Sep 20, 2021  
2015-2016 Course Catalog 
2015-2016 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Respiratory Therapy, AAS

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The Respiratory Therapy program provides students the opportunity to learn the dynamic allied health profession of respiratory therapy. Respiratory therapists are involved in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases and conditions that affect the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Respiratory therapists work closely with physicians to plan, provide and evaluate direct care to persons with pulmonary and cardiovascular abnormalities.

The curriculum includes a variety of supervised clinical practicum experiences in local healthcare facilities. Graduates will acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to begin successful careers as professional respiratory therapists.

Graduates of the program receive an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. 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 all 48 other state boards licensing respiratory therapists.

Employment opportunities are found in hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, home healthcare agencies, equipment and supply sales, rehabilitation, and continuing care.

Criminal background abuse checks will be performed and results shared with cooperating agencies, 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

Location: Ankeny

Students start Fall semester.

Program Entry Requirements

  1. Complete an application for admission.
  2. Satisfy the assessment requirement.
  3. Meet with a Respiratory Therapy faculty advisor.
  4. Submit to Admissions office evidence of high school graduation or GED completion prior to enrollment.
  5. Submit to Admissions office evidence of grade “C” or above in two semesters of high school algebra II or the equivalent (Academic Achievement Center Algebra III & IV or MAT 073 - Elementary Algebra II ).
  6. Submit to Admissions office evidence of grade “C” or above in two semesters of high school chemistry or equivalent (Academic Achievement Center Chemistry I & II or CHM 122 - Intro to General Chemistry ).
  7. Submit to Admissions office evidence of grade of “C” or above in BIO 733 - Health Science Anatomy  or BIO 164 - Essentials Anatomy/Physiology  or equivalent courses.
  8. Be in good standing.

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 RCP courses.

Required Courses

Total Credits Required to Complete this AAS Degree - 79

Fixed Costs

Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$143.00 per credit

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

Varied Costs

The Respiratory Therapy program utilizes a background check service,, to conduct criminal background/abuse checks and to track immunizations, health records and CPR certification for each student after their acceptance into the program. Students are responsible for the cost of this service (approximately $58).

  Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3 Semester 4 Semester 5 Semester 6
Books (approximate) 450 350 250 350 280 100
Supplies   70   70   60   70   70   60
AARC Dues   50       50    
Clinical clothing (shirt/lab coat)   50   50        
Stethoscope   75          
CPR course   60          
ISRC Lung Conf. Registration*     95       95  
Hepatitis B Immunization 180          
Assessment tests           50 110
Personal Protective Equipment   35   30     30    
Practicum Documentation   60          

* Out of Des Moines one of 2 years conference. Two nights in motel, 2.5 days food, and 230 miles round trip.

Approximate total for the program: $14,497**

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

What Kind of Work Will You Do?

• Administer therapies to improve or maintain respiratory and cardiovascular function.
• Monitor and maintain patients on life support systems.
• Administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
• Work in conjunction with patients as well as physicians and other healthcare professionals.
• Perform diagnostic tests of lung and cardiac functions.
• Teach patients proper methods of breathing.
• Work with pulmonary patients in rehabilitation programs.
• Plan care to be provided to patients.
• Evaluate patient response to care.
• Provide care under assess-and-treat protocols.

What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?

• Ability to organize tasks and work independently and efficiently.
• Good English oral and written communication skills.
• Good problem-solving skills, able to independently solve problems and make decisions.
• Good hand/eye coordination and manual dexterity.
• Ability to communicate patient information effectively.
• Maintain confidentiality of information.
• Spend much of the day on your feet.

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

• You will work some nights, every other weekend, and half of the holidays.
• You must provide your own transportation to the clinical sites.
• Some clinical rotations will require evening shifts, while you are in school.
• You will be exposed to persons with communicable diseases.
• Should have above average reading and study skills.
• Average starting salary $40,000 (2010-2011 Placement Report).

Nondiscrimination Policy

Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in or allow discrimination covered by law. This includes harassment based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex (including pregnancy and marital status), sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability and genetic information. 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. For information about the ADA, the Section 504/ADA Coordinator can be contacted at 515-964-6857. For Title IX questions and concerns contact 515-964-6850.

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