Respiratory Care Degree

Respiratory care specialists, also called respiratory therapists, work with people who have breathing and respiratory disorders by providing treatments and running tests and other procedures to determine a patient's lung function. With asthma and other breathing disorders on the rise in the general, pediatric and elderly populations, jobs in this field are increasing at a very fast pace.

Respiratory Care Degree Success Factors

An interest in math and science is essential to understanding how the pulmonary and cardiopulmonary systems work. Communication is critical in this field. Not only must you be able to listen to patients' concerns and work with them on proper breathing techniques, you have to be able to explain a patient's history and test results to doctors and nurses. Therapists also have to able to explain to patients and their families how to use and maintain medical equipment. You should be comfortable testing a patient's breathing skills and making an action plan for them to follow.

Respiratory Care Degree Majors

Majors for all degrees in this field are mostly in respiratory therapy and respiratory care. These majors will ready students to work as therapists and will also help prepare them for the certified respiratory therapist and registered respiratory therapist licensing tests that most states require.

Respiratory Care Degree Curriculum

The focus on this curriculum is on science and the function of the human body. The classes offered are usually ones such as cardiopulmonary pathology, anatomy and physiology, respiratory therapy, cardiopulmonary physiology, respiratory pharmacology, physiologic monitoring and pediatric and neonatal respiratory therapy.

Respiratory Care Degrees

Degrees in this field are mostly divided into two areas: an associate's degree from a two-year school or community college and a bachelor's degree from a four-year institution. Master's degrees and Ph.D. programs are offered for those who would like to advance into management and become medical services managers in hospitals and clinics. Coursework and degrees in this field can be accessed through many online degree programs for professionals who are juggling time and personal commitments.

Respiratory Care Jobs

Most respiratory therapist jobs work in hospitals, although there are positions available in other areas, including nursing homes, urgent care facilities, and rehabilitation clinics. You can care for the general population or specialize in certain areas, such as geriatric, pediatric or cardiopulmonary patients. Job titles in this field include pulmonary function technologists and respiratory therapy technicians.