Jun 12, 2024  
2021-2022 Course Catalog 
2021-2022 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Respiratory Therapy, AAS

The Respiratory Therapy program provides students the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to begin successful careers as registered respiratory therapists. The curriculum includes didactic learning, laboratory learning, simulation experiences and a variety of supervised clinical practicum experiences in local healthcare facilities. 

Respiratory therapists are involved in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases and conditions that affect the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Employment opportunities are found in hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, home healthcare agencies, equipment and supply sales, rehabilitation, and continuing care.

The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) and graduates are eligible for credentialing examinations offered by the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC), as well as licensure as respiratory therapists by the Iowa Department of Public Health and other state boards licensing respiratory therapists.

Criminal background checks will be performed which may delay or deny placement for clinical/practicum courses. This will affect successful program completion.

For more information about the Respiratory Therapy program, please visit our website at www.dmacc.edu/programs/respiratorytherapy

Program Details

Location: Ankeny

Students start Fall semester

Program Entry Requirements

  1. Meet with a Respiratory Therapy faculty advisor.
  2. Submit to Admissions office evidence of high school graduation or GED completion prior to enrollment.
  3. Submit to Admissions office evidence of grade “C” or above in MAT 121  College Algebra, or MAT 073  - Elementary Algebra II.
  4. Submit to Admissions office evidence of grade of “C” or above in both BIO 168  Anatomy and Physiology I and BIO 173  Anatomy and Physiology II, or BIO 164  - Essentials Anatomy/Physiology 
  5. SDV 108    

Graduation Requirements

To earn a Respiratory Therapy AAS degree, a student must complete all coursework as prescribed and maintain a 2.0 grade point average. A minimum of grade “C” or above is required in all courses.

Semester 5

Total Credits Required to Complete this AAS Degree - 67*

*Total credits are calculated using the least number of credits needed to satisfy the option requirements.

Fixed Costs

Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$174.00 per credit

The costs for each program are estimates and subject to change.

Varied Costs


  Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3 Semester 4 Semester 5 Semester 6
Books (approximate) 480 380 270 380 300 100
Supplies   70   70   60   70   70   60
AARC Dues   55       55    
Clinical clothing (shirt/lab coat)   50   50     50    
Stethoscope   75          
CPR course   60          
ISRC Lung Conf. Registration*    105      105  
Hepatitis B Immunization 180          
Self Assessment tests           50 110
Personal Protective Equipment   35   30     30    
Practicum Documentation   60          

Approximate total for the program: $16,286**

**Program entry requirements are not included in the total approximate cost.

What Kind of Work Will You Do?

  • Diagnosing lung and breathing disorders and recommending treatment methods.
  • Interviewing patients and doing chest physical exams to determine what kind of therapy is best for their condition.
  • Consulting with physicians to recommend a change in therapy, based on your evaluation of the patient.
  • Analyzing breath, tissue, and blood specimens to determine levels of oxygen and other gases.
  •  Managing ventilators and artificial airway devices for patients who can’t breathe normally on their own.
  • Responding to Code Blue or other urgent calls for care.
  • Educating patients and families about lung disease so they can maximize their recovery.

What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?

  • Strong communication skills. 
  • Proficiency in basic math. 
  • Ability to organize tasks and work independently and efficiently.
  • Eye/hand coordination and manual dexterity.
  • Spend the majority of work hours on your feet.
  • Able to lift 50 or more pounds.
  • Commitment to scheduled hospital shifts.
  • Ability to use good judgment and remain calm in high-stress situations.

What Else Should I Consider about this Program or Career Choice?

  • Respiratory Therapists work nights, weekends and holidays. 
  • Possess physical and emotional stamina to meet demands of a rigorous program of study.
  • After graduation, shifts will include nights, weekends, and holidays.
  • Some clinical rotations will require evening shifts. 
  • Students must provide your own transportation to the clinical sites.
  • Students will be exposed to individuals with communicable diseases.

Program Competencies

  • Utilize the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and abilities needed to begin a successful career as a respiratory therapist.
  • Provide safe, effective and ethical respiratory care.
  • Function effectively as part of a healthcare team. 
  • Adapt to changing technology in the medical field. 
  • Communicate clearly and respectfully in the healthcare field.
  • Earn the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential

Nondiscrimination Statement

Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in nor allow discrimination covered by law against any person, group or organization. This includes in its programs, activities, employment practices, or hiring practices, and harassment or discrimination based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, genetic information (in employment) and actual or potential parental, family or marital status. Veteran status in educational programs, activities, employment practices, or admission procedures is also included to the extent covered by law.

Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against may file a complaint through the College Discrimination Complaint Procedure. Complaint forms may be obtained from the Campus Provost’s office, the Academic Deans’ office, the Judicial Officer, or the EEO/AA Officer, Human Resources. ADA questions and concerns may be directed to the Section 504/ADA Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 6, Ankeny, IA 50023, phone 515/964-6857, dso@dmacc.edu. Title IX questions and concerns may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 1, Ankeny, IA 50023, phone 515/964-6216, Title9@dmacc.edu. Questions or complaints about this policy may be directed to the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, John C. Kluczysnki Federal Building, 230 S. Dearborn Street, 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604-7204, phone 312/730-1560, fax 312/730-1576, TDD 800-877-8339 Email OCR.Chicago@ed.gov.

DMACC offers career and technical programs in the following areas of study:
Agriculture, Natural and Environmental Science
Architecture, Engineering, and Construction
Arts, Design, and Visual Communication
Business, Management, and Marketing
Education, Public, and Human Services
Health Science
Hospitality and Culinary
Information Technology
Transportation & Logistics

Entrance requirements for specific programs can be found at https://www.dmacc.edu/admissions/Pages/checklist.aspx. (2021)