Respiratory Care, Associate in Applied Science Degree

Program Description for Respiratory Care

Respiratory care practitioners are allied health specialists who play a crucial role within the health care team. Working closely with physicians and other health care professionals, they care for patients with respiratory and cardiovascular conditions. Under the supervision of a physician, they are involved with the assessment, treatment, diagnostic testing, rehabilitation, and prevention of conditions that affect the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Employment opportunities are found in hospitals, clinics, home health care agencies, product support and sales, education, rehabilitation and continuing care, and health/disease prevention programs.

This program is a partnership with Northeast Iowa Community College new window.

Award Options for Respiratory Care


Experience/Skills/Personality Traits for Respiratory Care

Respiratory care workers must have the capacity to accept great responsibility for patients, stay calm in emergency situations, and have a genuine desire to care for others. They work with ventilators and other sophisticated machinery, so it helps to be hands-on and have mechanical aptitude. Math skills are also necessary to compute medication dosages and calculate test results. Communication skills and the ability to follow orders are also vital.

Physical Demands for Respiratory Care

Daily activities require bending, stooping, squatting, reaching, pushing, and pulling in all directions. You will be asked to lift and carry objects weighing up to a minimum of 50 pounds and also shared weight. Clinical tasks require use of hands for repetitive action such as simple and firm grasping and fine manipulation, and walking, including stair stepping. Respiratory care practitioners may also be in contact with communicable diseases and chemical/biohazardous materials and odors.


Printable Factsheet (PDF) new window

Locations: Clinton Community College, Muscatine Community College, Scott Community College

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