Respiratory Care is an allied health specialty dealing with the diagnosis, treatment, and management of patients with acute and chronic diseases affecting the pulmonary system. Respiratory Care Practitioners/Respiratory Therapists work in all areas within the hospital, especially within the critical care areas with patients who are in a life-threatening phase of their illness. Additionally, some Respiratory Care Practitioners/Respiratory Therapists work with home care agencies to treat patients in their homes. Duties include analysis of pulmonary function and arterial blood gases, life support ventilation, CPR, assessment of pulmonary status, airway care, plus other related duties. Specialties in Respiratory Care include adult critical care, neonatal and pediatric critical care, pulmonary function testing, home care and rehabilitation, management, and education.
The Respiratory Care program at Orange Coast College is a two-year Associate in Science Degree program beginning each fall semester. The student must complete General Education requirements and program prerequisites prior to entering the program. Courses within the program include lectures, skills application of procedures and techniques in a laboratory setting on campus, and approximately 1000 hours of clinical practice. Clinical practice is within area hospitals performing the latest procedures in medicine. There is also a series including discussions with physicians.
The Respiratory Care program at Orange Coast College is fully accredited. Program graduates are eligible for California legal certification (licensure) (RCP) and Certification (CRT) and Registry (RRT) by the National Board for Respiratory Care. The employment outlook for Respiratory Care Practitioners/Respiratory Therapists is very good throughout the United States. Most graduates obtain jobs within the Orange County/Long Beach areas. Nation-wide program analysis data prepared by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) for the Annual Report of Current Status can be found at http://www.coarc.com/47.html