College of Health Professions
Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy
The healthcare field of respiratory therapy focuses on treating patients with cardiopulmonary (heart/lung) illnesses and breathing difficulties.
Armstrong Atlantic State University's Respiratory Therapy program awards the Bachelor of Science degree in Savannah, GA. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (http://www.coarc.com) and has an advanced practitioner, registered respiratory therapist (RRT) outcome goal. Our graduates are eligible to sit for the credentialing exams administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), and our graduates consistently pass their boards at a rate of 20-25 percent higher than the national mean. We have a near 100 percent job placement history and our annual graduate employer surveys indicate a high level of satisfaction with the program. Contact: Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, TX 76021-4244, 817.283.2835.
Because enrollment in the program is competitive, we strongly recommend that pre-respiratory therapy majors contact the department regarding advisement as soon as possible after enrolling in Armstrong.
The U.S. Department of Labor projects a 49 percent increase in demand for respiratory care providers (RCP) in the next 10 years. Respiratory therapists are involved in the treatment, diagnosis, rehabilitation and home care of patients with acute or chronic disease affecting the lung and cardiovascular system; health promotion and disease prevention. The scope of practice for the respiratory therapist has expanded during the past 15 years, largely due to advances in medicine and technology.
As the scope of practice has changed, new subspecialty areas in pulmonary and sleep diagnostics, neonatal/pediatric or adult intensive care, rehabilitation, and home care have emerged. Registered therapists may use their education and experience to enroll in physician assistant, anesthetist and perfusionist programs, or medical school. Along with working in hospital settings, our graduates find careers in research clinical trials management, asthma education, private business, health administration, education or management.
Unique Program Features
Students in the Respiratory Therapy program will have opportunities to train and observe in sleep, neonatal-pediatrics, long-term acute care, homecare, durable medical equipment, cystic fibrosis and asthma patient education, and other diverse diagnostic and patient respiratory care specialties. Students also receive intensive preparation for the board and credentialing examinations. Armstrong Atlantic State University (Armstrong) has standing agreements with many regional hospitals, and the first four semesters of clinical practicum are done at local hospitals and clinical sites outside of Savannah. In the fifth semester, students may apply for a respiratory therapy externship at hospitals across the states of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Florida. If a hospital and the university agree to provide the student an opportunity, the student may work with a preceptor at a hospital where they would like to be employed after graduation.
Candidates must be admitted to Armstrong and complete their baccalaureate core requirements prior to admission to the major. Completion of the admission criteria does not guarantee admission to the major. Admission to the program competitive and applications are due by April 1. Applications received after April 1 will be considered on a space available basis. Contact the department for specific information. A separate application is required.
Students can expect to incur additional expenses for uniforms, supplies, equipment and more. These expenses will run an estimated $2,500 over the two years in the major.
Course of Study
The 126 semester hour B.S. degree program includes 60 hours of core curriculum requirements and 66 hours in the major. Students must have a strong background in the math and science areas. The major consists of academic, laboratory, and clinical components. Students will spend an average of 30 hours per week in direct contact with faculty. We strongly recommend that students limit their work to less than 20 hours per week.