Feb 25, 2024  
Mansfield University 2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog 
Mansfield University 2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Respiratory Therapy, Associate of Applied Science

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Offered by the Department of Health Sciences
Professor Sheehe (chairperson), Wright, K.
Associate Professors Evans, Maisner, McGuire
Assistant Professors Decker, Hicks, Klesh, Materese, Oakes, Zaparzynski
Instructors Ferrito, Greer, Hanlon, Kotchka, Lanzara, Urban, Vosburgh

This program has a record of 100% employment of its graduates. Graduates are employed in hospitals, skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, home care, physician’s offices, the pharmaceutical industry, medical equipment companies, clinical research facilities, and colleges and universities.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/respiratory-therapists.htm) predicts the employment of respiratory therapists, nationally, will grow by 19% in the decade 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all professions.

In July, 2013, the Mansfield program was recognized as one of the top respiratory therapy programs in the country with the Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist Credentialing Success Award from the professional accrediting agency, the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

Students normally begin the program in the fall on the Mansfield campus and spend their first two semesters (fall and spring) completing prerequisite general education courses. The remainder of the program consists of 15 months of intensive classroom, laboratory, and clinical coursework at the Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, beginning in the summer session and ending at the conclusion of the following summer session.  Clinical training at Robert Packer Hospital is supplemented by clinical experiences at 5 other area hospitals. 

Respiratory therapists care for patients with breathing difficulty in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and the home.  Their patients range from the premature newborn infant with underdeveloped lungs to the elderly patient with chronic lung disease.  Therapists routinely interview and perform physical examination of patients, administer diagnostic breathing tests, develop treatment plans in collaboration with the physician, administer breathing treatments such as an aerosol medication and chest physical therapy, and document patient response to therapy.  As a life-support specialist, therapists provide emergency care such as CPR and mechanical ventilation to patients suffering from disorders such as pneumonia, major trauma, shock, heart attack, or acute respiratory failure.  Specialty areas available to the therapist include pediatric and neonatal care, adult critical care, emergency medicine, pulmonary function testing, patient transport, pulmonary rehabilitation, home care, patient education, respiratory care education, clinical research, and health care administration.  Additional information concerning the respiratory care profession is available at the American Association for Respiratory Care web site, www.aarc.org.

The Mansfield University respiratory therapist program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, Texas 76021-4244, (817) 283-2835, (www.coarc.com).  Outcomes data for this and other accredited respiratory therapy programs may be found at the CoARC web site.

Program Mission

The mission of the respiratory therapy program is to integrate the University’s focus on the liberal arts with the knowledge, skills, and values that promote the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve.  Through this integration, graduates will meet the standards of respiratory care practice defined by the professional credentialing agency, the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), and the professional accrediting agency, the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

Program Student Learning Outcomes

The program prepares students as competent advanced-level respiratory therapists.  Graduates are prepared for both the entry-level Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and the advanced-level Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credentialing exams administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).  The primary goals of the program are that, upon completion of the program, each graduate will demonstrate the:

  • Cognitive ability to comprehend, apply, and evaluate clinical information relevant to the role of a registered respiratory therapist.
  • Technical proficiency in all skills necessary to fulfill the role of a registered respiratory therapist.
  • Personal behaviors consistent with professional and employer expectations for the registered respiratory therapist.

Program Policies

The following academic standards apply to all respiratory therapy students:   

  • Successful completion of BSC 1121 Human Anatomy & Physiology I, BSC 1122 Human Anatomy & Physiology II, CHM 1101 Introductory Chemistry, and MA 1128 College Algebra, with a grade of at least “C” in each, or equivalent courses, and a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 are prerequisites for enrollment in the initial respiratory therapy courses offered at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre.
  • A grade of “C” or better must be achieved in all respiratory therapy courses. If a “C-“or lower grade is received for a respiratory therapy course, it must be repeated.  Respiratory therapy courses may be repeated only once.
  • A student, who fails to achieve a grade of “C” or better in any respiratory therapy course after repeating the course, is prohibited from future enrollment in any respiratory therapy courses and is dismissed from the respiratory therapy program.
  • Required courses for the respiratory therapy degree are NOT included in the University Pass/Fail policy.
  • Requirements for the Associate in Applied Science degree in respiratory therapy must be completed within four years from the date the student is admitted to the program.

Students must meet all clinical agency health and insurance requirements. These include background checks, specific immunizations, urine drug testing, and professional liability insurance. Pages 6 and 7 of the program student handbook (http://www.guthrie.org/sites/default/files/Respiratory_Therapy_STUDENT_HANDBOOK.pdf) provide additional information concerning these requirements. Students are responsible for the costs of these requirements and any transportation, meal, or housing expenses that may associated with their clinical training.

The Mansfield University respiratory therapy program endeavors to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and with University Policies regarding students with disabilities. Every effort will be made to provide reasonable accommodation for qualified students with disabilities who are able to perform the essential functions of our academic program in respiratory therapy. Students who are accepted into the program, and then discovered to be unable to perform these essential functions (with or without accommodation) may not be able to complete the program. Graduates who complete the program but are unable to perform certain competencies may experience significant roadblocks to, and in, the employment setting.

State Licensure

In most states, including Pennsylvania, a license is required to practice respiratory care.  Such states grant a temporary practice permit to graduates of an accredited respiratory therapist program. Graduates passing the NBRC Certified Respiratory Therapist exam are granted the license to practice. Graduates of this program have a 100% pass rate on this exam.  There are legal restrictions, though, on who may be granted a license. In Pennsylvania, the State Board of Medicine “shall not issue a license or certificate to an applicant unless the applicant establishes with evidence, verified by an affidavit or affirmation of the applicant, that the applicant is of legal age, is of good moral character and is not addicted to the intemperate use of alcohol or the habitual use of narcotics or other habit-forming drugs”, or “to an applicant who has been convicted of a felony under the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, or of an offense under the laws of another jurisdiction which, if committed in this Commonwealth, would be a felony under The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, unless:

  • At least ten years have elapsed from the date of conviction;
  • The applicant satisfactorily demonstrates to the board that he has made significant progress in personal rehabilitation since the conviction such that licensure of the applicant should not be expected to create a substantial risk of harm to the health and safety of his patients or the public or a substantial risk of further criminal violations; and
  • The applicant otherwise satisfies the qualifications contained in or authorized by this act.”

More information concerning the licensure law in Pennsylvania, may be found at the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine Web site or the Pennsylvania Society for Respiratory Care web site, www.psrc.net,

Additional program information, including admission requirements, is available at: http://www.guthrie.org/content/respiratory-therapy-program

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