Online Respiratory Care Degree Programs
Online respiratory care degree programs are structured in ways to fit your schedule, allowing you to finish the bulk of the work online. Read on to learn about degree levels, common coursework, online class requirements, and employment opportunities.
What Types of Online Degrees Are Available in Respiratory Care?
Associate's degree programs in respiratory care usually are offered on campus because clinical education is a large part of program requirements. However, several schools feature fully online or hybrid bachelor's degree programs in respiratory care. These offerings would be beneficial to you if you already hold an associate's degree, as well as a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential.
|Online Degree Levels||Associate's and bachelor's degrees|
|Common Courses||Clinical gas mixtures and equipment, anatomy, physiology of sleep medicine|
|Online Course Requirements||Computer with Internet access and an email account|
|Possible Careers||Respiratory therapist|
|Median Salary (2018)||$60,280 (for all respiratory therapists)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||23% growth (for all respiratory therapists)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Courses Will I Take?
As an online student in respiratory care, you'll likely complete the same curriculum as an on-campus student. In addition to required general education courses, you'll complete core classes in health sciences. You also might have to participate in clinical experiences, although some online programs will waive this requirement if you're already a CRT. Topics covered in an online respiratory care degree program might include:
- Clinical and physical assessment techniques
- Clinical gas mixtures and equipment
- Anatomy and physiology of sleep medicine
- Respiratory care in the neonatal unit
- Performing pulmonary function tests
- Management of cardio-respiratory health issues
- Acute and chronic diseases and their effects on the body
How Do Online Programs Work?
To take part in an online program, you'll need a computer with Internet access and an e-mail account. Coursework often is delivered through Blackboard, an Internet-based course management system that allows students to participate in online chats, discussion boards and videoconferencing, in addition to downloading course materials. Although online programs typically allow you to learn at your own pace, you might need to meet assignment deadlines or log in at specific times to take tests.
What Are My Career Options?
As a graduate of a respiratory care program, you'll be qualified to evaluate and treat patients with breathing problems and disorders. You might find career opportunities in a number of medical settings, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and home health care facilities.
To work as a respiratory therapist in most states, you must obtain licensure, which generally requires completing a minimum of an associate's degree program and passing the National Board for Respiratory Care's CRT exam. With advanced training, you might choose to also pursue the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential.