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Respiratory Care Technology


This curriculum prepares students as advanced practitioners in respiratory care technology. Students learn diagnostic and therapeutic procedures applicable to pulmonary care. Therapeutic procedures include use and administration of oxygen and other medical gases, aerosolization of drugs for inhalation, set up and maintenance of mechanical ventilators (to assist or control ventilation), performance of chest physical therapy maneuvers and certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Respiratory care personnel perform diagnostic procedures such as pulmonary function studies and arterial blood gas analysis, and are involved in rehabilitation of the patient with cardiopulmonary abnormalities. The Respiratory Care Technology program is a 22-consecutive-month associate’s degree program that is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. The program's graduates are eligible to sit for all credentialing examinations administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care, including the entry-level examination, the written registry and clinical simulation examinations and specialty exams in pulmonary function technology and neonatal/pediatric respiratory care. In addition, graduates are eligible for Pennsylvania state licensure, a requirement for practicing in the state, and licensure in all states. Students will also become student members of the American Association for Respiratory Care.

In addition to classroom and laboratory program components, clinical experience at selected area hospitals and health care facilities is required. The clinical phase requires the student to be in the hospital approximately eight hours per day, up to five days per week, starting as early as 7 a.m. As a prerequisite to the clinical phase of the program, students must provide evidence of personal medical insurance, certification in all CPR techniques and the results of complete physical examination. Laboratory test results will include a complete blood count, serology and urinalysis. A tuberculosis skin test is also required and, if indicated, a chest X-ray may be necessary. In addition, recent immunization documentation must be provided for measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio and Hepatitis B. A second complete physical exam is required prior to beginning the second year of the program. Health problems that might interfere with the ability to meet stated program objectives will be considered on an individual basis.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this program graduates will be able to:

  • Successfully complete all level Board exams offered through the National Board for Respiratory Care.
  • Obtain a professional license to practice as a respiratory therapist in Pennsylvania and/or any state requiring licensure.
  • Obtain gainful employment as a respiratory therapist.

Program Entry Requirements:

Applicants for the program must have successfully completed a high school diploma or GED with a grade of "C" or better, high school biology (or a 4-credit college biology course) and high school algebra (or MATH 118 or placement into a higher level math course). It is recommended that applicants have high school chemistry (or CHEM 110 or equivalent) and high school physics (or PHYS 105). These requirements must have been met within the past 10 years. For applicants holding a high school diploma, the 10-year requirement is calculated from the date of graduation.

Students petitioning for admission must have a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average and must meet other program admission requirements, and will be admitted only upon favorable recommendation of the entire Respiratory Care faculty.

All applicants are required to participate in the pre-entrance standardized testing program. Applicants may be interviewed by the program director, clinical coordinator and/or members of the Respiratory Care faculty. Students petitioning for a second admission to the program must have a 2.75 grade point average and will be readmitted only upon favorable recommendation of the entire faculty.

To remain in the Respiratory Care program students must maintain a grade of "C" or better in all Respiratory Care and required pre- and corequisite courses. During all clinical laboratory experiences, the student must maintain client safety and receive a passing grade for any clinical component of a course. Failure to do so will result in either a failure in the course or administrative or student-initiated withdrawal.

Clinical experience in the program includes contact with children. Acceptance to the program is conditional pending receipt and evaluation of a criminal background check and child abuse clearance check. Completed checks must be received by the program director by August 15, prior to the fall semester of the first year of the program.

The following guidelines are used in making decisions about an applicant's criminal and child abuse background:

Child Abuse Clearance:

Any record results in denial of admission into the Respiratory Care program.

Criminal Background Checks:

  • Any felony conviction within the past 10 years results in denial of admission to the Respiratory Care program.
  • Any felony conviction more than 10 years old will be evaluated based on the nature of the offense, length of time since the offense and any explanatory letters/materials submitted by the applicant or student.
  • Any misdemeanor will be evaluated based on the nature of the offense, length of time since the offense and explanatory letter/materials submitted by the applicant or student. (Any punishment over one year indicates a felony according to federal sentencing guidelines.)

Note: The State has the final decision when granting a license.


