematics (see footnote 3)                 3
   Behavioral and Social Science                 3
  Second Semester    17 Credits 
AHS 121  The Essentials of Pharmacology


BIO 202  Anatomy and Physiology ll


RSP 105  Respiratory Care l


ENG  English Composition/Writing (see footnote 2)


 Summer Session  

 2 Credits

RSP 107  Respiratory Care Practicum 


 Third Semester    16 Credits 
 AHS 230   Pathophysiology


 BIO 207   Microbiology


 RSP 205  Respiratory Care ll 


 RSP 241  Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology


 Fourth Semester    14 Credits
 RSP 207  Respiratory Care lll  


 COM  Communication (see footnote 1)


   General Education Elective (see footnote 5)


NOTE: Students must achieve a grade of C or better in all RSP courses.


  1. Communicaton chosen from COM 105 or COM 107 .
  2. English Composition/Writing chosem from ENG 101, ENG 102, ENG 103, ENG 104 .
  3. Mathematics at a level of MAT 136 or MAT 102C ( MAT 800 series) or MAT 102, or at a higher level prior to matriculation in the Respiratory Care program.
  4. Chemistry chosen from CHM 150 or higher level.
  5. General Education Elective chosen from History, Humanities and Fine Arts, Environmental Studies.
  6. Fulilled by successful completion of RSP 105.

NOTE: Any prior criminal offense could hinder placement in clinical agencies and to the ability to become licensed in this field. See CORI/SORI (Criminal Offender Record Information Checks) for details.