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Respiratory Therapy Schools

Respiratory care practitioners work with patients who have trouble breathing through the use of therapy to treat breathing problems and other conditions that can affect the lungs or the heart. Respiratory therapists and technicians work in hospitals, emergency rooms and home care agencies to treat patients of all ages, who are unable to get the oxygen to help them breathe.

Each state has its own set of rules and regulations for practicing within the field. Therefore, anyone who is interested in starting a career as a respiratory care practitioner must complete the necessary requirements for his or her state before working in the field. These guidelines are based on recommendations offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) and regulated by each individual state board for respiratory therapy.

Students who are interested in the field can earn a degree in respiratory therapy either by attending an accredited school, college or university OR by obtaining a RT degree online. While brick and mortar colleges and universities offer in-depth training, online RT programs also provide students with the knowledge and skills they need, in order to become trained in the field of respiratory therapy, as well.

Please Note: Only programs that have been approved/accredited by the CoARC or CAAHEP will allow students to qualify for licensure and certification in the field.

Education Requirements

An Associate's degree in RT is the minimum educational requirement in order to become a respiratory therapist. An additional requirement from employers is that respiratory therapists maintain CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certification at all times.

Aside from making the decision of whether a career in respiratory therapy is right for you – choosing a respiratory therapy school or program is the most important aspect of becoming a respiratory practitioner. The future of your career in respiratory therapy is dependent on choosing an RT program that will help you earn the degree you want and will meet your needs.

Respiratory Therapy Schools – Questions to Ask

  • What is the class structure like?
  • What is the practical experience like?
  • What is the student-teacher ratio in an average classroom?
  • Has the program received accreditation by the CoARC or CAAHEP?
  • Does the program curriculum and focus prepare students for advanced respiratory therapy or just entry-level positions?
  • What financial aid options are available with the program (e.g. - grants, student loans, scholarships, or work/study loans)?
  • How helpful is the school staff in terms of helping students take advantage of financial aid options?
  • Does the school have a well-rated program including, clinical experience that involves working with patients directly?
  • What percentage of those who graduate from the program become CRTs?
  • Does the program/school offer job placement assistance?

Taking a deep breath is a part of life that many of us, take for granted – until we have no other choice, but to pay attention, as a result of breathing problems or health conditions, which makes doing otherwise, virtually impossible. If you're interested in studying more about a field that helps make others breathe easier – then, you should get started in a fulfilling career in respiratory therapy – today!