Feb 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Course Catalog 
2023-2024 Course Catalog


Respiratory Therapy, AAS

Location(s): Ankeny

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.

Program Details

Pathway: Health Science & Fitness

Students start Fall semester

Program Entry Requirements

  1. Meet with Program Chair of the Respiratory Therapy Program.
  2. Submit to Admissions office evidence of high school graduation or GED completion prior to enrollment.
  3. Submit to Admissions office evidence of successful completion in MAT 156- Statistics.
  4. Submit to Admissions office evidence of successful completion in both BIO 168 Anatomy and Physiology I and BIO 173 Anatomy and Physiology II, or BIO 164 -Essentails of  Anatomy/Physiology.
  5. Submit to Admissions office evidence of successful completion in ENG 105 Composition I.
  6. Submit to the Admissions office evidence of successful completion of SDV 108 or SDV 129.
  7. Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher in required program entry requirement courses and cannot be on on Academic Probation. All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or better.

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 4

Semester 5

Total Credits Required to Complete this AAS Degree - 64*

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

Fixed Costs

Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$185.00 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
Textbooks (approximate) 400 220 100 165 100
Immunizations and Physical 200        
Lab Supplies   25         
ViewPoint   65         
ACLS       15     
NRP         95  
Trajecsys    150      
Clinic Uniform and Supplies 200  70      
SAE TMC          50
SAE CSE          70
Credentialing Exams Voucher            390
Credentialing Review Seminar         350
BLS   60        
Conference Registration Fees   25 100    25 100

Approximate total for the program: $14,815**

**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

  1. Obtain the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential
  2. Obtain the high cut score on the Therapist Multiple Choice Exam (TMC)
  3. Score 85% or higher on the TMC scores by content area
  4. Score 85% or higher on CSE content and section type by subscores



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 http://internal.dmacc.edu/admissions/Pages/checklist.aspx.(2021)