An applicant who believes that an error of fact has been made in terms of the information provided to the decision-making committee can request reconsideration by the committee. This request must be made in writing within 10 days from the date of the letter notifying the applicant of the decision. The reconsideration should address what the applicant considers to be errors of fact.

Following reconsideration by the decision-making committee, the applicant can appeal the committee's decision to the vice president for Academic Affairs whose decision is final.

Students whose attitudes and behaviors appear inconsistent with professional standards may not be admitted or may be dropped from the program at any time, pending the results of a departmental hearing.

Program of Study and Graduation Requirements:

To qualify for the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree as a respiratory care practitioner, a student must complete 69 credit hours as prescribed and attain a grade point average of 2.0 ("C" average).

For Reference:

The Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine and the Pennsylvania State Board of Osteopathic Medicine reserves the right to deny certification to any candidate who has been convicted of a felonious act. Conviction includes a judgment, an admission of guilt or a plea of nolo contendere, probation without verdict, or incomplete ARD. Further, the board shall not issue a license to any applicant who has been:

1. convicted of a felonious act prohibited by the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64) known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act; or

2. convicted of a felony relating to a controlled substance in a court of law of the United States or any other state, territory or country unless:

  • at least 10 years have elapsed from the date of the conviction;
  • the applicant satisfactorily demonstrates to the board significant progress in personal rehabilitation since the conviction such that licensure should not create a substantial risk of further violations; and
  • the applicant otherwise satisfies the qualifications contained in this act.

Involvement in any incident which resulted in disciplinary action against a student at Community College of Philadelphia or any post-secondary institution is considered in the admissions process.

The Respiratory Care Technology program reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant who has a documented history of violating College rules and regulations or who has been previously suspended or expelled from the College or any other post-secondary educational institution.

Respiratory Care Technology Course Sequence

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Req.

First Semester

RESP 100 - Introduction to Respiratory Care Technologies RESP 101, must be taken concurrently 4  
RESP 101 - Fundamentals of Respiratory Care Techniques I RESP 100, must be taken concurrently 4  
ENGL 101 – English Composition I   3 ENGL 101
BIOL 110 - Anatomy and Physiology II BIOL 109 4 Natural Science
FNMT 118 - Intermediate Algebra   3 Mathematics

Second Semester

RESP 102 - Fundamentals of Respiratory Care Techniques II RESP 100, RESP 101 4  
CIS 103 – Applied Computer Technology   3 Tech Comp
ENGL 102 – The Research Paper ENGL 101 with a grade of "C" or better 3 ENGL 102, Info Lit

Third Semester

RESP 103 - Fundamentals of Respiratory Care Techniques III RESP 102 3  
CHEM 110 - Introductory Chemistry or
CHEM 101 - General Chemistry

Fourth Semester

RESP 104 - Clinical Practicum I RESP 103 3  

Fifth Semester

RESP 210 - Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology I RESP 104
RESP 220 must be taken concurrently
RESP 220 - Advanced Respiratory Care Procedures I RESP 104
RESP 210 must be taken concurrently
BIOL 241 – Principles of Microbiology BIOL 106 or BIOL 108, BIOL 109 or BIOL 123 with a "C" or better 4  

Sixth Semester

ENGL 115 - Public Speaking* ENGL 101, which may be taken concurrently 3 Humanities
RESP 211 - Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology II RESP 210 with a grade of C or better
RESP 211, must be taken concurrently
SOC 101 - Introduction to Sociology*   3

Social Sciences
American/Global Diversity
Interpretive Studies
Writing Intensive

RESP 221 - Advanced Respiratory Care Procedures II RESP 220, with a grade of "C" or better
RESP 211, must be taken concurrently

Seventh Semester

RESP 299 - Clinical Practicum II RESP 211 and RESP 221 with a grade of "C" or better 3  

Minimum Credits Needed to Graduate: 70

General Education Requirements:

All general education requirements necessary for graduation are met through the courses in the program as indicated above. Students who wish to take courses that differ from the general education courses indicated above must consult with an advisor or counselor before registering. A more detailed explanation of the College’s general education requirements appear at   degree requirements.

For More Information Contact:

The Division of Math, Science and Health Careers, Room W2-7, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Telephone (215) 751-8430; or the College Information Center (215) 751-8010.