The School of Health Professions offers a BS in Respiratory Care with the option to specialize in pulmonary rehabilitation, neonatology, adult critical care, management, education, sleep disorders, cardiopulmonary diagnostics, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Most students enter this program after completion of their sophomore year of undergraduate study or after finishing two years of community college course work. With an advanced curriculum and located at an academic medical center, students receive extensive experience in advanced respiratory therapy techniques. The program includes a semester-long clinical assignment during the senior year in the student's area of specialization.
Sample of Related Skills
- Demonstrate knowledge of the respiratory care code of ethics
- Develop an understanding of the knowledge and application of mechanical ventilation and therapeutics
- Develop an understanding of the knowledge and application of cardiopulmonary diagnosis and monitoring
- Develop an understanding of the knowledge and application of cardiopulmonary pharmacology and pathophysiology
- Manage respiratory care plans for adult, neonatal, and pediatric patients
- Apply critical thinking and information technology as the foundations for clinical decision making and patient care
- Collaborate with the patient, significant others, and members of health care team
- Practice within legal, ethical, professional, and regulatory standards of respiratory care practice
Popular Career Paths
Neonatology: Includes treating and monitoring newborns for breathing disorders in a hospital setting. Many respiratory care professionals who work with infants have the Neonatal-Pediatric Specialist credential in addition to the CRT and/or RRT credentials.
Critical Care: Involves working in intensive care units of hospitals providing care to the most severely ill patients. Most respiratory care professionals who work in the ICU have earned the advanced level RRT credential.
Education: Involves educating future respiratory care professionals as well as current practitioners within community colleges and universities as well as respiratory therapy departments as continuing education coordinators. Most respiratory care educators have earned the advanced level RRT credential as well as advanced degrees in education.
Management: Includes staffing and budget coordination, policy development, and implementation of directives from hospital administration. Respiratory care managers typically have many years of experience as a respiratory therapist as well as the advanced level RRT credential.
Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Involves helping patients with chronic lung diseases like asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis manage their condition through education, treatment and exercise. Most respiratory care professionals who work in pulmonary rehabilitation hold the CRT and/or RRT credentials. Many also have earned the Asthma Educator-Certified credential (AE-C).
Jobs to Consider
- Case Manager
- Clinical Education Coordinator
- Director of Cardio-Pulmonary Services
- Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Therapist
- Product/Marketing Specialist
- Pulmonary Function Technologist
- Pulmonary Rehabilitation Therapist
- Respiratory Therapist
- Respiratory Therapy Department Director
- Sleep Technologist
- Transport Respiratory Therapist
Places to Seek Employment
- Air Transport and Ambulance Teams
- Asthma Education Programs
- Diagnostic and Research Laboratories
- Emergency Rooms
- Equipment Manufacturers
- Home Health Care Agencies
- Intensive Care Units
- Long Term Care Facilities
- Neonatal and Pediatric Units
- Nursing Homes
- Operating Rooms
- Physician's Offices
- Private Corporations
- Pulmonary Function Laboratories
- Pulmonary Rehabilitation Centers
- Sleep Laboratories
- Smoking Cessation Programs
Job and Internship Search Resources
- American Medical Association's Career Directory - explore respiratory therapy and other health care careers through this great career directory
- Explore Health Careers - comprehensive career overview of a respiratory therapist
- Careers in Respiratory Care - detailed career information from the KU Respiratory Care program
- National Board for Respiratory Care - respiratory therapy certification information
- All 50 Medical - job opportunities and information on traveling allied health careers
- Allied Health Careers - job opportunities in allied health-related careers, including respiratory therapy
- American Association for Respiratory Care Job and Career Resources - helpful job search tips, career resources, and job postings from the American Association for Respiratory Care
- Health Career Center - online guide to health careers, degrees, schools and job search resources
- Hospital Jobs Online - comprehensive listing of healthcare jobs in hospitals across the US, including many respiratory care job postings
- Kansas Respiratory Care Society Job Board - local job opportunities in respiratory care
Career Exploration Hub
- Identify areas of interest related to your major so you can focus your academics and experiences towards these fields.
- Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent studies, internships, part-time jobsstudent organization involvement, or volunteering
- Register for Hire Jayhawks and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
- Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest, and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field.
- Practice interviewing on your own or by conducting a mock interview at the University Career Center.
- Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest.
- Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant to your career goals.
- Complete an independent study to gain advanced research skills.
- Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional school.
- Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest.