Respiratory CareRespiratory Care
Associate of Applied Science

You can live without water for a few days and without food for a few weeks, but without oxygen, you will suffer brain damage within a few minutes and die after about nine minutes. Respiratory therapist, also known as respiratory care practitioner, evaluate, treat and care for patients with breathing disorders. They treat all types of patients, ranging from premature infants whose lungs are not fully developed to elderly people whose lungs are diseased. Respiratory therapists provide temporary relief to patients with chronic asthma or emphysema and emergency care for patients who have suffered heart failure or a stroke or who are victims of drowning or shock. This field is also expanding into cardiopulmonary procedures such as electrocardiograms and stress testing, along with performing other tasks such as drawing blood samples from patients.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of respiratory therapists will grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth in the middle-aged and elderly population will lead to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, and other disorders that can permanently damage the lungs or restrict lung function. These factors will in turn lead to an increased demand for respiratory therapy services and treatments, mostly in hospitals and nursing homes. In addition, advances in preventing and detecting disease, improved medications, and more sophisticated treatments will increase the demand for respiratory therapists. Other conditions affecting the general population, such as smoking, air pollution, and respiratory emergencies, will continue to create demand for respiratory therapists.                     

Ferris State University's respiratory care program combines online lectures with weekend labs at partner institutions. Internships in hospitals throughout the state are also used to prepare you to deliver a wide range of respiratory care services. This program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs in conjunction with the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. Graduates of the respiratory care program at Ferris State University are eligible to sit for the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) national credentialing examinations sponsored by the National Board for Respiratory Care. 

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Grand Rapids Jennifer Riggs
(616) 451-4777
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